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Monday, 14 May, 2001, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Missile defence: Will it lead to global peace?
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US President George W Bush has outlined his vision of a missile defence programme to counter the threat from rogue states equipped with weapons of mass destruction.
Russia has warned that US commitment to creating a US anti-missile defence shield and scrapping a landmark arms control treaty could lead to a new arms race and escalating global tensions.
But Mr Bush said the 1972 arms treaty with Russia was now an outdated relic of the cold war and a barrier to American and global peace and security.
Do you think the "Son of Star Wars" missile defence programme will lead to global peace? Or could the destruction of the arms control treaty result in an escalating arms race?
We discussed this issue on Talking Point, the phone-in programme of the BBC World Service and BBC News Online. You the form at the bottom of the page to add to the debate.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
David Thomas, Brisbane, Australia
The USA seems to be missing the point in that the greatest threat at the moment to the world is not a tactical missile strike from so called 'rogue states', but issues such as pollution, overpopulation, environmental concerns, etc. The country is far more responsible for most of the above issues and should therefore be spending money on solving them than wasting it on seemingly pointless defence systems that will invariably never be utilised.
President Bush's decision should be embraced with caution. On the one hand, it aims to counter the increasing power of China in the South Asian region but on the other it may lead to another Cold War which may find the US isolated among its allies.
How can the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction be better than a defensive system that may make nukes obsolete? The true threats to world peace are the countries threatening to build additional nuclear weapons.
Paula Sharma, Singapore
Excellent, another Cold War. It will do absolute wonders for the defence industry which has been cut to shreds in recent years.
Has the planning committee in Washington contemplated the administration's response in the event of a successful missile interception? With no civilian casualties would the U.S be justified in a retaliatory nuclear strike? Not likely, nor would world opinion sanction it. More likely would be a conventional surgical strike to take out the military infrastructure of the offending nation.
The most powerful deterrence that has kept most of the world at peace for the last half-century is the sure knowledge that a nuclear attack against the US would result in a country's own obliteration. If this guarantee is erased, not only is the whole balance of power shifted, but more importantly the issue of deterrence.
The US government is regularly accused of protecting corporate interests in a way that suggests that doing so is comparable to harbouring war criminals. However, every government engages in precisely such behaviour. As far as Mr. Bush's statement that US interests are at the forefront of his policies is concerned, I challenge anyone to find an elected official who would say otherwise regarding his or her country. While I do not support NMD, I am equally offended by the suggestion that the US is simultaneously responsible for the world's problems and accused of megalomania whenever it asserts itself.
The vast majority of responses are strongly opposed to the anti-missile system, and George Bush is being attacked for being out of touch with the times. Do not fear the USA is a democratic country, the majority of the people here share the same feelings as the rest of you, George will be voted out next time round. I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the Maginot Line, or even Vietnam. Remember, the people of the USA are not stupid.
Several correspondents claim that United States has aggressive, offensive plans vis-a-vis China and/or Russia. Is that why Bush Administration is prepared to scrap, unilaterally, most of its offensive nuclear weapons (and yes, that includes missiles)? Do the writers know that the US stopped production of nuclear warheads many years ago? Do they also know that dilapidated Russian and obsolete Chinese command and control systems make accidental launch of their ballistic missiles likely?
Finally, do not believe in "suitcase" bombs. Such devices do not exist for simple physical reasons and even if they did they would be easily detected because of the radiation they emit. And as an afterthought - only American taxpayers have right to decide how their government is going to defend them.
The next 8 years of George Bush will be great, the rest of the world will finally realise that they don't need the US bullying them and imposing their views upon the world. Stars Wars is the beginning of the end of US domination, the world will just nod and go along with it, while cutting economic ties, (by giving big business opportunities to friendly, neutral countries, (EU, Australia, etc). They will also lose their say in diplomatic issues, (Middle East, Balkans). The lessening of the Americas influence will be good for the world.
If someone is pointing a gun at your head then you'll do whatever he says, and this is what the US means by "peace". But ultimately it will backfire. No one will tolerate US self-imposed hegemony over the rest of the world. It will only create tension and resentment.
Many of you have hit it on the head. The bottom line is that biological and chemical weapons are as much of a threat as nuclear weapons are. The real losers in this are going to be us, the American people, who will see our economy suffer over the next four years from erroneous government spending such as the missile defence program coupled with massive tax cuts. I didn't think it was possible but I think Bush might be even more clueless than Reagan was.
