Cellucci urges joint missile defence PM would decide whether to shoot down missiles over Canada
Canada may join US on missile defence
Grits debate missile plan
Chretien endorses missile defence talks with U.S.
Ottawa eyes U.S. missile defence plan - Canada may be poised to sign on
National Missile Defence: Developing Disaster

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Cellucci urges joint missile defence
PM would decide whether to shoot down missiles over Canada: ambassador
 
Sheldon Alberts, Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief
National Post, with files from Ian Jack
 

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
 
CREDIT: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press
 
Lord George Robertson, NATO's Secretary-General, says U.S. missile defence is "no big deal" in eyes of world.
 
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OTTAWA - Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, yesterday made a direct appeal for Canada to participate in the Bush administration's controversial ballistic missile-defence program, as the Liberal government delayed a decision on the issue amid intense debate within the federal Cabinet.

Mr. Cellucci tried to allay concern among several Liberal MPs and Cabinet ministers about the United States' long-term goals for the missile-defence system. Washington is only interested in developing missile interceptors for the protection of North America, not for use as offensive weapons in pre-emptive strikes, he said.

"We want support for the mission. We need to make decisions about command and control. We obviously want Canadian Forces to be involved," Mr. Cellucci said in Ottawa. "The missile-defence effort is exactly what the name implies -- it is about defence. We want to protect the United States and Canada from incoming missiles."

His renewed call for support came as the federal Cabinet debated a proposal from Bill Graham, the Foreign Affairs Minister, and John McCallum, the Defence Minister, calling on Ottawa to open formal negotiations with the United States on joining the missile-defence program. Mr. McCallum and Mr. Graham want to ensure Washington places the missile-defence program under the joint Canada-U.S. command of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).

Mr. Cellucci said Canadian participation would give the Prime Minister a direct say in any decision to launch an interceptor if a ballistic missile was headed directly for Canada.

"Right now at NORAD, if there is a [threat] relative to an airplane over North America where a decision has to be made ... If the aircraft is over Canada, the Prime Minister makes the call," Mr. Cellucci said. "That is a powerful argument why we should be together on missile defence. Because we should be watching these things together so that the proper command and control and decisions can be implemented."

Cabinet has deferred a final decision on missile defence until next week because of heated debate among ministers.

Until recently, the government has expressed deep skepticism about the U.S. project, fearing it could spark a new arms race and lead to the weaponization of space.

But Mr. Chrétien defended Cabinet's decision to revisit the issue. He said the United States has scaled back proposals to deploy missile-defence systems around the globe, and such nations as Russia have dropped their opposition to the program.

"It is a different concept from the Star Wars of President Reagan... It is covering the territory of America. We are part of America," he said yesterday. "This is strictly a defence against missiles for protection of individual nations. So, Canada is doing what the other nations are doing."

He said Ottawa has not yet received an official proposal outlining its vision of Canada's contribution to the program.

The United States is working toward deploying their initial land-based missile interceptors in September, 2004, and will make crucial decisions about command and control of the plan in the next several months.

George W. Bush, the U.S. president, announced in December he would proceed with an $8-billion plan to deploy the still-unproven program because of emerging nuclear missile threats from rogue nations.

Washington has not ruled out experimenting with space-based energy-directed weapons that could knock out ballistic missiles.

Bill Graham, the Foreign Affairs Minister, said Canada is only interested in co-operating with a land-based interceptor system.

"Canada's clear policy is we are against weaponization of space and we will continue to make that position forcefully with the Americans," Mr. Graham said.

"This ballistic missile defence -- which is what we will be discussing with the United States -- is ballistic missile defence. Nothing more. Nothing less," he said. "That is directed towards an earth-based interceptor missile which would intercept another missile coming in from another country."

Mr. Cellucci would not respond to questions about U.S. plans for a space-based system. Pressed on concerns among some Liberals that the United States might use the system for pre-emptive offensive strikes against enemies, the ambassador said: "We are looking at defence, not offence."

Meanwhile, NATO's Secretary-General yesterday said global opposition to the missile-defence plan is disappearing because many nations realize they need defence from rogue nations.

