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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 - 07:11pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7142 of 7145) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Pentagon Warns Congress Not to Send Wrong Signal to Russia By REUTERS

"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 Services Committee.

"``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 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.''


rshowalter - 07:11pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7143 of 7145) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

"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 Genoa, Italy.

"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.''

rshowalter - 07:13pm Jul 17, 2001 EST (#7144 of 7145) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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 based.
MD4854 rshowalter 6/12/01 12:23pm ... MD 4726 rshowalter 6/10/01 11:24pm

Supporters of the administration have been sending the Europeans, the Russians, and the Chinese agressive, arrogant, unilateralist messages like this.


and getting reactions, from all over the world, that are as negative as they can reasonably be

. Dr. Strangelove rides again.,7369,522055,00.html

MD7009 rshowalter 7/13/01 2:07pm ... MD7010 rshowalter 7/13/01 2:11pm
MD7011 rshowalter 7/13/01 2:32pm ... MD7013 rshowalter 7/13/01 8:46pm
MD7014 rshowalter 7/13/01 8:52pm

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