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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 - 03:32pm Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7470 of 7502) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Negotiators Ready Arms Proposals for Bush and Putin by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

" MOSCOW (AP) -- Setting a timetable for strategic arms talks, President Bush's national security adviser and her Russian counterpart on Thursday both said they wanted to move from confrontation to cooperation -- then refused to budge from their tough positions.

Comment: Interesting language usage -- an "inconsistency" at an oversimple level is entirely consistent in its connection to the real complicated case at hand.

" Washington will proceed with tests of a new missile defense system, Condoleezza Rice said, while Russia's Security Council head Vladimir Rushailo said Moscow will insist on long and laborious negotiations to try to salvage the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that forbids such systems.

Comment: At the level of substance this makes perfect sense - the decisions related to the issues are proportionate to the consequences of the issues themselves.

" ``The new threats that we face ... won't wait and we've agreed to work very hard over the next several months,'' Rice said to reporters after she and Rushailo met with President Vladimir Putin.

" She added that Bush and Putin would have proposals before them when they next meet, in Shanghai, China, in October.

" Rushailo, however, said the process would be drawn out.

" '``This work calls for a long period of time .... I'd like to remind you of the words of President Putin that the national security of the Russian Federation should be maintained,'' cautioned Rushailo.

Comment: The Russians are under time pressure from the Americans, and pushing back. Proportionate responses, both ways.

" Russian officials say abandoning the ABM treaty would destroy the foundations of global security, leading to a new arms race. But Bush's administration contends the treaty has outlived its usefulness, preventing the United States from developing defenses against potential nuclear threats from such nations as Iran and North Korea.

Comment: So a reasonable adjustment is being undertaken -- warily - - with threats and incentives going both ways.

" ``The treaty itself is an impediment,'' Rice said.

" She said the U.S.-Russian discussions were no longer about whether the United States would move forward with its missile defense plans, but how. The U.S. Defense Department announced earlier this month that it would start construction of a testing site in April.

" ``Our testing program is designed to give us the most effective system, not to stay within the frame of the ABM treaty. That has not changed,'' she said.

" However, because Moscow is a signatory to the ABM, ``we have to work out arrangements with the Russians if we want to move beyond the ABM treaty,'' Rice said.

(One way to go beyond the old treaty is to modify it, with or without a change in its name. )

" Earlier this week, Putin and Bush unexpectedly announced that talks on missile defense would be linked with talks on cutting strategic nuclear weapons. Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov said that Putin had repeated his proposal to cut nuclear warheads on both sides to 1,500, but Rice said no specific numbers had been discussed.

" Rice said she had also raised U.S. concern about press freedom in Russia and Moscow's use of ``heavy-handed tactics'' in Chechnya, which she said ``breeds extremism.'' "

rshowalter - 03:35pm Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7471 of 7502) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I would hope that almarst would be pleased.

MD 5987 rshowalter 6/25/01 11:35am and especially MD2012 almarst-2001 4/5/01 2:44pm . . . issues that are "mutually dependent" are being treated that way.

Given the complexities and tensions of the situation, it seems to me that, as far as the current story goes into detail, the clear but limited decisions made in the last few days are about as beautiful and solid as they could be.

rshowalter - 04:05pm Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7472 of 7502) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Some days, the TIMES produces wonderful, distinguished, powerful work -- and gives it the space it needs. Here is an example today - one that I hope is read widely, and for a long time.

SPECIAL REPORT Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed By DEBORAH SONTAG

Too often, when accomodations require too much adjustment, in circumstances too compromised and complicated, people fail to make them. Even when there seems no acceptable choice, but to make the accomodations, difficult as they are.

For all sorts of reasons, people have to learn to do better.

Sontag's piece is a step toward showing the world how to do so.

lunarchick - 07:45pm Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7473 of 7502)

complex - landmine recovery.
UK Prosthetics are testing out a new limb. An American is taking the route (now), from the lowest to highest points in the USA, through Death Valley California, doing the equivalent of five marathons, to test out the new design.
Heather Mills Foundation UK

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