"It's no big deal here in Canada or in the rest of NATO because it's something we're all examining carefully and even the Russians are doing it with us," Lord George Robertson said before a meeting with Mr. Chrétien. "The key thing is if ballistic missiles have got into the hands of people, who are not deterred in a conventional way, then there has to be some defence against it. We used to be defended by mutually assured destruction. That doesn't work any more. So every one agrees we have to look at how we're going to guarantee safety. That's why the exploration is going on. I repeat, it's no big deal."

© Copyright  2003 National Post


Canada may join US on missile defence

By Ken Warn in Toronto
Published: May 6 2003 17:55

Canada looks likely to participate in the controversial US missile defence programme - a move that could help mend relations between the two countries, now at their lowest ebb for years.

The cabinet began discussing the issue on Tuesday after Jean Chrtien, prime minister, suggested on Monday that his government's reluctance to join the programme was easing. The US plans involve deployment of radar systems and interceptor rockets against the threat of missile attack from "rogue states" such as North Korea. Canada has been reluctant to back the programme, citing fears it could trigger a new arms race.

But Russian and Chinese opposition to the plan had diminished, Mr Chrtien said. "If everyone seems to be changing their views, it's because the system is changing," he said. The US plan was more limited than the space-based "Star Wars" system proposed by former US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, Mr Chrtien said.

Canadian participation is backed by the country's military, which wants missile defence to be part of existing joint defence arrangements. Canada's high-technology companies are also hoping for contracts to help develop the system.

However, it is likely to prove controversial in the left wing of the ruling Liberal party, which is reluctant to see Canada closely aligned with the Bush administration.

Participation is backed by both by Paul Martin, the former finance minister who is the frontrunner to become prime minister when Mr Chrtien steps down next February, and by Mr Martin's nearest rival, John Manley, deputy premier.

The government's willingness to review its stance comes amid deep strain in US-Canadian relations. Ottawa's refusal to take part in the US-led war in Iraq was openly criticised by Washington as an affront from a normally staunch ally.

President George W. Bush postponed a trip to Canada this week in what was widely seen as an intentional snub.

There are many other irritants in US-Canada relations. Last week the US increased antidumping duties on Canadian wheat. And the dispute over Canadian softwood lumber exports to the US persists.


Grits debate missile plan

Tue, May 6, 2003

By JOHN WARD

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada has to talk to the United States about a joint missile defence system, Prime Minister Jean Chretien said Tuesday, even though the federal cabinet hasn't decided whether to go ahead with discussions yet.

Chretien later met Lord George Robertson, the NATO secretary general, who said missile defence is no big deal and NATO is already talking about it with Russia. Cabinet discussed the idea of opening missile defence talks with the United States, but ministers said no decision was reached in a meeting Tuesday which was twice interrupted by votes in the House of Commons.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said cabinet will make a decision next week on how to proceed.

"There's a long list of ministers that wish to speak on it, we didn't get it completed," he said. "We'll make a decision and announce it next week."

But in answering questions in the Commons, Chretien seemed to have made up his mind already.

He said this isn't the futuristic, space-based "Star Wars" system proposed by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

"It's a different project that involves the protection of North American territory and geographically it is necessary for us to participate in talks on this," he said.

Graham and Defence Minister John McCallum made a join presentation to cabinet of the pros and cons of joining the American plan to defend the continent against accidental missile launches or an attack by a rogue state.

Gen. Ray Henault, the chief of the defence staff and the country's ranking military leader, was at the meeting.

Even discussing the idea of opening talks with Washington is an abrupt policy switch after years when ministers brushed off the whole concept as hypothetical.

Chretien said in the Commons, however, that a missile defence debate has been going on within the government for several months.

"We were discussing that in the ministries and the government in February and we decided to postpone the cabinet discussion to this time of the year."

Robertson said there is danger that ballistic missiles can get into the wrong hands.

"It's why we recognize that if we're going to keep people safe from the threat of ballistic missiles, we need to look at how best we can deal with that," he said.

"It's no big deal here in Canada or in the rest of NATO because it's something we're all examining carefully and even the Russians are doing it with us."

Washington wants to have the first, limited, missile shield up by 2004 and has invited Canada to take part.

Unlike Reagan's Star Wars, which proposed using high-tech orbital weapons and lasers, this system relies to sophisticated radars and high-speed interceptor missiles.

