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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 - 11:56am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1606 of 1611) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

On reducing the number of "spies" in the US -- why don't you enter into OPEN discussions about doing so, with the international press invited, and negotiate to do so in a manner that will permit Russia, and the US to enhance their REAL knowledge of each other, as two countries who are in a combination of cooperative and competitive circumstances ought to do?

This position, which might even be accepted, would tend to increase the prestige of your country, and the efficiency and comfort of both our countries.

rshowalter - 12:03pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1607 of 1611) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Not all that negotiation could be public. But much of it could be.

And the private part might be subject to a "witness" - perhaps from the UN - who would see that public agreements were carried out, in good faith, in private.

rshowalter - 12:07pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1608 of 1611) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

May I ask again why nuclear disarmament, combined with enhanced security for all nation states, should be impossible?

Perhaps according to some simple pattern such as #266-270 rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am

If our countries could talk effectively to each other, at the levels real complex cooperation and business takes, it seems to me that it should be possible.

rshowalter - 12:08pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1609 of 1611) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Almost everybody in the world would feel better if this were done.

It could be a beautiful thing.

And, unless we find a way to get these obsolete menaces under control, the world could easily end.

lunarchick - 01:43pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1610 of 1611)

Putin drafts civilians into security posts

Last updated: 28 Mar 2001 16:50 GMT+00:00 (Reuters)

By Martin Nesirky

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has appointed Russia's first civilian defence minister and brought a woman into the defence ministry in a debut government reshuffle that tightens his grip on power.

Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov, Putin's closest ally and like the president a former spy, was named defence minister with a brief to oversee stop-start military reforms.

Putin named three new ministers, all civilians, and a new Security Council chief. All four, along with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who kept his job, report directly to Putin rather than to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

Boris Gryzlov, the parliamentary head of the pro-Kremlin Unity Party, was made Interior Minister in what Putin described as a purely political appointment. He will have to press the fight against rebels in Chechnya, where interior ministry troops are engaged, and battle organised crime, which deters investors.

"Putin has started to form his own government, to change the team he inherited from (former President Boris) Yeltsin and to create his team from people loyal to him," parliamentarian Sergei Ivanenko told Reuters.

Sergei Ivanov, tellingly a lieutenant-general until Putin made him a civilian last November, replaced Igor Sergeyev, a former nuclear missile chief who becomes the president's adviser on strategic stability, including arms talks.

That could prove to be a crucial role, given his background and differences with Washington on U.S. missile defence plans. But the post is not on a par with the defence portfolio, which for the first time in post-Soviet history is under a civilian.

"I spoke with Igor Sergeyev about this yesterday and we concluded that in the present circumstances in which military reforms are being carried out it was essential to have a civilian defence minister," Putin said in televised remarks.

"It's a step towards demilitarising Russia's public life," he said. Putin went on to spend a uniform-free evening at a gala concert to mark the Bolshoi Theatre's 225th anniversary.


Breaking precedent, Putin appointed Deputy Finance Minister Lyubov Kudelina a deputy defence minister,

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