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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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rshowalter - 01:33pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1439 of 1444) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/22/01 11:07am

" I think if Russians actually understood how the paradigm shift in boundary layer theory between 1956 and 1975 actually happened (in all its ugly, culture-bound details) they'd know most of the things they'd need to deal with other impasses they have to deal with.

"I'm involved with another impasse, on an academic subject, with a first rate University that is dealing, within American usages, with tact, sophistication and much good will. Even so, you'd have much to learn if you actually studied, at the level of personal interaction and administrative function, how things are being done. And how AFRAID the players are. And how the "defenses" in the system work. Every kind of impasse you're ever likely to see between American and Russians would be there to see, if people looked. My reasonably educated guess is that if Russians asked for a chance to see this administrative interaction, for the purpose of learning about negotiating usages and difficulties, the details might well be revealed.

"And the academics involved would be likely to work very hard, to show how things really work -- because sentiments for peace, and especially for nuclear safety, are very widely held, and passionately felt, just below the surface of peoples' emotional lives.

This is another logically incremental approach. An approach to a larger objective: getting some FACTS about the Cold War nailed down ---- because once they are established, the justification for continuing the horror loses legitimacy - and this could be widely explained.

rshowalter - 01:40pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1440 of 1444) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst-2001 3/17/01 12:03am

" We are different since each of us hold the genetic memory of past generations, each one of them. And that is good. . . . . . . But it MUST be recognised that some aspects wich may be advantagious in particular environment can be useless in others. We all can adapt . . . .

" Some of the most striking differences I noticed between Americans and Russians relates to Competitiveness vs. Cooperation, tolerance to Inequality and Achievement vs. Sacrifice. In more general terms it is Practicizm vs. Misticizm and Fatalizm. Interestingly, many Americans know and read Dostoyevsky who, in my view, clearly opens up those aspects of Russian nature. I wonder how many of them really understand him?

" We may not like each other and always will have a personal prefferences and differences which, as I mentioned above, is essential and positive thing.

" But what we absolutly have to have is respect . . .

Learning this respect, learning how we may interact effectively (increasing a ) must happen incrementally, a step at a time, as well as through acts of high leadership.

rshowalter - 02:01pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1441 of 1444) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/12/01 2:17pm #956

It seems that nobody has anwers to our most basic questions about nuclear weapons, then the world needs them.

Answers can be FORCED -- and this is especially true with the new information technologies.

Particularly in a case like this, where the stakes are such that right answers are morally forcing.

And from answers, actions should flow.

I have two things in mind.

. Establishing FACTS beyond reasonable doubt - and explaining these facts very broadly.


. Crafting a fully workable, fully complete, fully explained "draft treaty proposal" for nuclear disarmament and a more militarily stable world. Such drafting would, at the least, make for stunningly good journalism -- that could be widely syndicated among papers. Useful as that would be, I think the drafting would serve a much more useful purpose. That purpose would be actually getting the points that need to be worked out for nuclear disarmament set out coherently - - to a level where closure actually occurs. That would involve a great deal of staff work done coherently, quickly, and in coordinated fashion.

I wonder how much might be done IN PUBLIC --- say if some Moscow Times staff, and people from a couple of US papers, some Guardian staff, and people from some interested governments, started an OPEN dialog together.

With all the government involvement possible, from all the nations concerned, and with "shadow" governments set up when the government in power did not participate.

. For instance, a "shadow US government" for this purpose might have an ex President, an ex Secretary of State, ex head of the CIA, and several former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in addition to other distinguished people. rhowalter 3/1/01 4:27pm

If this involved "secret talks" it would be unworkable. But if everything was open, it would be workable.

rshowalter 3/12/01 2:36pm A central point is to see how much staff work this would take -- and take in a short time, so that closure could actually occur.

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