Supporters of the idea say it's a logical extension of Norad, the joint defence organization which has defended North American skies for more than 45 years.

Paul Cellucci, the American ambassador, takes that view:

"We think that Norad has worked very well for Canada and the United States for many years," he said Tuesday.

"We think that missile defence is very consistent with the mission of Norad: protecting our two countries from hostile missile attacks.

"We just hope that Canada makes a positive decision so that we can strengthen an already excellent relationship with Norad."

Opponents, including many Liberals, say it could kick off a new arms race and lead to space-based weapons systems.

New Democrat Bill Blaikie told the Commons the government is sullying Canada by even considering joining "a military program which does not work and which makes the world a more dangerous place."

Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Alliance, urged the government to join Washington to save what he said is a faltering relationship within Norad.

"Canada is slowly getting shoved outside its own air defence," he said. "We are slowly becoming marginal players in Norad. That process will continue unless we work hand in glove with our partners in Norad, the United States."


Chretien endorses missile defence talks with U.S.; cabinet to decide next week
 

JOHN WARD

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada has to talk to the United States about a joint missile defence system, Prime Minister Jean Chretien said Tuesday, even though the federal cabinet hasn't decided whether to go ahead with discussions yet.

Chretien later met Lord George Robertson, the NATO secretary general, who said missile defence is no big deal and NATO is already talking about it with Russia. Cabinet discussed the idea of opening missile defence talks with the United States, but ministers said no decision was reached in a meeting Tuesday which was twice interrupted by votes in the House of Commons.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said cabinet will make a decision next week on how to proceed.

"There's a long list of ministers that wish to speak on it, we didn't get it completed," he said. "We'll make a decision and announce it next week."

But in answering questions in the Commons, Chretien seemed to have made up his mind already.

He said this isn't the futuristic, space-based "Star Wars" system proposed by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

"It's a different project that involves the protection of North American territory and geographically it is necessary for us to participate in talks on this," he said.

Graham and Defence Minister John McCallum made a join presentation to cabinet of the pros and cons of joining the American plan to defend the continent against accidental missile launches or an attack by a rogue state.

Gen. Ray Henault, the chief of the defence staff and the country's ranking military leader, was at the meeting.

Even discussing the idea of opening talks with Washington is an abrupt policy switch after years when ministers brushed off the whole concept as hypothetical.

Chretien said in the Commons, however, that a missile defence debate has been going on within the government for several months.

"We were discussing that in the ministries and the government in February and we decided to postpone the cabinet discussion to this time of the year."

Robertson said there is danger that ballistic missiles can get into the wrong hands.

"It's why we recognize that if we're going to keep people safe from the threat of ballistic missiles, we need to look at how best we can deal with that," he said.

"It's no big deal here in Canada or in the rest of NATO because it's something we're all examining carefully and even the Russians are doing it with us."

Washington wants to have the first, limited, missile shield up by 2004 and has invited Canada to take part.

Unlike Reagan's Star Wars, which proposed using high-tech orbital weapons and lasers, this system relies to sophisticated radars and high-speed interceptor missiles.

Supporters of the idea say it's a logical extension of Norad, the joint defence organization which has defended North American skies for more than 45 years.

Paul Cellucci, the American ambassador, takes that view:
 

"We think that Norad has worked very well for Canada and the United States for many years," he said Tuesday.

"We think that missile defence is very consistent with the mission of Norad: protecting our two countries from hostile missile attacks.

"We just hope that Canada makes a positive decision so that we can strengthen an already excellent relationship with Norad."

Opponents, including many Liberals, say it could kick off a new arms race and lead to space-based weapons systems.

New Democrat Bill Blaikie told the Commons the government is sullying Canada by even considering joining "a military program which does not work and which makes the world a more dangerous place."

Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Alliance, urged the government to join Washington to save what he said is a faltering relationship within Norad.

"Canada is slowly getting shoved outside its own air defence," he said. "We are slowly becoming marginal players in Norad. That process will continue unless we work hand in glove with our partners in Norad, the United States."
 

The Canadian Press, 2003


Ottawa eyes U.S. missile defence plan - Canada may be poised to sign on
Circumstances changed: Graham

Apr. 29, 2003. 06:19 AM

ALLAN THOMPSON
OTTAWA BUREAU

OTTAWA - After years of sitting on the fence, Canada may be poised to  join the U.S. military's missile defence program, government sources say.
 

