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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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ktaucer01 - 01:13pm Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7230 of 7236)

As difficult as it is for most Americans to do, lets look for a moment at the ABM question from the Russian,Chineses and European prospective (the non-Amenrican perspective). Perhaps most of the rest of the world see that the US as already possessing fabulous wealth after having won the Cold War and having a military strength that is several times that of all the rest of the worlds combined. They perhaps think that we really ought to be less concerned with building an additonal weapons system that has the potential to negate any other nations nuclear capibility which, in effect, would position the US to dictate to the rest of the world how it is to run its affairs. This postion is very difficult for many Americans to understand because we see ourselves with some justification as the penultimate goodguys who have saved the world from tyranny on several occassions during the past century and of course who do not harbor (currently) any territorial ambitions. However, the world at large is a very scary place for most folks and most of the worlds population has not had the benfit of stable democratic governments to help protect their nation. For many people this has resulted in a national menory of war and oppression inflicted by both internal and external oppressors. In fact, when many folks look at the US they remember that we have not always been on the side of democracy or of the little guy and occassionally will attempt to inflict our will for porcine porposes on smaller or lesser postioned nations or people. The American Civil War, The Boxer Rebellion at the end of the Ming Dynasty in China, The Mexican-American War, The Spanish-American War and the Vietnam War being ready examples of this. Now why at the beginning of the new century should the other nations of the world, simply because George Jr. and his Red, White And Blue Guard say that they only want to "Protect the world from outlaw nations or groups", suspend their suspicion and let us unilateraly abrogate a treaty (the ABM) that has helped keep the peace for the past 30-odd years without consequence? Aint going to happen. If the recent history of the Cold War is any sort of teacher, when or if Jr and his rolling Madhatter party try to face down the rest of the world and spit on the ABM Treaty the US will be made to pay for this by a markedly greater destabilized world and the American people will have to put out increased expenditures on the military-industrial complex. So much for The Peace President.

descripto - 01:16pm Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7231 of 7236)

immyz211a - 10:27am Jul 19, 2001 EST (#7211 of 7215)

Why should Russia worry about the United States being a threat toward it?

  • Because the system while intended to be defensive is actually offensive to all.

    Thay have nothing we want, and are flat broke.

  • Russia is a giant in chains. Russian opposition to NMD has nothing to do with what they have that "we" want. It has everything to do with the destruction of worldwide deterrence of which maintains stability for the Russians as well as the Americans.

  • I don't understand why an antiballistic missile system of ours would be a threat toward them?

  • Because NMD introduces chance of survival within a game that had no such chance before. This destroys the worldwide deterrence model and replaces it with a system inherently less stable. In actually INCREASES the risk of nuclear exchanges and requires all nations of rational behavior (rational actors) to introduce concepts of survivability into nuclear conflict. The entire nuclear model shifts to Nuclear Utilization Theory (NUT's).

  • If we wanted to, during the many times, just in this past decade Russia was in a bad mess, and if we really wanted to do them any harm, it would have been easy to carry out. But who would want to risk any kind of nuclear war?
  • This is not about the Russians worrying about an American "bolt from the blue" first strike or an American attack. It is about how NMD destroys the very fundamental fabric of why nuclear weapons have not been used between two states in an exchange. The introduction of survival into a game in which survival was beforehand, without question taken out of the equation-adds risk of nuclear utilization. NMD actually makes the use of nuclear weapons during times of great crisis a highe probability because one has added risk of survival to a game that had none before.

    The 1972 antiballistic missile treaty was put in place so the arms race would not escalate into yet another area.

  • Half Correct. The SALT I Treaty and the ABM protocols were put into place to solidify the worldwide deterrence framework. They aknowledge that to persue strategies that attempt to survive nuclear conflict actually increases the chance that nuclear exchanges among states can happen. That is why they were outlawed among the two largest nuclear powers.

    The 1972 accord is now outdated and is useless.

  • Incorrect. It is actually more usefull now then ever before because of the increased proliferation of nuclear weapons among state actors. We have rouge countries

  • As the CIA in 2000 indicated the term is useless and has no strategic impact on nations who are in development of nuclear weapons. The term is political for “rouge nations” are rational as pointed out by even the CIA who maintained that the term cannot be coined with a valid position as for the reasons why NMD is needed. The CIA cited North Korea and the term “rouge nation” as an example. Such a term maintains that the state is irrational. On the contrary North Korea is very much rational. Thus why the term has been dropped among our community (the foreign policy community) for quite some time now..

    Beckq: BA Public Affairs University at Albany. Concentration National Security Policy MSFS: Georgetown University

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