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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

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lchic - 01:21pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#644 of 650)

RU - NATO The Times

    Russian bid to 'weaken' Nato alienates West By Michael Evans, Defence Editor
    ATTEMPTS by Nato and Russia to forge a new security partnership have broken down because Moscow is trying to weaken the power of the alliance, according to Western diplomats. A document presented by Yevgeni Gusarov, the Deputy Foreign Minister, demands that any decisions taken by the 19 Nato members and Russia should be permanently binding on the alliance.
    Moscow also wants a joint secretariat at Nato headquarters in Brussels.
    One diplomat said that the Russians were trying to go “too far” in forging new links with Nato and were attempting to emasculate the power of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s principal decision-making body.
    The aim of the present negotiations is to produce a special forum that will enable Moscow and the 19 members of Nato to consult and plan together on issues of shared concerns such as terrorism, peacekeeping, theatre missile defence, nuclear non-proliferation, search and rescue and civil emergencies.
    At present there is a Nato-Russia Permanent Joint Council, which was set up in 1997, but Moscow has always complained it is just a talking shop.
    Renewed impetus for a more practical partnership with Moscow was generated after the September 11 attacks in the United States when President Putin offered his full support for the American War on Terror.
    Last November, Tony Blair wrote to President Putin suggesting a new formula, under which Russia and Nato would work together as equal partners — 20 countries reaching consensus on specific areas.
    The Prime Minister proposed a Russia/North Atlantic Council, which would have regular meetings. In all other security matters, including decisions about going to war, the North Atlantic Council would retain its full decision-making powers without the presence of Russian officials.
    However, the Western diplomats said that Moscow had taken this idea and proposed what amounted to a new arrangement that would supplant Nato’s independence.
    The document presented by Mr Gusarov makes only one reference to Nato and then goes on to refer to a new consultative process between Moscow and 19 individual countries.
    “It goes back to the bad old days when Moscow used to promote the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe as the only security bodies,” one diplomat said.
    The plan had been to reach a final agreement on the format for a new security partnership by the time of the next Nato foreign ministers’ meeting, which is in Reykjavik in May.
    This could then be formally adopted by Nato heads of Government at the summit in Prague in November.,,3-237399,00.html

rshow55 - 01:32pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#645 of 650) Delete Message

Interesting euphemism in above -- "Western Diplomats". . . . . .

rshow55 - 01:47pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#646 of 650) Delete Message

Americans sometimes show a strong visceral fear of nuclear weapons, but they are amazingly ignorant about them -- in this area - as lunarchick suggests -- politicians have not been doing their job for half a century. And now, the facts of votor ignorance have strong, dangerous effects on what is politically possible. The dangers of nuclear weapons have not been widely enough appreciated by the voters -- many Americans are stunningly uninformed about the real dangers. A distinguished and professional poster, kangdawei , who I believe was Ann Coulter because she posted Coulter's web site under the name "kangdawei , pointed out the astonishing fact that most americans thing the United States has a missile defense. MD9901 kangdawei 9/29/01 10:05am quoted Defending the West: Current Debate over Ballistic Missle Defense by: Brian T.Kennedy

"Although missile defense is the single most important component of national security policy in the nuclear age, there is amazing ignorance on the current state of our defense. Indeed, prior to the election of George W. Bush, 74% of Americans believed the United States possessed a national missile defense. Since the election, and the publicity the issue received from the campaign, that number is down to about 58%. Still, all in all, an amazing statistic if you consider that over half of the American people believe the United States possesses a missile defense when in fact not a single, solitary missile can be stopped.

"The confusion is understandable. In a democratic republic like ours it is expected that matters of national security will be examined and explained by the president and members of Congress. Citizens assume that their representatives will be well-informed about such matters having access to the best military and political intelligence in the country. After all, they heard from President Reagan that he was going to build a national missile defense, and they assumed he did. Their representatives say little about the threat to the United States from missile attack and the absence of a defense.

These representatives should say more -- but to an extent, in a democracy, they have to respond to voter opinion, or work done "in the ordinary line of their duties" -- which are very busy. If key questions are to addressed, people with power - - ideally leaders of other nations ---are going to ask for that consideration. The issue has to be news --- and it can't be a situation where the only powerful people with an interest are military contractors. Domestic organizations interested in arms control and peace, excepting the one set up by Ted Turner, and now dominated by CSIS, are outfunded by perhaps 500:1 - - and some influence is going to have to come from other nations.

almarst-2001 - 04:18pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#647 of 650)

“It goes back to the bad old days when Moscow used to promote the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe as the only security bodies,” one diplomat said.

Those "bad old days" where when the NATO was a collective DEFENCE organization still holding to its charter. Not an Europen subsidiary of the Pentagon its shaping into right now.

A very "BAD" days indeed...

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