A decision to join U.S. President George W. Bush's controversial  National Missile Defence plan could come as soon as next week and in  conjunction with Canada's contribution to U.S.-led reconstruction  efforts in post-war Iraq, would mark another foreign policy move to improve relations with Washington.

Liberal leadership frontrunner Paul Martin said in an interview yesterday that as prime minister, he would commit Canada to becoming part of the missile shield, not least to protect Canadian sovereignty as the shield is being developed.

"What possible benefit is it for us to stay away from the table?" Martin told the Star's Les Whittington.

Both Defence Minister John McCallum and Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham signalled to reporters that Prime Minister Jean Chrtien's government will deal with the issue soon at the cabinet level and the ministers dropped hints that they favour Canada joining the missile shield.

"What we're all concerned about, of course, is the security of Canada and Canadians. And we have a proud tradition of co-operating with our American allies on the security of the continent," Graham told  reporters.

He said the scene on the world stage has shifted from a year or so ago, when Russia and other major powers were vehemently opposed to the creation of a missile shield.

"I think we obviously have to look at it in a serious way and decide what is in the best interest of Canada," he said.

McCallum went even further.

"The geopolitics have changed radically, the Americans are moving ahead anyway and a case can be made for Canadian security and for our joint defence of the continent that this might be a good idea for Canada," McCallum said.

One government source said the proposal to join the missile defence plan could be brought before cabinet as early as next week. It is not on the agenda for today's special cabinet meeting in Toronto.
 

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci told reporters yesterday the U.S. believes Canada should join the missile defence program. "We hope that the Canadian government will make a positive decision on participation," he said.

In a formal announcement just before Christmas, Bush committed the U.S. to having a limited missile defence shield up and running by the fall of 2004, with interceptor missiles on land in Alaska and at sea and sensors in space as the first outposts of Bush's Fortress America.
 

With files from Les Whittington and Graham Fraser
Additional articles by Allan Thompson




National Missile Defence: Developing Disaster

By Charles D. Ferguson and John E. Pike
Disarmament Diplomacy -- Issue No. 44, March 2000

"President Clinton faces a [missile defence] deployment decision later this year. Before making that decision, he will assess the threat, technological feasibility, affordability, and overall strategic environment, including arms control objectives. He will weigh the views of our allies, as well as Russia's willingness to modify the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty." Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, The Times, March 1, 2000.

Introduction

Within a few weeks of Cohen's article in The Times, the United States (US) National Missile Defence (NMD) programme suffered another setback a two-month delay in the next intercept test. This delay has pushed back the Deployment Readiness Review (DRR) that was originally scheduled to begin in June. Although presidential election year considerations will presumably influence President Clinton's decision, the four relevant criteria are:
 

Does the missile threat to the US justify deployment?

Has the development effort readied the technology?

How will deployment affect progress in arms control, including revisions to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty?

Can the US afford the financial burden?

United States NMD plans call for an initial deployment by 2005 to protect all 50 states against limited attacks from long-range ballistic missiles. Such attacks could consist of a handful of warheads supported by simple penetration aids. To counter such threats, this NMD system would include 100 ground-based interceptors based in Alaska with site construction starting in 2001.
Both space-based and ground-based sensors would provide detection and tracking of incoming warheads. In particular, the Space-Based Infrared (SBIRS)-High satellite network would detect missile launches. To perform the much more technically demanding discrimination between countermeasures and warheads, this NMD system would require the SBIRS-Low satellite network. Enhanced versions of five existing ballistic missile early warning radars and an X-Band phased array radar at Shemya in Alaska would track the warheads.

In addition, the NMD programme appears to reserve the option of an interim deployment by 2003. Such deployment would employ 20 interceptors and prototype hardware. By 2010, ensuing deployments would include an additional site, bringing the total number of interceptors up to as many as 250, along with more radars to counter a few tens of warheads accompanied by complex penetration aids.

