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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 - 10:22am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1541 of 1545) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Our positions are not in contradiction, or even in substantial tension. Both approaches might be pursued. That might even be inexpensive -- the cheapest way.

If an accomodation was reached out of court, the court case could be dropped. That's common practice in analogous affairs, in most countries in the world today.

rshowalter - 10:45am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1542 of 1545) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

If ways opened for a stable situation between Iraq and Iran, and between Iraq and its neighbors, this would make an enormous difference.

In addition, if Saddam took an honorable, protected retirement - like him or not, he's worked hard for a long time -- or was even willing to discuss doing so, that might open up avenues of discussion that might be closed otherwise.

rshowalter - 10:53am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1543 of 1545) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/26/01 6:47am references ExxonMobil. rshowalter 3/26/01 6:48am references a key man there, Ken P. Cohen:

Here is a speech Cohen gave, that raises points that are worth considering, in negotiation -- and reasons why business people often prefer to avoid international tribunals - things worth knowing, for either "defense" or "offense."

A Business Perspective: Developments in International Organizations and Technology Given at The Council for the United States and Italy Lake Como, Italy Remarks by Ken P. Cohen , Vice President, Public Affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation

If Iraq, and other nation states involved knew what Cohen knew, and had some of his contacts, things now impossible might become more possible. It wouldn't require trust, or a big committment of any kind, to talk to him, or one of his opposite numbers in some other corporation, who might have an interest in peace, for both human and business reasons.

rshowalter - 10:56am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1544 of 1545) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Such a contact, like many other contacts, would be useless unless it was in the mode of status exchange -- unless it happened for free, as a discussion of matters of mutual practical and aesthetic interest.

That is true of MOST of the kinds of contacts that the Russian state now handles badly.

Due to problems with such contacts, Russia is often outmaneuvered, even when it is right on all the merits of a particular case.

rshowalter - 11:14am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1545 of 1545) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Like corporate officers, I'm often preoccupied with matters that are qualitative but also quantitative in nature - where balances must be weighed. I'm very sorry that some hundreds of civilians have died in the bombing of Iraq, and also sorry for the many hudreds wounded. I'm even more sorry for the enormous loss of life due to a decline in health and nutrition standards in Iraq. I'm also sorry for the degradation of the quality of life that has occurred in Iraq in many, many ways.

At the same time, I believe that our nuclear weapons are terribly dangerous -- and Id judge that the statistical expected value of deaths per day is around 1.6 MILLION deaths per day . If Ive made a factor of ten error, that would be ~160,000 deaths/day.

Im afraid that all of humanity will be reduced to rotting unburied corpses.

Therefore, though I am concerned, and touched, about the deaths and losses in Iraq, I feel like time is important.

Ways should be found to preserve life, and make prosperity more possible, by dealing with military issues that are not inconsistent with solutions to problems with Iraq and the Koreas, and that shouldn't have to wait for these solutions.

There are good reasons to try to do some things simultaneously. The same problems are occurring again and again.

In my view, the world needs to proceed with a more focused, objective "golden rule" -- according to standards of "disciplined beauty" that can be clearly understood, and that permit us to make the world better, and less ugly.

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