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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 - 04:33pm Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7916 of 7932) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

"General Ayres may also refer the case to a court-martial, which would involve a jury review and could lead to heavier penalities, Major Salas said.

"The charges against the officers were announced last week, but with the exception of Colonel Leberman, their names were not released until today. In addition to Colonel Leberman and General Krupp, they are: Col. Laurin P. Eck, a former assistant program manager; Col. James E. Schleining, an aircraft group commanding officer; Col. Phillip L. Newman, an assistant chief of staff for logistics; Lt. Col. Demetrice M. Babb, a maintenance officer; Capt. Christopher Ramsey, an assistant maintenance officer; and Chief Warrant Officer Matthew W. Smith.

"The Osprey is being built jointly by the helicopter division of the Boeing Company and the Bell Helicopter unit of Textron Inc. In 1991, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney tried to kill the program, saying it was too expensive, but Congress overruled him. In June, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld recommended that the Pentagon buy 12 more aircraft in the coming year.

Marines Charged in Falsifying Records by Mary Pat Flaherty of the Washington Post offers significant additional comment and detail. Saturday, August 18, 2001; Page A05

" Leberman's attorney, Capt. Brian E. Kasprzyk, said the filing of charges against officers outside the squadron "clearly indicates this problem is bigger than what everyone has been led to believe all along. There is an environment of pressure surrounding this."

. . . . .

" The full investigation report has not been made public, but its executive summary cites 700 interviews and a review of 3,000 maintenance documents, 38 computer hard drives and 219,000 e-mail messages, according to Kasprzyk.

In very large programs, that have gone on for long duration, basic policies of deception become institutionalized, and cannot be effectively hidden from organizations that wish to determine the truth about them.

rshowalter - 07:01pm Aug 19, 2001 EST (#7917 of 7932) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

What should be a celebration connects to too much pain, too much tragedy -- too much agony. I think very largely because, when the Cold War should have been over, a decade ago, Americans didn't have an end game.

Russians Mark 10 Years After Coup By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

"MOSCOW (AP) -- Russians looked back Sunday on the bungled hard-line coup exactly 10 years ago that fatally wounded the USSR, with some pining for the democratic passions that fired resistance to the coup plotters, others cursing the hardships that have accompanied freedom.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed conspicuously silent on the anniversary, fueling critics' fears that a Soviet-style authoritarianism is encroaching under his rule. Putin's predecessor Boris Yeltsin, who famously faced down the putsch and was later accused of betraying the democratic ideals that he rode to power, was also silent.

"Russia is still coming to terms with the death of Soviet rule, and the varied reactions to its demise reflect the ambiguities that remain as to whether the collapse of the empire was good for the country or not.

"``The authorities have ignored a celebration which should be a state holiday,'' said Sergei Yevdokimov, a retired army major whose tank battalion was the first military unit to turn against the coup plotters and join the opposition.

"The legacy of the failed coup was a changed world, one without the Cold War and nagging fear of nuclear confrontation, without the seven-decade international communist experiment.

"Yet on a day that in some countries might be a major holiday, just a few hundred people turned out Sunday at the Russian White House in central Moscow to recount the dizzying days of August 1991. Back then, tens of thousands rallied against the attempt to oust reformist Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

"Under a muggy heat, Sunday's demonstrators milled about on a stone bridge and held a moment of silence for the three protesters killed in the 1991 events. Bored-looking police ringed a wide area, far outnumbering demonstrators. A lone accordionist played Russian folk songs.

"Some accused Putin, a former KGB agent, of trying to restore Soviet-style authoritarian controls.

"``It's no surprise that the Kremlin isn't taking part in the celebration,'' said Sergei Yushenkov, an independent liberal lawmaker. ``The regime which we now have is the restoration of the coup. ... We mustn't allow the secret services to take control of the country.''

"Yushenkov is among a small minority of respected Russians who deeply distrust Putin. They note that he has restored the stirring music of the Soviet anthem for the new Russian anthem and say he is threatening media and other freedoms.

"Yet most Russians -- including Gorbachev -- welcome Putin's efforts to restore order after the corrupt, tumultuous Yeltsin years, and are often willing to look the other way when his methods are less than democratic.

"``Putin is trying to take the country out of chaos left by Yeltsin, but he's only at the start of the road,'' Gorbachev said last week.

"Gorbachev has been increasingly outspoken as the anniversary approached, admitting he misjudged the strength of his opposition. Of the coup plotters, he said, ``They were serious people. ... They did it because their time was up, and they couldn't agree to that.''


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