Jeremy Fry of the UK is missing the point regarding sharing of ABM technology with China and Russia; how many 'rogue' nations have benefited from missile technology sold to them from both of these nations? I see no reason to let them in on the party, and you can throw various European nations such as France into the same boat as well. Between the ABM issue and the current usurping of the US on certain UN councils, it will spell a de-coupling of European and US interests. The sooner the better.
Oliver from Taipei's assessment is excellent. I fully agree also with James Blair and M. M. Zamman. Even without NMD America does what America wants and can (and will) obliterate anyone who doesn't like it at the push of a button. With NMD deployed the situation will become fully unbearable, and thus I cannot see how this prodigal "Son of Star Wars" can augur well for the peace and stability of the world. America is such a restless nation. It is forever casting itself in the role of a hero defeating the evil threat from yonder. But with the highest
crime rate in the world per capita the only 'rogue' states are the United States. NMD is the ideal cover for America's expansionist designs.
I had hoped that with the demise of the Soviet Union that the USA and its politicians would have grown up a bit and ditched their Cold War mind frames, but no, Bush is as rampant as the other Republican warmongers we got to know in the last Millenium. I can only hope for free and fair elections in the USA in the near future, so that the world can start spending money on worthwhile things, like a fresh water supply for every inhabitant of this planet, instead of wasting zillions of dollars on the war machine.
The US has consistently used its
economic might to either skirt
or ignore international law, conventions
and treaties, and to force other countries
to follow its foreign policies. Imagine the threat it will
be to the rest of the world if it also
has the military advantage conferred by the
If the aim of the missile shield is to protect the US from "rogue states" then it would seem entirely appropriate to share the technology with Russia and China, to ensure they are also protected from these "rogue states". Failing to do so would imply that the technology is also, or maybe even primarily, intended to protect the US from Russia and China.
Why would North Korea, or Iraq, or Iran launch
nuclear missiles at the USA, when the know full well
that the US retaliation would be swift, severe and terrible.
The only reason I can see Iraq launching missiles, is
if the USA is attempting to overthrow that regime.
NMD is offensive as it allows the US to ignore nations
such as China over important issues such as Taiwan. Now the USA
will be able to go toe-to-toe with China without fear of nuclear
retaliation - not good for global security folks.
The Americans may well be able to make such a deterrent force, but it will be of no use, because the threat to the USA will not come from above, but from ground zero. It will come from individuals and individual organisations that are armed with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Putting such a sophisticated system into place will be very impressive, but nothing else. It will not solve its security concerns, on the contrary, it will raise the arms race and put the entire world into even greater jeopardy than what it is now.
The proof is in the pudding. Throughout the entire history of mankind, what military hardware has ever been unsurpassable? None!, All they achieved is making the next one even deadlier than its predecessor.
This will have the dual benefit of developing economic stability and an internationalist approach in 'rogue' countries (which history shows will reduce political extremism) and also ensure that any retaliatory terrorist attacks are limited to US targets.
It will also develop the important relations with Russia and China and, given that extreme Republicanism is unlikely to last longer than one term, should have few long term effects on the European-US relationship.
I support the US decision. I think every country should be able to defend themselves against the rogue countries like Afghanistan, North Korea, Iraq and also against the countries which facilitate international terrorism. So I feel it is the US's fundamental right to defend themselves..
Lets not get carried away by the arguments
for missile defence as touted by the Americans and
The simple fact is that this project will mean
more money for the big companies involved for sure.
Everybody knows defence projects (along with space)
fund many major companies in the US.
The United States have always considered themselves to be the non-aggressive nation that protects the world for freedom. The U.S. always gets angry when other nations that they consider enemies have nuclear capabilities, it's funny that the country with the most nuclear weapons and the only nation that ever used atomic bombs even have the nerve to say that countries as North Korea are a threat to world peace. It's almost as if the only country that should have the power is the U.S. and the only country that should be trusted is the U.S.
Every country wants power and influence in the world, for example, if China builds 10 more nuclear warheads the U.S. will be the first to complain and call them the aggressor, while the U.S. have thousands of warheads already. If the missile defence is built the U.S. will be even more able to dominate the world and can do whatever they want. The U.S. never treated its allies as equals, as long a country listens to the U.S. and does whatever it wants, they call it an ally, as in the case of Taiwan.
