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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 - 03:56pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1626 of 1633) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The US has every REAL interest in a healthy and augmented Russia ! There's some persuasion to do, and there may be some people, with power, who have deeply corrupting personal conflicts. But the FACTS of the matter are clear -- a Russia and United States who could talk to each other, with our main differences resolved in honest ways, would be mutually beneficial, and helpful to the whole world.

Some questions of fact, some involving journalistic staff work, and some structure to establish, may be necessary to get this view so that it is strong enough to prevail.

But the logic of the situation favors the peaceful and mutually beneficial solution. And Europe isn't wishing to be "dominated" by the US either. In fact, the US, under Bush's leadership, is losing power and legitimacy at a breathtaking rate.

rshowalter - 03:58pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1627 of 1633) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

For example -- and I'll get back to your excellent^4830669@.f0ce57b

German Leader to Brief Bush on New Realities of Europe ROGER COHEN ".....On Thursday the President ...... meets a buoyant German Chancellor carrying firm, sometimes confrontational, messages from Europe. . . . . . .

"Viewing that future, Germany places a priority on the environment, on controlling global warming, on the development of the European Union as a strategic power with its own military component, on conciliation with Russia, and on ascertaining whether "rogue" threats are also real threats before building missile defense shields against them.

All these positions will strain Mr. Schröder's first meeting with President Bush. ........ . . . . .

"The Chancellor will emphasize the fact that the end of the division in Europe requires a deep strategic rethinking, officials said. NATO must remain as the core of what the Germans now call "a zone of tranquillity" — one that should be extended where possible — but its response to the world around it requires review. . . . . .

For example, Germany draws a clear distinction between North Korea, which it believes may not exist in a decade just as East Germany has disappeared from the map, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Germany pushed hard for the European decision last weekend to send a diplomatic mission to the Korean Peninsula to support Kim Dae Jung's so-called sunshine policy toward North Korea at a time when Mr. Bush has indicated a preference for a harder, or at least more cautious, line.

"The message from the administration has been: we cannot afford lazy thinking in a changed world," Mr. Steiner said. "But you must be consistent. To replace an old enemy by a handful of rogue states would be a form of laziness. Let's not adopt a blanket attitude toward places like North Korea and Iraq that pose very different problems."

rshowalter - 04:05pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1628 of 1633) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst-2001 3/28/01 3:53pm

we can make them more transparent.

rshowalter - 04:14pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1629 of 1633) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Not that it is necessarily easy.

I had a meeting, with a very fine negotiator yesterday, who was part of a socio-technical organization that had contacts that might have been of use -- and perhaps, at a future time, may be. A man above him in his organization called, and courteously, but definitely, said that, for the mission of his organization, he could not make a contact that I requested. It was too far from mission.

That may have been exactly the decision he should have made, from his position - with his responsibilities. I suspect it was. I have no way of knowing. I was asking for a gift - a "status exchange" and got "no" -- this time.

For what may have been absolutely right reasons.

It was also a reluctant "no" - and a very polite one. There's a certain openness to the system.

And there are many possible connections.

almarst-2001 - 04:16pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1630 of 1633)

The increasingly independent Europe is a major concern for some influential interests in US. You could feel it if watched the Powell confirmation hearings.

One of the ways to preserve the US-Europe "special relations" is to make the Russia the thread again. By provoking some harsh responce for example. Or creating some dought in Russia's credibility and desire for peace(remember the "news" about Russian nuclear arms in Kaliningrad?). For some "unclear" reason, those "news", even if true, waited to become public for many month to appear just in time for a MD discussion.

rshowalter - 04:19pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1631 of 1633) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I don't believe that the Europeans are buying the idea of a "Russian threat" -- and they are doing so less and less, because they can talk to Putin.

To maintain a fiction can be easy -- if there's no way to check.

But ways to check are increasing rapidly, and for that reason, the truth has much more of a chance than it did.

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