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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?
(7141 previous messages)
- 07:11pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7142
Pentagon Warns Congress Not to Send Wrong Signal to Russia
By REUTERS http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/world/arms-usa-missiles.html
"WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) - Top Pentagon officials warned
Congress on Tuesday that failure to pay fully for research on a
missile defense system could impair the administration's ability to
negotiate a new arms pact with Russia.
"Facing skepticism from Democrats over plans to rework or
possibly withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said a cut in the $8 billion
sought in the fiscal 2002 budget for development of missile defenses
would send the wrong signal.
"``I would urge Congress not to give Russia the mistaken
impression that they can somehow exercise a veto over our
development of missile defenses,'' Wolfowitz told the Senate Armed
"``If they (the Russians) feel that if they drag their feet we
won't move forward at all, they may well drag their feet.''
"But Democratic senators, who have raised repeated doubts
about President George W. Bush's missile defense plans, made it
clear they would not back off. They questioned last week's
announcement that the administration will move ahead with
construction that could violate the treaty within months.
"``In my judgment, we should be mighty cautious before ripping
up an arms control treaty in order to try to meet the highly
unlikely threat of North Korea using a missile against us,'' said
committee Chairman Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan.
"NO RUSSIAN 'VETO'
"``No one I know of is willing to give Russia or anyone else a
veto over our actions, but Russian reaction to a unilateral breach
of an arms control agreement is relevant to our security and could
leave us a lot less secure,'' Levin said.
"He questioned Bush's intent to ``rip up'' the treaty if
Russia refuses to modify it, adding, ``Congress will, hopefully,
find a more moderate course than that.''
- 07:11pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7143
"The administration last week outlined a plan to develop soon
a multi-layered system of interceptors to protect the United States
from missiles fired by ``rogue'' states such as North Korea,
including breaking ground on an Alaskan test site that within months
will ``bump up against'' the ABM treaty.
"Bush wants to negotiate changes or replace the treaty, but if
that is impossible the United States would give six months notice
and withdraw from the treaty. He will discuss the issue later this
week with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in
"Russia views the ABM treaty as the cornerstone of strategic
arms control, but Moscow's leadership has recently said it would
consider amending the pact.
"Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia said the missile
defense system could have unintended consequences, such as a new
arms race in Asia. He held up a photo of Putin embracing Chinese
President Jiang Zemin at the signing of a friendship treaty that
commits them to opposing U.S. missile defense.
"``We've driven the Russians and Chinese into the arms of one
another,'' Cleland said.
"Wolfowitz said the Pentagon was studying whether the
accelerated plans for the Alaskan site would violate the ABM treaty.
That test site, which would be operational between 2004 and 2006,
could be converted from a developmental capability to a limited
operational one, he said.
"Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of the Ballistic
Missile Defense Organization, told the committee officials would
move quickly to increase the pace of testing after the weekend's
successful anti-missile launch.
"In Saturday's test, a missile launched from Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California was struck 140 miles (225 km) above the
central Pacific by an interceptor launched from Kwajalein Atoll,
4,800 miles (7,725 km) away. It was the second successful test out
of four that have been conducted.
"The Pentagon plans about 20 more tests over the next five
years, with the next one in October. ``Our goal has always been to
test frequently and rapidly,'' Kadish said.
"Wolfowitz said any program that did not experience test
failures was being too conservative. ``I would like to see them
pushing aggressively,'' he said. ``If and when they fail, they will
be learning things.''
- 07:13pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7144
There's essentially nothing to be gained by jeapordizing the
ABM treaty now. The Bush administration has been dissipating support
for America, at an unprecidented rate, and their "judgement" may be,
here as elsewhere, simply 100% wrong.
I'm very glad that Carl Levin is showing good sense, and comes
from a state where technical judgement is so deeply and soundly
6/12/01 12:23pm ... MD 4726 rshowalter
Supporters of the administration have been sending the Europeans,
the Russians, and the Chinese agressive, arrogant, unilateralist
messages like this.
. FLYING INTO TURBULENCE by Peter Martin http://www.intellnet.org/news/articles/peter.martin.flying.into.turbulence.html
and getting reactions, from all over the world, that are as
negative as they can reasonably be
. Dr. Strangelove rides again. http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,522055,00.html
7/13/01 2:07pm ... MD7010 rshowalter
7/13/01 2:32pm ... MD7013 rshowalter
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