Of course it will lead to peace, the peace of mind of the multinational companies who gave millions to Bush's campaign and are now getting the pay-back, with all these unworkable missiles the world will really be much more dangerous. All of this when some terrorist with a little bottle full of the latest bacteriological cocktail can destroy a country without even carrying a gun.
I would be more afraid if such countries as Iran, Iraq or North Korea were to pursue missile defence technology instead of the USA.
It is only because it is the US that are building it, that it receives so much hostility. Well done to Mr Bush for going through with it, and I hope that at least the UK will support it.
Dan McNaught, UK
Let's not lose sight of the fact that the corporate interests that manipulate the Bush marionette, do not care one jot about a terrorist threat to the American population. What they do care about are opportunities to generate yet more business through new technologies that we will one day find in our computers and everyday gadgets ten years hence.
Ballistic missile defence is really only intended to introduce an element of uncertain results in a potential aggressor's plans. This could of course cause the US to become the victim of a weaker power's fear that their nuclear arsenal will lose its retaliatory capability. In any event its fun to hear PRC whining and constant declarations of their victimization and feeble, pathetic, abilities!
1. It cannot -ever-stop someone from driving a nuclear, (or other weapon of mass destruction) into Washington. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. - It doesn't do anything against 'rogue states'.
2. It cannot stop China/Russia from landing an ICBM there since both those states will ensure that they have enough to penetrate the system (in the case of China, it is a near certainty that an increase in nuclear weapons will occur as a result of NMD).
It is truly crazy and demonstrates the clear lack of maturity of states in this world.
Will Marshall, Oxford, UK
I think that it is technically feasible for the USA to develop a successful abm and theatre defence system. The reason it hasn't been done before is that America has not felt secure enough to break through the status quo with weapons systems (defensive or offensive) until now when it is unchallenged as the pre-eminent military power on earth. President Bush is starting a new type of arms race because he perceives that militarily, technologically and financially the USA stands a good chance of winning it.
Before the advent of President Bush, the world was reaching a stage where with institutions like WTO and a well developed Global Economy, countries were slowly building trust with each other and looking at economic prosperity. An initiative like Missile Defence system will only divert scarce resources of poorer nations from feeding their millions to develop their defence systems thereby starting a new and dangerous arms race which the world can ill afford.
Joel E. Wischkaemper, USA
While I believe that the threat of the so called rouge states is real, I strongly believe that the current administration policy is counter productive to erasing of limiting this threat. This is due to the fact that the current administration policy will push the Russians and Chinese to deal more closely with the rouge states. Close contribution of these two countries is need by the rouge nations to develop their Nuclear industry. Additionally, there are no reasons why a country with limited nuclear weapons would ever launch an attack on the US or any other country for that matter, knowing that the end result would be total destruction of that country.
The US should try to team up more with Russia so that a joint missile program could be developed. This would show the true intention behind Bush's missile defence programme.
I think that Bush Jr. used quite some money from the tobacco, oil and weapons industry to get elected. In my opinion, with this missile defence system he is paying back the weapons industry for their support. Whether it works or not is a secondary issue.
(1) The system proposed by Bush is slated to enter service more than ten years from now, if at all.
(2) It is not only for the protection of North America but, U.S. allies as well.
(3) Look at the threats - and what the threats will be in ten years. You will find there are a number of very destabilising States that will have medium to inter-continental nuclear capability.
I think one would do well to examine the threat and the facts a little closer before saying what a bad thing the NMD is.
Frank McGregor, Virginia, USA
Missile Defence programme will certainly maintain global peace until another nation develops it too. And, then we may have global peace and space peace both jeopardised!
What a laugh! The only rogue around these days is Bush and the only rogue state left is the USA. Because of Bush and his controllers, our policies are bent towards saving the billionaires and Wall Street. Forget the Constitution and the common good.
Your new sheriff in town has withdrawn from two international treaties in as many weeks. What use is there in negotiating with the United States if the next sheriff in town is going to abrogate negotiated agreements?
John Berge, Lindesberg, Sweden,
In the same way the former President Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative forced
the for Soviet Union into arms build-up and ultimately bankrupted them,
could President Bush's initiative also be more of a long range plan to put
the perceived new cold-war adversary, China, into the same position? Forcing
them to spend money they do not have on defensive build-up.
