National Missile Defense: USA Vs. Russia
For the past several years, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and most
congressional Republicans have wanted to set up a national missile
defense system, designed to defend the United States against a small
number of long-range missiles. The Clinton administration maintained that
there was no current or potential missile threat to the United States that
would justify the deployment of such a defense. At the same time the
administration has pursued its “3+3” plan to spend three years developing
a national missile defense — by 2000 — that could then be deployed in
another three years — by 2003, if a decision were made to deploy. George W.
Bush, upon being elected, has given 6 months notice that the US is going to
back out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty signed in 1972 (which clearly
states that we cannot build a national missile defense), in order to establish
our national missile defense system. The reason simply being the fear of
attacks from countries with long range missiles as well as other nuclear
weapons. Countries such as China, North Korea, and Iraq. Russia, among
other countries, were angered by the US’s decision to back out of the treaty,
therefore adding to the conflict.
Most people are not clear on what exactly the missile defense system
is, or what it does. Basically it’s, as Bush puts it, a system for intercepting
other countries nuclear missiles aimed for us with a dummy non-explosive
missile of our own. For example, if North Korea invaded South Korea and
the US threatened to intervene, North Korea could threaten us back with a
nuclear missile aimed for New York, Los Angeles, or any major city or
landmark in our country. Bush would be willing to take the risk of the
missile defense system intercepting the enemy missile, even though more
than half the tests of the system have not worked correctly.
Russia’s view on the United State’s construction of a missile defense system is naturally not a positive one. Peter Kilfoyle, a loudmouth critic of Russia’s defense policies has been a persistent thorn in the side of the government on defense issues.
He criticised the “unilateralism” of the US administration in pressing ahead with the
missile defence plan, warning that the Russians had been left feeling “peeved and let down”, while the Chinese were about to quadruple their stock of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“National Missile Defence is one of the biggest, if not the biggest threat, to global stability that we face in contemporary times,” he added.
We can only hope that Bush actually knows what he’s doing in protecting our country from potential threats from other nations. In expert Art MacCarthy’s opinion, “A dispute with Russia at a time like this over anything can be crucial, especially over a nuclear arms treaty”.