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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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lunarchick - 02:18am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1587 of 1593)

He says that it costs money and takes enormous skill to guide scientific papers through the peer review process and to get them properly checked and edited.

lunarchick - 02:23am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1588 of 1593)

A MIR (mere) drop in the Ocean

rshowalter - 07:58am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1589 of 1593) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Yesterday afternoon, as part of a letter that I hope may lead to further discussion, I sent this:

"I don't believe anyone, on either the American side or the Russian side, has anything remotely resembling an understanding of the barriers to contact, communication and understanding that exist between us.

"It is possible that a great many misunderstandings, not entirely innocent, perhaps, on either side, but partly innocent on both sides, have occurred, and persist. I have a particular bias -- in the area of nuclear weapons these barriers could destroy us all.

"Certainly opportunities are lost. Looking at the situation from the position of ExxonMobil exclusively, it would be in the interest of the company if people in it knew how to talk to Russians, at various levels, including informal levels, better than they can now do. It might be worth many tens or hundreds of millions to them, and the lack of it might cost the company similar or larger sums.

"I'll be making an effort to get this information conveyed to ExxonMobil, if only as a reconnaisance to yeild information about how barriers of this kind are constructed.

"But it is already clear that communication that should be direct and easy is very difficult indeed, and in a world where NO ONE can deal intellectually with the complexities of the sociotechnical systems they face, this is sheer loss to us all.

rshowalter - 07:59am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1590 of 1593) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

"I'd like a chance to discuss this more with you, because of your expertise as a negotiator, and because you know Russia so well. I'd also be grateful for a chance to talk to XXXXXXXXXXX -- both for his advice, which I'd deeply value, and because he may know how to get an email adress. He also might know whether this might interest Lee Raymond (CEO of ExxonMobil)-- I think perhaps it might.

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    "I've been working, with a XXXXXX, and some people we believe are high ranking staff (perhaps XXXXX himself rshowalter 3/17/01 4:57pm ) to try to facilitate kinds of contacts that we believe are absolutely essential for realistic business level contact between our peoples -- and perhaps for the survival of the world.

    "I've tried to put some of this in a business context --- these are sequential, but I post them as follows for emphasis - they adress a problem Russia has with the rest of the world, and is coming to appreciate. ( #1394-1406 )

    rshowalter 3/23/01 5:30pm

    rshowalter 3/23/01 5:36pm

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    rshowalter 3/23/01 6:44pm

    ! ! ! ! ! ! AND ESPECIALLY #1409 rshowalter 3/23/01 7:10pm ! ! ! ! !

    "As an exercise, not unrelated to the exercise I described with respect to Cohen of ExxonMobil - I proposed some communicatons between Russian staffers and american authors, about books, TO BUILD NEGOTIATING SKILLS, KNOWLEDGES, AND XXXXXXXX THAT THE RUSSIANS NOW LACK: #1411-1415 rshowalter 3/23/01 7:36pm

    "If there would be a chance to talk to you some more about this I'd be very grateful. If there would be a chance to talk to XXXXXXXXXXX about this, I'd be very grateful.

    Whether the letter of which this exerpt forms a part will bear fruit I don't know, but if it does not, perhaps simlar initiatives can be undertaken in different parts of the world's intricate and complexly articulated and interconnected sociotechnical system.

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