We should not deter the newly appointed president from developing missiles of unerring accuracy (unlike the wayward "Patriots"), to knock out any launched at the US from the "Phantom Menace", it is of course every space cadet's dream. Perhaps the NMD project will eventually delay "Armageddon" in destroying a rouge meteor before it does serious damage to our pristine blue planet.
I think President Bush with his defence program will ensure the safety not only of its country, but of the entire continent as well. Dangerous weapons can be acquired by unstable nations to treat the peace of the world.
Are we that short sighted in thinking that if USA didn't develop this system, no other country would - Such as China? These other countries are only showing concern because they either don't have the scientists or the funds! Sour grapes I think.
Son of Start Wars is about a lot of things, but only marginally about missile defence - shooting a bullet with a bullet, as they say. Its far more about controlling the military high ground of space, and maintaining the industrial strength of big US Corporations. Defence contracts all round?
Money being spent on a so called missile defence system could well be better spent on creating brand new drugs to fight the HIV aids epidemic in Africa. This is a sad world we are living in.
Hugh, Preston UK
In today's world potential employees for a job are bombarded with psychometric, team skill and personality tests. In order to run a country the only thing that seems to apply is the ability to be a good sales person in order to get the votes! It would have been better for the president to review and bring up to date the 1972 ABM treaty, instead of ignoring it; which may now cause other countries to ignore this treaty along with other peace or trade treaties.
What this policy is saying that to the Americans it does not matter what happens to the rest of the world as long as we are alright. This view cannot be used as a means of progress in the 20th century and this policy is simply a means of expanding big business in America. Who knows, with this defence policy Bush might be setting his sights on world domination, because this policy would create the weapons that could easily do that for him.
Bush 's definitely jeopardising all the efforts of maintaining a diplomatic and friendly relationship with countries in his impulsive approach on this son of Star Wars issue.
A ultimate defence system is totally uncalled for given the present powerful defence the Pentagon has established. Bush reforms are always slated to the extreme and his actions leave doubt to many Americans who voted him to power.
If I were a terrorist or "rogue state", I would not use an expensive an easily detected missile. I would build the device in the place I wanted to detonate it. The missile defence shield is a waste of time and money, and the UK Government should be ashamed to their supporting the project.
This program is for the defence of the United States and no other country, you are not paying for it therefore you have no say. Americans are fully aware that there are no countries in this world who will come to the assistance of the US if we are attacked and there has never been an instance when any of you have ever come to our defence. Practically every country sees the US as a gravy-train and you're all unhappy because the Bill Clinton no longer resides at the White House. There's a new sheriff in town and you'd all better get used to it because quite frankly most Americans do not care what any of you think.
If Bush wants to destroy the world he is going the right way about it.
This expensive scheme will protect them for generations, but those generations may not appreciate it when global warming is killing them all off. Put the money into something that will really protect us all, the environment.
Max Freedman, London, England
Do you really think you can rely on the US to maintain peace? I think not. The US is only out for the US's interests. As Bush Jnr says: quote "America's interests must come first" unquote.
It is always the world as America sees it. Fortunately, the rest of the world's perception is somewhat different.
The US will always act in its own interest, sod the rest of the world!
If the rest of the world wants to keep up with our defences, let them, but our country's defences are exactly that, defences. This is not a world matter but an internal decision to defend ourselves from rogue states. Contrary to what's been said, this doesn't affect the rest of the world, this system will destroy missiles inbound to the United States. It will be paid for by the United States. It has been said here that "President Bush is not a well loved man", so what, live with it. For all the good we do in the world we get harassed in the court of public opinion about our internal decisions to protect ourselves against dictatorships. Very seldom in this forum are we (USA), complemented. Thank God we have a leader that is not going to sway to the opinion of every other country in the world.
Surely the hawkish attitude of the Bush administration and Germany's call for a stronger Europe provide us with a simple and inevitable solution. I suggest we integrate with Europe sooner rather than later, divorce ourselves from the "special relationship" and ensure that Yorkshire does not become a prime target for these so called rogue states. By committing further to the European Task Force we can deal with conflicts in our region without the increasingly unpopular "policemen of the world" looking over our shoulder.
Richard Jarvis, Cardiff, UK
If I had said in 1980 that in 11 years time Iraq
would attack Israel with medium range
missiles capable of carrying
Nuclear Biological and Chemical
Weapons, you would have laughed.
