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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 - 09:31pm Jul 22, 2001 EST (#7297 of 7335) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD5950 rshowalter 6/24/01 12:32pm ... MD5951 rshowalter 6/24/01 12:32pm
MD5952 rshowalter 6/24/01 12:33pm ... MD5953 rshowalter 6/24/01 12:34pm
MD5954 rshowalter 6/24/01 12:38pm ...

I believe that the questions in the article a month ago, JUST WHAT GAME IS PUTIN PLAYING? by Patrick E. Taylor may have a hopeful answer, and that Putin's positions reflect the actions of a careful, concerned negotiator.

A leader and negotiator, interested in peace and the welfare of his country, who has the concerns almarst has expressed.

Perhaps that applies, in significant measure, subject to political constraints, to President Bush, as well.

The only reason that history matters is that it needs to be remembered to make decisions that shape the future. But that is an essential reason. Perhaps things can become considerably safer, reasonably quickly.

If Russia, China, the EU, and the US were agreed that they wanted nuclear dangers reduced, and the rule of law in interational relations strengthened, a lot of good and practical things could happen, fairly fast.

There are hotheads and morally insensitive, impassioned people on all sides, for instance see FLYING INTO TURBULENCE by Peter Martin who takes stances supported by some in the American intelligence community. There are equally dangerous, distorted, ahistorical views on other sides.

But where nuclear weapons and military balances are involved, we don't need perfection. We just need to find ways to make mass murder less likely, and much less likely on the scale of carnage produced by nuclear bombs. That shouldn't be beyond us.

rshowalter - 09:33pm Jul 22, 2001 EST (#7298 of 7335) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

A piece from last year still makes valid points about the US nuclear posture. But it also illustrates points where the the Bush administration, which is committed to large nuclear weapon reductions, is taking worthwhile steps that are advances over the Clinton administration position.

DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO: Defense: The world can see through our hypocritical preaching about nuclear arms control by Robert Scheer The Los Angeles Times March 28, 2000

rshowalter - 09:34pm Jul 22, 2001 EST (#7299 of 7335) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Quotations from the universe next door:

MD691 edevershed 2/16/01 1:26am ... MD692 edevershed 2/16/01 1:26am

MD693-699 rshowalter 2/16/01 1:29pm

We need to threaten each other, when threatening happens, in limited ways with survivable costs.
MD700 rshowalter 2/17/01 2:07pm

rshowalter - 09:40pm Jul 22, 2001 EST (#7300 of 7335) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

AMERICAN WAY: A World Seeking Security Is Told There's Just One Shield by MICHAEL WINES is worth a look from another perspective:

" Moscow GEOPOLITICS needn't be mind- bending. Think of a centuries-long floating poker game in which the lead keeps changing hands, from Greece to Rome, Spain to Britain, France to Prussia. These days, one player not only holds the chips and a stack of i.o.u.'s; he has most of his rivals' clothes, too."

It isn't as simple as that today, and the complexities, if they are remembered - are stabilizing -- they tend toward peaceful accomodations.

In the new world, with so much connected to the internet -- the illusion of american invulnerability is just that -- an illusion.

We ought not to need nuclear deterrants -- we should be sufficiently deterred in more proportionate and survivable ways.

MD4044-4047 rshowalter 5/17/01 12:57pm

Perhaps the Bush administration is coming to recognize that, and making ourselves and the rest of the world safer by doing so.

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