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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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rshowalter - 02:43pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1327 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

almarst-2001 3/22/01 2:13pm

Well, it has been and interesting dry run. Would you happen to know any senior Russian people who might be contacted?

  • ****

    I'll be back in an hour.

    almarst-2001 - 03:12pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1328 of 11890)

    rshowalter 3/22/01 2:43pm

    I am glad you believe me. I started getting to feel uneasy.

    Unfortunatly I am not well connected. I wish I would.

    Newertheless, I hope it was not entirely waisted time. I hope we both learned somthing. At least, in one sense, it was an open exchange between PRIVATE individuals.

    My overall feeling is that you are overoptimistic. It may be a case, the American Public in general is so frightened, it will not feel safe unless it remains the only power and the rest of the world effectively powerless.

    This is not only immoral but also a dangerous and faulty assumption. There never will be ABSOLUTE SAFETY. Even if the rest of the World would just disappear. Remember my story about a city dweller?

    rshowalter - 04:04pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1329 of 11890)
    Robert Showalter

    It isn't safe, even from an exclusively American point of view, to have others powerless.

    Yes I do remember that story. And yes, there ARE limits to the security any country can have by means of military protection.

    I've got some connections that, over the last few days, I've neglected that may bear fruit. Last year, before one of the election debates, a truly impressive group of people, organized to try to get nuclear disarmament "on the agenda" for the debates, was. A massive effort, when it fails, puts forces into disarray for a time. That's happened this time.

    I thought that President Putin's responses in were very sensible, measured, reasonable reponses, and am heartened by the attitudes in Europe.

    I need to take time, to respond to what has been said. If what we've said here privately, were said among the leaders of nation states - even with the US initially holding itself aloof from the discussions, the detailed basis of ideas for practical, balanced peace might take shape. I think a journalistic effort to do a "dry run" treaty, and stories explaining it, might be part of that.

    If two or three governments were tentatively, guardedly interested in that effort, and said so in private, I believe that such an effort might be organized, and might establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that radical reduction of nuclear arms makes sense. And do so on a basis that would persuade people - something that is essential now.

    Perhaps there are inquiries, through private channels, that I may be able to make. I hope President Putin, and those he meets in Sweeden on Friday, can find ways to move toward a more peaceful, safer world.

    I'll rest a while, and see if I can pursue them.

    almarst-2001 - 04:33pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1330 of 11890)

    And finally, when I mention morality, I am not so sure there is a common understanding. That why was my question about American attendance to religion - the basis of morality.

    I am also sceptical about how bening the inclusion of people like Wolfovitz in the US administration team shaping the foreign policy is. There is a rule in a theater, that "if you see on the scene a gun hanging on the wall, at some point it will fire". The other assumption that this team is just an incidental and random collection of competing for extremism minds is even more frightening. We are talking about the economical and military Superpowr nation!

    What seems to take place is the following:

    During the Cold War, the rules of the game, so to speak, where clear and all saw the lines on the sand. The breakdown of USSR appeared to present a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to redrow those lines and even, if possible, to cris-cross the Russia.

    It must be pretty painfull to some in US to see such a huge economic and military disparity between US and Russia, but still face and deal with some Russian ambitions and resistance to be dominated and shown its place.

    Those 10 years have being lost for peace. But that because America insisted on just one way of peace - "I tell and you listen and do as I say".

    That was mostly the case during Cold War in relation to Europe and other US alies. It became even less tolerable and painfull to recognise the lost influence over the Europe in addition to inability to influence the ambitious, stubborn and unrully Russia.

    And, I think, in terms of its goals, the Clinton's administration is not much different from the current. That why I think its more then just a small group of extremists needs to be overcome. Much much more.

    rshowalter - 05:36pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1331 of 11890)
    Robert Showalter

    If Russia and the other US allies become closer, and feel less mutually threatening, that will be a big step. I hope things go well for President Putin, building peace with his closer neighbors.

    Ideas have to be checked, and minds often have to change gradually. Perhaps we've made some progress.

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