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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 - 03:11pm Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7911 of 7932) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

A WEEK'S NYT COVERAGE OF MISSILE DEFENSE

President Calls Israeli Prime Minister in Effort to Halt Violence By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/international/middleeast/16WIRE-ISRAEL.html
President Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday in an effort to halt an escalation of violence in the Middle East.

Surveys Find European Public Critical of Bush Policies By ADAM CLYMER http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/international/europe/16POLL.html

" Ordinary Europeans strongly back their political leaders' unhappiness with American foreign policy on specific issues like the Kyoto environmental treaty and the Bush administration's threat to withdraw from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, polls in France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy show.

" Indeed, on those two issues, European leaders command more public support for their criticism than Mr. Bush does in the United States for the policies themselves.

" The surveys, conducted early this month for The International Herald Tribune, the Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations, found that at least 73 percent of the public in the four European countries said that President Bush makes decisions "entirely on U.S. interests" without considering European interests. That 73 percent response came from Germany. Among Italians 74 percent felt that way, as did 79 percent of Britons and 85 percent of the French.

" The telephone surveys of about 1,000 people in each country found that vastly more Europeans liked former President Bill Clinton's foreign policy than liked Mr. Bush's. In Italy, for example, 29 percent endorsed current policies, while 71 percent remembered Mr. Clinton's approach approvingly.

" Only in Germany did a slight majority express confidence that Mr. Bush would do the right thing in world affairs 51 percent compared with 46 percent who disagreed. Fifty- nine percent of Italians, 64 percent of Britons and 75 percent of French respondents said they did not have confidence in him.

Europeans Critical of U.S. Foreign Policy, Polls Find By ADAM CLYMER http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/15/international/15CND-POLL.html

(more detail) "The depth of the European feelings surprised Samuel P. Wells, head of West European studies for the Woodrow Wilson Center.

" "The strength of opinion holds up across borders and across age groups," he said. If the president "wants allied support for anything," he added, "he's got his work cut out for him." Mr. Wells blamed the administration's approach for the strength of European antipathy to Mr. Bush's approach, saying it amounted to: "We will listen to you, but we may not hear you."

. . . . .

" The poll found opposition to American policy on two key issues overwhelming. On the United States' rejection of the Kyoto treaty, only 12 percent of Italians approved, as did 10 percent in the other three countries. Americans themselves oppose Mr. Bush on rejecting the protocol to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a separate poll showed, by 44 percent to 29 percent.

" On the question of the United States developing a missile defense system "even if it means withdrawing from the ABM Treaty," 24 percent of Italians approved, while 65 percent did not. Among Britons, 20 percent approved and 66 did not, while 14 percent of the French approved and 75 percent disapproved. In Germany, 10 percent approved and 83 percent did not. Americans in a June Pew poll were about evenly split, with 39 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed.

(Comment: There's evidence that Americans know less about nuclear issues, and care less about them, than people in other countries. This is no accident, but the result of longstanding US policy over decades.)

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