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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (5870 previous messages)

rshow55 - 06:13pm Nov 17, 2002 EST (# 5871 of 5881) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

Who Needs the U.N. Security Council? by JAMES TRAUB includes this:

"The Security Council has for many years been a dim shadow of what it was intended to be by the architects of the U.N. system. In ''F.D.R. and the Creation of the U.N.,'' Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley argue that from the earliest days of World War II, President Roosevelt foresaw a new world order governed by what he called ''the Four Policemen'' -- the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China. The failure of the post-World War I League of Nations had made Roosevelt skeptical of the merits of a world body, but by 1942, Sumner Welles, his under secretary of state, had drawn up a proposal for a ''United Nations Authority'' with a ''security commission'' of the four policemen, who would provide the forces needed to quash threats to world peace. At Teheran in November 1943, Roosevelt persuaded Stalin to accept a single, centralized body consisting of all the world's nations and governed by a council dominated by the big four. (France was added later.) Secretary of State Cordell Hull addressed a joint session of Congress and magnificently asserted, ''There will no longer be need for spheres of influence, for alliances, for balances of power.''

"The Security Council, then, was a new system, designed to prevent another 1914 or 1939, in which the most powerful nations would exercise an effective monopoly on force. Sir Brian Urquhart, one of the first employees of the United Nations and later one of its most important chroniclers, says: ''We got into World War I owing to a kind of ludicrous diplomatic folk dance that didn't pan out, and there was no international delay mechanism, no breakwater to stop this rush to war; and that's what they set up the League of Nations to prevent. Then in 1939, you had a war caused by unchecked aggression. And so the new side of the U.N. as opposed to the league is that it provides a mechanism for taking action.'' The Security Council, which would consist of the five ''permanent members'' as well as 10 other members who would rotate on and off, was intended to serve both as a ''delay mechanism'' and, should deliberations fail, as an enforcement body.


rshow55 - 06:14pm Nov 17, 2002 EST (# 5872 of 5881) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

"The United Nations Charter, drawn up in San Francisco in the summer of 1945, makes amazing reading today, when American conservatives talk about signing on to U.N. treaties as a surrender of national sovereignty. Chapter VII deals with ''Action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression.'' Article 42 of Chapter VII empowers the Security Council to ''take such action by air, sea or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.'' Article 43 requires U.N. members to make armed forces and ''facilities'' available to the body ''on its call.'' And Article 47 establishes a ''Military Staff Committee,'' consisting of the five permanent members' chiefs of staff, which would be responsible for the ''strategic direction of any armed forces placed at the disposal of the Security Council.'' What is perhaps even more amazing, from our own perspective, is that Congress passed the U.N. Charter almost without debate.

"Nevertheless, it was clear even at the time that the five permanent nations, soon to be abbreviated as the P5, might not permit their foreign policies to be directed by the Security Council. Stalin insisted on veto power for each of the P5 members, as did, if less vehemently, the United States. And then the cold war settled in, and each side used its veto, or the threat of one, to check initiatives dear to the other. Urquhart recalls that the U.S. had agreed to make a ''very substantial force'' available for Chapter VII enforcement actions, but that the entire arrangement was scuttled in the late 40's when Stalin balked at the idea. Roosevelt's dream of a global police force led by the great powers died before it could even be tested.

We now have a chance at getting back to the original conception - if we can define and negotiate and international law that makes sense .

That will mean an international law that puts limits on the ability of people and nations to lie and distort - a limitation that might sorely try the Bush administration - but that would be a problem for the Arab states, as well. (Putting the matter gently.)

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