Cost projections for these systems, including associated space-based sensors, are tens of billions of dollars a small fraction of the astronomical costs associated with the Reagan-era Star Wars system. The expenditures for limited NMD, therefore, have not aroused as much apprehension over whether or not these are wise investments from the public purse. More attention has focussed on the other more troublesome deployment criteria.

The Missile Threat

Given the implausibility of a massive nuclear exchange with Russia, American concerns over ballistic missile attack have centred on the "rogue" nations of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq, although concern also exists about the possibility of a small accidental launch from Russia. Moreover, many Republican leaders have called for missile defence against China. Though the "rogue" nations have had ballistic missile programmes for several years, none of them has developed a reliable long-range missile that can strike the United States.

The renewed impetus for NMD began with the release of the November 1995 National Intelligence Estimate Emerging Missile Threats to North America During the Next 15 Years. It determined that "No country other than the major declared nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years that could threaten the contiguous 48 states and Canada." NMD proponents found this judgment wanting and clamoured for subsequent assessments. These advocates received what they requested with the July 1998 report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat, headed by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The Rumsfeld report sounded an alarming view of the missile threat and the intelligence community's inability to predict the emergence of this threat. Although the latter point was somewhat justified, it missed the mark because the intelligence community is more notorious for predicting a faster threat development than accords with reality. For instance, estimates of when North Korea would flight-test its long-range Taepo Dong missiles have been out by several years. In 1994, the intelligence community predicted that the Taepo Dong-1 could be tested that year and deployed as soon as 1996. It estimated that the Taepo Dong-2 would be flight-tested in the mid to late 1990s. However, the Taepo Dong-1 has experienced only one flight test, which was in late 1998, and is still not deployed. The Taepo Dong-2 is still untested.

Significantly, the Rumsfeld report operated under premises which were different to those used for other intelligence estimates. In particular, it assessed the possibility rather than the probability of missile threat development. Without considering the intentions of potential adversaries, this report has distorted the perception of missile threats and magnified them out of proportion to more pressing security concerns.

Many US government officials now believe that traditional deterrence no longer applies to the "rogue" nations. In Cohen's March 1 article in The Times, he elaborated, "[O]ur ability to launch a devastating counter-strike against any country ... may not deter rogue states whose leaders are indifferent to their people's welfare." These officials have yet to explain convincingly how "rogue" nations would be undeterred. Although history reveals deterrence failures, these are failures to seek deterrence rather than to achieve deterrence.

Technological Readiness

Despite the perception in recent years that there is a conflict between the White House and Congress over the desirability of NMD, the conflict, in actuality, has occurred between the Pentagon and Congress over the feasibility of NMD. The Pentagon wants to ensure that all components of any new weapons system, especially something as complex as NMD, are thoroughly tested before deployment. In contrast, congressional Republicans have pushed for early deployment.

The Pentagon recently lowered the testing standard to one successful intercept to justify an affirmative deployment decision. Previously, the putative criteria were that two successful intercept tests should occur and one should happen during an integrated system test. Of the two intercept tests that have occurred, the one conducted in October 1999 was a dubious success because the decoy reportedly helped the interceptor to hit the warhead, while the one conducted in January this year failed. This failure contributed to postponing the next intercept test, an integrated test originally planned for late April to late June.

Nonetheless, a successful intercept in June will say little about the readiness of actual NMD hardware. The tests before the DRR will have involved surrogate hardware. Importantly, the actual booster for the kill vehicle and the exo-atmospheric kill vehicle itself will not be tested for several years.

Faced with a paucity of data pertaining to prototypical equipment, the DRR will have two choices: decide to purchase long lead items to support deploying a system by 2003 or wait until the tests of actual components before making a deployment decision. Such tests are scheduled for early fiscal year 2001 for the booster and early fiscal year 2003 for the kill vehicle's final configuration.

Recognizing the rushed nature of the DRR schedule, the NMD Review Group, led by retired Air Force General Larry Welch, released a November 1999 report that recommended the DRR be recast as a deployment feasibility review and should be focussed on a subsequent readiness assessment. Regardless of the depiction of the DRR, any political determination to deploy must be supplemented by subsequent evaluations considering the performance of actual system components.

The Impact on Arms Control

NMD deployment directly impacts the ABM Treaty, START II ratification, and START III negotiations.

