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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?
(1827 previous messages)
- 12:55pm Mar 31, 2001 EST (#1828
The US, and other nations, should clean up the
unresolved business of the Cold War, and actually make peace and
end the Cold War, rather than extend it without limit or
justification. If that were done, the present, very large risk
that the world will soon end can be eliminated, and the risks and
stains that now are associated with our nuclear and military
policy could be far less, for us and for others in the world.
Nuclear weapons might not be outlawable in a way consistent with
workable, beautiful-as-really-possible solutions to the security
problems of nation states. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. But I
think they could be. In any case, the risk to human beings from
nuclear weapons can be reduced to a risk comparable to the risk of
natural disasters -- and we'll be able to think more clearly. That
would be a far, far better situation than we have today.
Hi Robert, I agree with your analysis. Am I right in thinking
therefore that we should aim to:
a) Ensure good relations between US and Russia.
b) Prevent unnecessary proliferation of weaponry.
c) (long term) Reduce conflicts between states by greater
transnational organisations like the UN.
Point c) most people dislike, as it seems to be associated with
globalisation (which is a ‘bad’ thing apparently…) – what do you
- 01:06pm Mar 31, 2001 EST (#1829
Just refecting on 'the golden rule - do unto others as you would
have done unto yourself', with respect to 'Military' operations ...
the NEW golden rule? ... it's spelt 'Peace Keeping'!
Peace Keeping is being 'with' and 'amongst' as in 'working with
and for' the people, rather than bombarding them and attacking them
from remote locations.
Little room for missiles re peacekeeping.
- 01:13pm Mar 31, 2001 EST (#1830
You just saved me a posting ! I think you're exactly right about
everything you said.
I have some additional thoughts, entirely consistent with what
you've said, and some on a more nutsy-boltsy level.
One thing, that occurs to me especially after rereading Bob
Kerrey's Armed to Excess Op Ed piece, is that we could go
a LONG way toward safety by substituting
" MUTUALLY ASSURED DETERRANCE"
" MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION"
If we just got that far, we could cut our warhead counts down
from their present thousands, to 200 at most -- not enough to
extirminate - and so not enough for a first strike. But plenty for
(And with this smaller number, the world would be preserved even
with bad controls -- and it would be straightforward to build fairly
safe controls. I'm personally worried that the present control
mechanisms, technical and human, are dangerously unstable,
and could easily destroy the world unless something is done.)
China's been a good example of a country relying on assured
deterrance but not extermination. Where we have
something thousands of deployed warheads, they deploy missiles with
something like 20 - much too small for extermination, and so too
small for a first strike -- but a serious level of deterrance.
But I ALSO think, that if we come to understand what has
happened, and the deceptions and threat patterns that
have been involved, we may be able to do much better. I think we
actually have a chance to effectively outlaw nuclear weapons, and
make the world a healthier and more sane place.
And take significant steps toward making the world a more
peaceful, stable place in other ways. That would take much
persuasion - staff work, and a corpus of argument. I've been trying,
with Dawn Riley, to try to make a contribution towards gettting that
staffing and that corpus.
I'll take a little time before saying more. But I would like to
post Bob Kerrey's piece, which I believe sets out important points,
both about where we need to go, and where we've been.
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