[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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?

Earliest MessagesPrevious MessagesRecent MessagesOutline (7455 previous messages)

lunarchick - 09:44am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7456 of 7469)


Linking of MD with mutual reductions in Nuclear weapons.

RICE gave a press briefing - How and when USA goes ahead with MD.

No numbers on the table re the weapons USA will give up.

Moscow dialogue is ONE sided - USA laying down it's policy. EU and Russia combined against it.

New US Russia relationship - friends and allies - no longer the enemy. 1972 agreement is seen by USA as out of date - and USA intends to do as it likes.

Mood - getting to know you, cautious friendlyness.

The chemistry (Bwsh-Putin) is right, Russia in a weaker barganing position.


Dialogue or one sided statement of intent by USA? (Russians think there is some dialogue).

Moscow needs to cut a deal, can't afford to maintain arsnel .. but wants to have strategic levels cp to USA to be considered a great power.

1997 was start of Nuclear reductions.

Bwsh admin prepared to go below 2000 weapons .. this is better than Clinton. ABM treaty is the only area by which Russia can pay.

Washington needs to cut a deal - EU expects, the USA science community expect.

(my notes - BBC Newshour)


My view: if Russia wants to cut numbers of unstable weapons - why not just do so, rather than look for a one-for-one with the USA, and 'have' to accept StarWars. Must be 'something more' that Russia expects from this negotiaton !?!

rshowalter - 09:54am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7457 of 7469) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

"ABM treaty is the only area by which Russia can pay."

that's NOT true.

If the objective is safety , that is, a large, clear reduction in the risk to American citizens from nuclear weapons, Russia holds strong cards. She can talk to the "rogue states" of Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea much more effectively than the US can, and in significant ways has a stronger relationship with the EU on these issues (and that trend is growing.)

Russia has ties with China that differ from our own, but that are stronger in some important areas.

In addition, Russia's technical, commercial, and military potential is, putting it mildly, not negligible.

If the objective is increased security for the United States and the rest of the world, Russia has a lot to offer -- and after the last few months, the Bush administration ought to know it.

rshowalter - 09:59am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7458 of 7469) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In addition, Russia has enough of an independent position that it can actually insist on, and actually get, some technical truths established, and some historical truths established. Over the entire Eurasian continent, and in Africa, people listen carefully to things Russia says -- not deferentially, but to a great enough extent that things may be checked.

If Russia argues in a way that is not only in her own interest, but in the interest of other nations, she may hold "strong cards" indeed.

America, of course, holds "strong cards" too. But it has been almost miraculous, in recent months, how badly "the play of the hand" has gone for America, if she is judged in "the court of public opinion" world wide.

lunarchick - 10:11am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7459 of 7469)

The something more may be US-Russia economic deals:
Trade Relations see New US ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow will make all efforts to increase the collaboration between Russia and the USA

Rice: Moscow Press Conference.

rshowalter - 10:15am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7460 of 7469) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Some progress since before the election, and some ideas that still have wide support:

A major effort to get the candidates to talk about nuclear policy, and reductions, was made by the Global Security Institute MD372 rshowalt 10/4/00 4:48am

Many distinguised americans were involved, including McNamara, who signed the appeal MD374-5 rshowalt 10/4/00 5:08am , and adressed a meeting that, somehow the campaigns found a way to ignore. MD376-7 rshowalt 10/4/00 5:23am


" The current hair-trigger alert deployment of nuclear weapons directly threatens voters’ personal security while unprecedented opportunities for deep cuts in nuclear arsenals with Russia could provide more safety. Despite their impact on all Americans, the burning nuclear issues facing America and the next president have not been adequately addressed by the candidates. Although some vague proposals on missile defense have been mentioned, neither campaign has articulated its position on the contradiction between the formally stated U.S. policy of relying on nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future and the U.S.’s legal commitments – reiterated as recently as May 19 2000 at the United Nations – to work for the global elimination of nuclear arms."

Well, the Bush administration is working on it -- and key issues, involving both ideas and facts, are being discussed. That's happening in the US, in Russia, and all over the world.

People are paying attention, and that, in itself, reduces the risk of world destruction.

There's time to get things right, and get things understood. Maybe good things are happening.

lunarchick - 10:21am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7461 of 7469)

Risk: like winning the lottery ... the 2000 x 2nations missiles left in situ may wrongly 'blow' .. so, taking them 'out' would be the safest.

More Messages Unread Messages Recent Messages (8 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Cancel Subscriptions  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company