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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?
(7024 previous messages)
- 06:41pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7025
7/5/01 12:46pm ... MD6643 rshowalter
With the ingenuity the Bush administration is now devoting to
making its case for missile defense (and you have to credit them
with ingenuity and initiative on this) they could probably figure
out how to achieve real peace, solve the global warming problem, and
assure the whole world an adequate and safe energy supply, forever.
They might get water desalinization to something close to
thermodynamic effiency as well - so that the energy in a unit volume
of oil could be traded, on the needed scale at the needed rates --
for 15,000+ unit volumes of clean water.
The engineers over their heads on missile defense could do
possible technical jobs pretty well.
The Bush administration has embraced a longstanding mess - but
they've inherited the mess. They didn't make it. They'd get a lot
more credit for fixing it than they're getting, and going to get,
for what they're now doing.
What they are doing now is making a mess much worse, rather than
With the facts that apply on missile defense - there isn't any
question what the proper Harvard Business School approach
shoud be. Assets in a hopeless program, human and institutional,
should be redeployed to where they can do some good. President Bush
made shift to pass through HBS with an MBA - and he should know what
leadership takes in a case like this.
- 10:24pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7026
July 15, 2001
Nuclear Arms Still Keep the Peace by ROBERT S. McNAMARA
and THOMAS GRAHAM Jr. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/15/opinion/15MCNA.html
"WASHINGTON — In recent statements, Bush administration
officials have called for the United States to cast aside so-called
relics of the cold war. On Thursday, for example, Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a Senate committee that the
administration's missile-defense program will "inevitably bump up
against" the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty "in months." Even
the concept of nuclear deterrence is not immune to this desire to
clean house. In mid- June President Bush stated his intention to
move away from the logic of mutually assured destruction — "the
capacity of each of us, each country, to blow each other up," as he
said — in favor of a new framework based on some combination of
strategic offensive and defensive systems.
"But deterrence, and the agreements that frame it, must
continue to be a factor in American-Russian relations for the
foreseeable future. Neither the United States nor Russia has
committed to the near elimination of strategic nuclear arsenals,
which would be required to move away from mutual deterrence. Indeed,
both sides seem intent on maintaining large nuclear arsenals in
perpetuity. So far, in calling for consultations among the five
nuclear powers aimed at cutting American and Russian arsenals to
1,500 warheads each, Moscow has proposed the steepest cuts.
"But while such cuts would represent a significant reduction
from current levels, the remaining American and Russian arsenals
would still be more than enough to obliterate each side. The sense,
and reality, of mutually assured destruction will not be altered at
"Nuclear deterrence cannot simply be mandated, legislated or
wished away. It is a function of the relationship between two states
that are potential adversaries, each equipped with large numbers of
"In the case of the United States and Russia, for deterrence
to become truly obsolete a relationship similar to that between the
United States and Great Britain would need to emerge — which can
only happen over the course of many decades, at a minimum.
"For the foreseeable future Moscow and Washington will remain
at least potential adversaries, as evidenced by the nature of
Russian objections to American missile-defense plans. President
Vladimir Putin has already said that a Bush-led breakdown in the ABM
Treaty would provoke Russia to increase its nuclear capability, a
point echoed by Vladimir Rushailo, secretary of Russia's Security
Council, in reacting to Mr. Wolfowitz's recent Senate testimony.
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