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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 - 05:34pm Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7342 of 7346) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Negotiations on the interet don't have to be public -- there are good ways to arrange restricted access if it is thought desirable.

(For some complicated or high stakes negotiations, parallel channels, at least one public, at least one private, might facilitate convergence to a workable deal.)

Even if everything is "closed" -- with the internet - and the extended memory and enlarged ability to handle complexity that it provides -- it ought to be possible to get to a deal, on the issues needed for US missile defense testing for the next year or so, fairly quickly.

An advantage, even with "closed" negotiations -- is that "closed" is a relative term. For example, senior officers in NATO, and representatives of nation states with a reason to take an interest, could be provided with the internet record.

Questions of fact should be subject to clarification and examination by interested parties in this context. Questions of "good faith" should be, too.

If the Bush administration and the Putin administration wish to cut a deal that could "stand the light of day" in terms of their national and international responsibilities -- regarding the limited issues related to MD testing immediately involved -- it would seem to me that they could do so.

lunarchick - 08:21pm Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7343 of 7346)

Rice sees conceptual linking of offence/defence talk. Problem is the 'rush' from the Bush Admin., leaving insufficient time to properly talk throught concerns.


Putin says no 'breakthrough' on missile defence

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced cautious optimism that he and United States President George W Bush, could one day strike a missile defence agreement, pointing out that no "breakthrough" had been reached during the two leaders' weekend talks.

"Of course there was no major breakthrough," Mr Putin said.

"We [Russia] reaffirmed our support for the 1972 ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] agreement.

"At the same time, there is movement," he added, in reference to his Sunday meeting with Mr Bush in Genoa.

In what was instantly billed as an historic step forward, Putin and Bush on Sunday agreed to link negotiations over controversial US missile defence plans - which Moscow opposes - with an agreement over bilateral nuclear warhead reductions, which Russia supports.

"We are interested in, and are able to make steady progress towards, the elimination of offensive weapons," President Putin said.

He adds that "we think that it is right" to link negotiations over nuclear disarmament and the ABM accord, which in its current form bans Washington's proposed missile defence system.

Mr Putin underlined that a new round of negotiations would continue when he meets Thursday with Bush's visiting national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.

US response

However, Mr Putin's comments were followed hours later by a declaration in Rome from President Bush that if Washington fails to get Moscow approval on missile defence, it still would press ahead with the project on its own.

"If we can't reach agreement, we are going to implement," he said.

"I can understand why he [Putin] wants time and I'm going to give him some time but I also want to emphasise to you that time is of the essence, it is time to move beyond" the ABM accord, the US President said.

rshowalter - 08:29pm Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7344 of 7346) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Reasonable negotiating stances, going both ways.

rshowalter - 08:30pm Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7345 of 7346) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

No Breakthrough in Missile Talks By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

" Both Bush and Putin ``are advantaged by continuing to talk about this,'' said Sandy Berger, former President Clinton's national security adviser. ``They both want to appear reasonable to the rest of the world.''

" Still, Berger added, ``The easiest thing in the world to agree to is to talk. Now comes the hard part.''

rshowalter - 08:31pm Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7346 of 7346) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Other pieces, on a big Missile Defense news day:

Bush Firm on Missile Shield Despite Treaty Violation By DAVID E. SANGER

Mr. Bush's Genoa Diplomacy

Reading Putin's Mind by WILLIAM SAFIRE

White House Finding Putin a Friend Indeed By MICHAEL R. GORDON In political terms, it is clear why the administration has a new-found enthusiasm for dealing with Russia

Bush and Putin Tie Antimissile Talks to Big Arms Cuts By DAVID E. SANGER

Rumsfeld Set to Advise Bush on Picking Top Military Man By THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT

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