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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 - 08:48am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7201 of 7208) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD7183 rshowalter 7/18/01 11:07pm

Every one of the questions that James Dao quotes Senators as raising in ... Skeptical Senators Question Rumsfeld on Missile Defense remain valid questions today.

A key position of the administration rests on the idea that there are "undeterrable rogues" out there to motivate the administration's missile defense proposals. There are very good arguments against this position, and nothing solid that I've been able to find to support it.

almarst-2001 - 08:51am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7202 of 7208)


"We won't be able to achieve unity in Europe unless we create a common security and defense zone," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a Kremlin press conference Wednesday. We've got several options here, said Putin. The simplest one is to dissolve NATO, but such a possibility is not being considered now. Another option is to admit Russia to the North Atlantic bloc. This, too, would create a common defense area, noted the President. Still another option is to create a new organization that would pursue the above goals, with Russia on it. As a matter of fact, the OSCE has already been assigned the task, Putin said. But today, those not particularly interested in the creation of a common defense area in Europe are working to redirect that organization's activity to Central Asia, the North Caucasus, and other regions outside Europe. If the OSCE fails to acquire the potential and capabilities for whose sake it has been formed, the European system of security will continue to exist at many different levels. The Russian President emphasized that Moscow does not see NATO as a hostile organization. "We see no tragedy in its existence, but no need, either," he said. According to him, the North Atlantic alliance was set up to counterbalance the Soviet Union's hegemony in Eastern Europe. But when NATO officials say that their alliance is now being transformed from a military bloc to a political organization, the legitimate question arises: Why did it bomb Yugoslavia then? "This was done by a military organization and we are not happy about the fact," said Putin. "We constantly hear people say they seek to remove certain barriers and borders in Europe," he went on to say. "We want the same thing. But if what is meant is taking those barriers to the Russian frontiers, we are not impressed [by such an idea]," said Putin. "Russia needs the rest of the civilized world, [it needs] Europe, just as Europe needs Russia, I think," the Russian President said. "When we become aware of this and create appropriate structures, the situation on the continent will change fundamentally," he assured.

almarst-2001 - 08:54am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7203 of 7208)

"U.S. media reports of a detention in Las Vegas of another Russian hacker, Dmitri Sklyarov. Details of the detention, which has been carried out by FBI, are not disclosed. It is only clear that the young man earlier received an invitation to attend an international symposium of “computer pirates” in Las Vegas. He even managed to read a paper at the symposium, which was attentively listened to by FBI agents concealed among the audience. Mr. Sklyarov was detained in his hotel room after the symposium. Mr. Sklyarov is suspected of creating a computer programme which violates the US intellectual property law. If found guilty, he may face up to 5 year in prison or a $500,000 fine." -

terry5c - 09:06am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7204 of 7208)

What's the next treaty that President Bush is gonna throw out?.

sabbadoo32 - 09:30am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7205 of 7208)

It's not that I'm against a missile defense. The march of technology will eventually take us there. What bugs me is that Bush and the rest of the Republican Wing Nuts are pushing technology that is clearly 7-12 years away from fulfilling its stated promise.

In the mean time, Russia would be free to give all of those out of work weapons scientists something to do--design and build new classes of MIRV's designed to defeat whatever our missile defense can do right out of the box.

This whole thing sounds like its been designed by people who long for another good old fashioned arms race. If we abrogate the ABM treaty, how many MIRV's do you think Russia can produce by the time the first phase of NMD is operational? What about China, who will have nothing to prove after the 2008 Olympics?

Whatever happened to the shipborne antimissile system that could take out missiles in boost phase? It seems cheaper, and is modelled on existing antimissile systems. Why don't we push that until we develop the technology to roll out a space-based system.

Then we could take that $80 billion and put it into recruiting, live-fire training, and other more pressing military needs.

kermmmit - 09:31am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7206 of 7208)

Developing a limited NMD will not affect the strategic balance in the short-term. However, what the Russians fear is a rapid upgrade of the US NMD system such that it could negagte the Russian deterrent. Beyond the technological implications for the strategic imbalance, the crucial question here is: why must the Bush administration rush to do away with the ABM Treaty? If merely to fulfill the Replican dream before a democrat retakes the Presidential stage, then it is best that the Bush administration rethink is agenda, discerning the party's agenda from that of the American people. Most American's, according to a joint poll, by the Pew Organization and the Council on Foreign Relations, indicates that most Americans either believe the US already has a working NMD. The Republican agenda ought not be proposing a plan of such military largese that is could cost the American people nearly $200 billion over the next 10 years. With a slush fund that large, the US might be better off using the money to pay off the North Koreans, Iranians, and Iraqis.

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