[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 (7880 previous messages)

lunarchick - 05:31am Aug 15, 2001 EST (#7881 of 7905)

"The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. Make it now." (Bill Mollison). ...

lunarchick - 06:03am Aug 15, 2001 EST (#7882 of 7905)

rshowalter 8/15/01 5:01am At the time the guy in the USA military suit said he'd need 8 months to evaluate the data -- so he (Military) wasn't SOLD.

lunarchick - 06:42am Aug 15, 2001 EST (#7883 of 7905) Americans applaud Bush's foreign relations policy

Correspondents' Report - Sunday, August 12, 2001 8:05

HAMISH ROBERTSON: In the United States, opinion polls show that President George W. Bush is winning high marks from the public for his approach to foreign relations, regardless of how much those same policies may be irritating some of the country's allies. However, the President's political opponents still believe he is vulnerable on international affairs and have set out to raise questions about the attitude of the White House to the rest of the world.

Here’s our Washington correspondent, Michael Carey.

MICHAEL CAREY: In the post cold war world Americans don’t elect their leaders based on foreign policy. George W. Bush, who watched his father lose office despite overseeing a popular, successful campaign to drive Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, knows this well. As do his opponents. But the Democrats believe there’s an opening anyway as US allies show signs of frustration with the perceived unilateralism on behalf of the administration.

This week’s Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle, launched that case with the most sustained critique his party has offered since Mr Bush took office, beginning with a warning.

TOM DASCHLE: It is not enough, as President Bush suggested, simply to send US officials to international meetings. Woody Allen wasn’t talking about foreign policy when he said that 85% of life is just showing up.

Of course, these problems did not begin with the Bush inauguration. In many ways, as the world’s only super power, we must accept that they come with the territory. Remember our allies were not so enthusiastic about President Clinton calling America the ‘indispensable’ nation, but these problems have intensified so much and so quickly that I fear our allies may be tempted to treat us as a ‘dispensable’ nation.

MICHAEL CAREY: For America’s allies the most worrying trend has been an alleged capriciousness towards treaties. With the White House abandoning work on agreements ranging from germ warfare to greenhouse gas emission control.

The administration says it’s looking at treaties now on a case by case basis but Senator Daschle says the wider picture is important.

TOM DASCHLE: The administration has demonstrated a willingness to walk away from agreements that were embraced by many of our closest friends and allies and broadly supported by the international community. Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of each of these individual agreements. I don’t think reasonable people can ignore the consequences of tearing each one up.

MICHAEL CAREY: And beyond the question of America’s traditional supporters comes the question of it’s now, or former, adversaries. The President’s claim that special understanding with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, left the senior Democrat unconvinced.

TOM DASCHLE: That is why it was troubling to watch President Bush reduce our complex relationship with Russia to a simple matter of trust between leaders. The stakes are too high to base our strategic relationship on one man’s assessment of another man’s soul.

lunarchick - 06:45am Aug 15, 2001 EST (#7884 of 7905)


MICHAEL CAREY: Then there’s the question of China, occupying much thought among senior policy makers in Washington and the subject of dire warnings from the more hawkish. A dangerous trend according to Senator Daschle.

TOM DASCHLE: The 20th century, in many ways, was the story of our triumph over two great and pernicious adversaries; nazism and communism. Today we do not need a great adversary to be a great country. Unfortunately, some don’t accept this reality and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they would like to see China take its place.

I believe we need to take a more nuanced view.

MICHAEL CAREY: And Tom Daschle has declared himself a sceptic about the expensive, ambitious plan to protect the US from missile strikes by way of a missile defence system. That recent technology test may have been lauded as evidence the system was viable, but he has his doubts.

TOM DASCHLE: I would remind everybody that in this latest test we knew who was launching, where it was being launched from, when it was being launched, what was being launched and the flight path it would take. For good measure, there is a homing beacon on the target missile.

Now, if our adversaries would be kind enough to meet all of these conditions [laughter] and if we are willing to accept 50% success rate, then maybe I too would share their assessment. But I wouldn’t bet my life on it, let along the security and fiscal health of the United States.

MICHAEL CAREY: Challenging a President on foreign relations is no easy task and among Democrats, divisions over policy is commonplace. But if Senator Daschle can find an audience for his criticism, the White House may have to do a bit more defending of its positions at home than it’s needed to worry about to date.

TOM DASCHLE: Our allies will follow us only if we use our unparalleled strength and prosperity to advance common interest. Only then will our power inspire respect instead of resentment.

MICHAEL CAREY: This is Michael Carey in Washington for Correspondents Report.

More Messages Unread Messages Recent Messages (21 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Cancel Subscriptions  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