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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 - 11:06am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7432 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Perhaps, even if it cannot be done in the United States, the leaders of these countries can insist on getting some key issues dealing with missile defense, and related issues of military balances checked.

For the sake of the whole world, perhaps for the sake of the United States most of all, this needs to be done.

rshowalter - 11:08am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7433 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The United States, admirable in so many ways, a leader in so many ways, may have to be a humbled follower here.

Other ways might be nicer. But perhaps this is the way a more peaceful, rational, prosperous world will have to come.

In the alternative, the United States, including both government and people, are going to have to come to terms with some basic facts that are now being evaded.

rshowalter - 11:20am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7434 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Consistency and muddle are to be expected. But some good things are happening. People are making adjustments, and old horrors are giving way to more beautiful adjustments.

Hanoi Welcomes Powell, the Foe of 3 Decades Ago By JANE PERLEZ

Powell Hints That Beijing Will Release Scholars Soon by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

On World Stage, America's President Wins Mixed Reviews by DAVID E. SANGER

rshowalter - 11:25am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7435 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Sometimes the truth is "somehow, too weak" ... MD4528 rshowalter 6/5/01 9:48pm ... but it can gain strength, with effort, and that is becoming much more true, because the internet can so much strengthen the power of one.

Ideas, when they are checked for consistency and hold up, again and again, have a power of their own. And people are persuaded, and come to act to together.

People backed only by military power and lies can find themselves, after a time "somehow, too weak" themselves.

rshowalter - 08:52pm Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7436 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Rice Holds Arms Talks in Moscow By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW (AP) -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice met with Russian security officials over arms issues Wednesday, part of a U.S. attempt to work out a dispute with Moscow over Washington's plans to build a national missile defense.

" Rice's visit was to lay the groundwork for consultations agreed to by President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Genoa, Italy, on Sunday. The presidents said they would link talks on missile defense with talks on reducing the overall number of strategic nuclear weapons.

" Rice said the two countries needed to work out a new security arrangement to replace the balance of fear that held sway during the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union, which broke up in 1991.

Comment: A new balance of fear, with smaller and more proportionate penalties and threats may be possible. Both sides will have the potential to "threaten"each other, in some sense of the word "threat" - under any imaginable and practical circumstance. And definitions of words like "threat" and "trust" are going to have to matter very much. MD4514-4517 rshowalter 6/5/01 12:44pm If questions of the meaning of terms, in practical qualitative and quantitative contexts, do arise, as they may, perhaps the choice of an "umpire" on word meanings nominated by Prime Minister Blair, in consultation with the Queen, might provide expeditious and honorable clarity. When negotiations are in good faith, clarity is useful to both sides. With an internet linkage, clarifications, if needed, could be clear and quick.

" ``The Cold War is over, and it is time to think about a new basis for cooperative relations,'' Rice said on Russia's ORT government television.

" ``It is absolutely critical, very important, that we replace the old basis of threat against one another, threat to annihilate one another, with a new basis of cooperative ways,'' she said after a meeting with Security Council head Vladimir Rushailo. ``We should not want to hold on to that old system.''

Comment: It should be possible to have Mutually Assured Deterrance , with reasonably proportionate means, without the current, disproportionate Mutually Assured Destruction of the World.


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