So I'll see you in about 2215
when the next Iraq or North
Korea launches NBC weapons
at the free world and there is nothing
to defend us. I'm 18 and I quite fancy
getting to middle age at least!
I thought George Bush was a politician. Why cant he try and solve these problems with diplomacy? This is a waste of money and will make America's relationship with China even worse.
What we all are seeing in this world is that whatever Uncle Sam is saying, the entire world is following, helplessly. This is not at all good for a peaceful world. Nobody will now trust Uncle Sam at all, because America is only believing to protect her interest at any cost.
This scheme is less to do with defence than with keeping firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin in business. After all, what country is going to launch a missile at the US, in the knowledge that they would retaliate with their own nuclear arsenal?
This man is an affront to diplomacy and statesmanship. To so brazenly dismiss a 30 year old treaty and raise the nuclear stakes so much is pure folly. The Americans are free to do as they please within the bounds of their own territory, but to undertake this unilateral course of action and potentially risk the safety of all and sundry is arrogant and dangerous. This is an arms race that the world can ill-afford.
Emma T, Sydney, Australia
This project will probably never progress further than the planning stage. It would take years to build such a system; it would require the consent of many nations whose interests would not be served; and the Bush administration will be ousted at the next election anyway.
Why are countries like Russia and China so worried? It's a defence system, not an offence system. All it will do is render most if not all of their nuclear capabilities useless. This is a good thing as it's like forcing them to deactivate their nuclear weapons.
How come that George Bush says the USA can't afford to join the Koyoto protocol, but can afford this expense system? For a fraction of the amount that it will cost for this system, they could avoid the inevitable threats of global warming.
Dave M, UK
The issue I find interesting in all of this is Blair's stance on the US defence system. The UK government seems to position itself in such a way as to be more an ally of the US than our closer neighbours in Europe. Surely any inclusion of the UK in the defence system would alienate us from other (unprotected) European nations. Should we effectively become an extension of the US and risk damaging EU relations, or move further into Europe?
The missile defence system was a dream back in the Reagan era, and still is a dream. Bush is under the impression that aliens will invade soon. There is no positive reason to support the multi-million dollar "money-wasting" project.
I think the 30-year old ABM treaty is dead. Especially since the break up of the old Soviet bloc into smaller nations. Now many smaller countries have access to nuclear missiles and the 'security' we once had is gone. I think this is why Mr Bush has gone down this route, and as such, it makes sense. But the technical problems are immense. And the main question... will it lead to global peace? You've got to be kidding! (Because it doesn't address the causes of war).
Chitaku Mucheleng'anga, Lusaka Zambia
The more time and money spent in keeping alive or improving the "big guns", the more we are spending in bringing an end to life on this planet!
The most threatening of the "roque states" today is the USA. Before messing around internationally, Bush should clean up the mess at home!!
I am not surprised that G.W.Bush would escalate the arms race and probably trigger a serious war (between the superpowers). His defence shield idea is useless because as long as the rest of the world is not secure, USA will always have sleepless nights over its security. The only rational way to feel secure is to further the course of global peace and partnership.
It seems that in order to gain popularity, President Bush creates an artificial problem in order to solve it and to become yet another American hero. I do not understand why the world tolerates him trespassing treaty after treaty, why people do not see that "a world's enemy" is about to be created to justify America's military expenses. If the Cold war starts again it won't do anyone any good, but will make some people in the military industry richer. In this period of Europe's unification and integration, European leaders should make it clear that the goal is peace, not war!
Since when was the US internal security under threat by other countries? The son of Star Wars is just another excuse for the US to mess around with the matters in other countries. And just like another US system, by allowing people to have guns to protect themselves, the existence of this 'Son of Star Wars' will only lead to an arms race. World peace? This is just another tool for the US to control the world.
Masha , Moscow, Russia
Not so long ago I saw a documentary about so-called "briefcase" atomic bombs - an atomic bomb that fits in a small attaché case which was made in the USSR. Star Wars won't provide any protection against this type of weapon, or many others, that may become available to "rogue" nations in the coming years. Since the invention of gunpowder which brought about the end of fortified castles, nobody has achieved an impregnable defence, and I don't suppose this invention, should it work, will offer much protection either.
Being a Canadian, I wholeheartedly oppose the missile defence system. It will only cause greater friction among the main global powers and result in more money being needlessly spent on military rather than healthcare, industry, state pensions, education, environment etc.
