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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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almarst-2001 - 12:54pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1376 of 1391)

"Americans, I think, had good reasons to want to fight Communism."

Any extream and intollerable ideology is dangerous. But, as I said, ideology is not going to be defeated by force.

In my view, just as the Comminists where wrong trying to exterminate religion by force and intimidation of believers, it was wrong to try to exterminate the believers in Communism.

Eventually, the Soviet version of Communism crushed from within by failing to PROGRESSIVLY and FAST ENOUGH improve the lives of the majority of population.

almarst-2001 - 12:58pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1377 of 1391)

Actually, I am not at all convinced, the majority of americans had any idea about real life in USSR.

And I dought most of them have any idea what the Communist ideology is all about even today.

rshowalter - 01:15pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1378 of 1391) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

On the question of "real intentions" -- the "reality" is problematic, because the US strategy involved lies, and different stories told to different Americans, almost from the beginning. If "real intentions" require a well coordinated, coherent, expressible strategy, understood by all the major players, or even most of them -- the US doesn't have that, or anything like it - and the policy has become more and more a matter of bureacratic snafus, and progressively less coherent, for the last FORTY YEARS.

NO ONE in the US has a coherent strategy for USING nuclear weapons for anything at all involving any kind of first strike. They serve as deterrance, against a first strike threat from RUSSIA that military people have been drilled to take seriously, and as objects of threat used to intimidate people and groups during discussions.

By now, the command and control would be VERY ill suited to anything at all, but reponse to a first strike from you.

But the situation has kinds of inertia that you might NEVER understand, until you came to understand some of the inflexibilities and irrationalities and fears built into OUR system.

The military people in charge of our nuclear forces don't themselves understand why they haven't been taken down. Haven't for years.

A big reason is that our political structure, as it is, doesn't know how to.

It COULD be as innocent as that. But the potential for corruption is very great, too. And fits a good deal.

Facts need to be established, in a system that has a history of lies stretching back fifty years and more.

rshowalter - 01:18pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1379 of 1391) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst-2001 3/23/01 12:58pm

That's probably right.

rshowalter - 01:26pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1380 of 1391) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I think Russians will be very vague about life in the United States, as well. I think there are big challenges, before our two cultures "learn to talk" well enough so we can do business effectively and comfortably.

That means you can't profit much by stealing our "secrets" -- much more important, you need to be able to understand what we have "in clear" -- which is a great deal.

almarst-2001 - 02:00pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1381 of 1391)

"I think Russians will be very vague about life in the United States, as well."

Absolutly true. But from my limited observation during the life for many years in both countries, I can say the following:

- An average Russian is much more curious and interested to learn about life in other countries, particularelly the US.

- During my life in USSR I have seen many American and other foreign movies, including those, translated on TV. The American jas and rock, as well as European - particularelly French and Italian music was very popular and widely known.

- I have never encountered a honestly expressed hatered (discounting the "official duty") against Americans in USSR. Rather and frequently, the honest interest and admiration. Here in US, on those NYT forums, the open hatered against Communists, Russians, Slavs, Vietnamise, Koreans, Iraqies and any other US "enemies" of past or de-jour can be openly and commonly seen.

- The official propaganda in USSR and a "free" mass media in US look very similar in trying to exagerate the negative. The main difference is, most educated Russians did not believe the official media. Which seems not to be a case here in US.

almarst-2001 - 02:17pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1382 of 1391)

Primakov blasts U.S. over expulsions -

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