The ABM Treaty remains a cornerstone underlying strategic arms reductions between the US and Russia. Since 1972, it has facilitated strategic arms control by enshrining the principle of strategic deterrence. It placed strict limits on the ability of one side to construct defences to counter the other side's ballistic missiles.

During the Cold War, the ABM Treaty ratified the equality of the two superpowers. Although the demise of the Cold War has negated their geopolitical equality, the ABM Treaty still serves to engage the US and Russia in arms control and to foster co-operative threat reduction measures.

The Russian Duma has linked preservation of the ABM Treaty to ratification of START II. Therefore, severe modification or abrogation of this treaty threatens to stymie further strategic arms reductions.

US deployment of NMD demands both revision of the premise of the ABM Treaty and considerable alterations to the Treaty. An initial deployment would require elimination of the Article I ban on nationwide defences and revision of the Article III limitations on allowed deployment areas to permit interceptors in Alaska. A Protocol to the Treaty, which entered into force in 1976, allowed defence of either each Parties' capital city or an intercontinental ballistic missile base, which for the US was in North Dakota, the second site in the current NMD plans. Moreover, stationing large phased array X-band radars in Alaska would require alteration of Article III, which stipulates that such radars must be co-located with interceptors. Deployment of such radars at Thule in Greenland and RAF Fylingdales in Britain would require amendment of the Article IX ban on deployment of ABM elements in other nations. Further, the SBIRS network would require relief from the Article V ban on space-based ABM components and the Article VI ban on providing non-ABM systems with capabilities to oppose strategic ballistic missiles or their components during flight.

So far, Russia and the US are publicly sticking to their ABM and START III positions and do not yet appear ready to bargain. Russia rules out changes to the ABM Treaty and seeks to lower the START III strategic arms level to 1,500 or fewer warheads. In contrast, the US wants changes in the ABM Treaty to allow deployment of a limited NMD system and holds to the 1997 Helsinki Protocol on START III that set a level of 2,000 to 2,500 strategic warheads. It has approached the Russians on a take-it-or-leave-it basis to ensure that the American position is not subject to further "improvement." Nonetheless, future NMD deployments and improvements would likely require additional changes in the ABM Treaty, leading Russia to perceive a long and drawn out erosion of the Treaty.

Without treaty modification, knowing when the US would be in material breach of the treaty is somewhat unclear. However, groundbreaking for the interceptor site is slated for April 2001 in Alaska, and a material breach would probably follow soon thereafter. Six months before this time the US either has to secure agreement from Russia to amend the treaty or give notice of treaty withdrawal. Because this time is squarely during the Clinton Administration's watch, the onus is on President Clinton to make a responsible decision.

Having suffered a defeat late last year over ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Clinton is concerned about his legacy in arms control. He is, therefore, unlikely to further damage his legacy by being the first president to withdraw from an arms control treaty.

Conclusion

Clinton could heed the call of influential people as disparate as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former President Jimmy Carter, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, and Democratic Senator Joseph Biden who have recently argued for delay. Of course, there are two different messages from this crowd. Hoping that the next president will be Governor George W. Bush, the Republicans want him to make the decision and get the NMD system they want. The Democrats want to buy more time. However, a United States government led by Al Gore will still most likely have to contend with a Republican controlled Congress. Therefore, a decision to delay would certainly buy time but would delay the inevitable.

Nevertheless, either a Republican or Democratic executive branch is required by law to perform a defence review in 2001. Such a review would include an evaluation of missile defence.

Clinton could also be persuaded that the polls show that public support for missile defence is weak and shallow. According to a poll by the Mellman Group, "Few [17 percent] of those who support missile defence will vote against a candidate who opposes spending money to deploy such a system." He should recall that during the 1996 presidential campaign Bob Dole, the Republican candidate, utterly failed in making NMD a campaign issue.

If Clinton makes a political commitment for NMD later this year, he need not place it on a collision course with the ABM Treaty. As long as the US does not intend to abrogate it, the US and Russia could find a way to reconcile the Treaty with any NMD developments through subsequent negotiations.

Charles Ferguson is the director of the Nuclear Policy Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. John Pike is the director of the Space Policy Project at FAS.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.
 
 


For more information visit the web sites for Project Ploughshares
or the Federation of American Scientists' Space Policy Project.