Jason, San Antonio, USA
It's a coincidence, Bush had an earlier problem with China, and since China gave virtually zero tolerance to the US Government, it could well mean that the US is setting this up to show their "power" and prepare for a fight against China.
What frightens me most about the proposals, and what George W Bush ultimately wishes to achieve, is the prospect of space-based weaponry orbiting the earth. If this crazy scheme progresses far enough for Bush's ultimate aims to be realised then it is a fair bet that the pentagon will be looking for more than "defensive" capabilities out of any satellites involved in the defence shield.
It's obvious from the comments so far that President Bush is not a well loved man. Let's hope we can survive the next 4 years, and that we will be able to repair the damage done to world peace. It would seem that the USA is becoming a 'rogue state' under his presidency.
Demetra Anayannis, New York, USA
Whilst I am not entirely confident in Bush as a president, I am not going to critise him for a announcing a policy change that obviously must have been in planning for months before he came to office.
This page is full of comments from people who just like to bash institutions and powerful nations like the US. OK, the US is currently the only global superpower and could use this position to become oppressive but they don't.
I live in Yorkshire and as I understand it the US will need to use their early warning bases in my home county for the defence system to work. This will no doubt make my home a number one target for anyone trying to breech the US defence systems. Will the US offer the UK the same level of protection from missiles as it is planning for itself? If this is not the case the UK government and even North Yorkshire County council should not give permission for any proposed building/ upgrading of these early warning bases.
Many of the comments here read like knee-jerk anti-Americanism rather than constructive arguments against the president's plan. While personally ambivalent towards the plan itself (though understanding both sides of the real issues), I would contend that the bigger threat is extremist nuts bringing in a suitcase containing a nuclear device ... that's a little scary.
Surely the principle of mutually assured destruction, whereby any nuclear state which attacks another can be sure of being totally destroyed in retaliation is the best defence against nuclear attack other than the bomb never having being invented.
Love him or loathe him, George W. seems to have ruffled a few more feathers. However, I doubt very much if the old baseball supremo really had much to do with making the final decision on this, other than to ratify it. Basically, I suspect the military-industrial complex are up to their old tricks again - dictating so-called defence initiatives and God help us all, foreign policy too.
Mo Ahad, UK
Living in Canada, a neighbour of the US, I support the idea of the new missile programme for business reasons. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Nearly three generations have been told that nuclear weapons are the bane of humanity. Now we are told that mechanisms to stop them are the new banes of humanity and that nuclear weapons are actually peacekeepers. Sounds strange to me.
Let the Yanks develop their missile shield. In the meantime the "rogue states" will press on with developing suitcase nukes and smuggling techniques.
I can not believe that this man thinks that scraping an all-important 30-year treaty for an as yet unplanned new treaty in order to build up his missile defences is a good idea. It is frightening to think that in only 100 days he has caused so much concern and created so many problems.
Rahul Mahajan, UK
There are two sides to this; firstly, the system is designed to intercept missiles at launch stage and could therefore be used to help defend all countries from attack. Unfortunately, all rogue states need to do to counter this is to vastly increase their strike capability to be sure of 'getting one through'.
Great idea but NMD won't be effective against land based delivery and will certainly accelerate a nuclear arms build-up in the East.
I could imagine Greenham Common protests again if Britain becomes a part of this "American Dream", but I have no objections if Bush wants to alienate America from the rest of the world.
A short while ago, people were campaigning against mutually assured destruction as a means of maintaining peace. This lead to the Greenham Common protests, etc. However, now that George W. Bush is talking about making this a thing of the past with a defence shield, they are complaining they want MAD back and that the defence shield will cause a new arms race. How can they campaign against MAD one moment and then campaign against the alternative immediately after?
It's amazing how someone can take a politically stable situation and within 100 days in office turn it into a potentially unstable and hostile one. And this turn of events is not due to the political climate at the time and could not be reversed, it is due to the emergence of a world leader who for some reason or another sees everyone else in the world as his enemy. I, for one, cannot understand why the new American administration does not build on the successes of the past 10 years and build stronger relations with these "potentially hostile states" rather than deliberately try to destroy them?
Most people accept that the Bush administration is primarily a vehicle to push the interests of American big business. Given that the US economy is on the edge of a very severe downturn, a massive defence project like this one might just generate enough momentum in the manufacturing and high tech sectors to see them through. Once again it's a case of to hell with the world for the sake of the mighty dollar.
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