December 27, 2002
MISSILE DEFENSE: 'SON OF STAR WARS' RANKLES MANY
worried that the U.S. MD program would spark a "destabilizing arms
Critics claimed deployment was aimed at "placating the defense
industry and reassuring public opinion" rather than eliminating a credible
asserted MD funds could be more efficiently used against low-tech terror
MD 'risks undermining an already fragile
strategic and global equilibrium'-- Numerous writers stressed the threat of igniting
"another arms race." The
liberal Toronto Star opined that "Washington's contempt for arms
control encourages countries such as North Korea to...arm to the teeth. This is anarchy, not security." Hong Kong's independent South China
Morning Post ran with an argument often aired in the pre-9/11 MD
debate: Deployment increases rather than
alleviates the missile threat, adding that the U.S.' determination to deploy
has spurred China's "developing better and longer-range missiles" and
Pyongyang's "threatening to restart testing programs." Others saw merit in responding to the threat
from "rogue states"; Seoul's conservative Segye Ilbo noted
approvingly that MD is "part of the U.S. effort to pressure North
Korea." But London's
mass-circulation Sun stood almost alone in wholeheartedly backing
President Bush's decision, intoning that "Star Wars is an essential
element of our defence--and of America's."
Many cited political and economic motives for
the MD announcement-- Many dailies cited both
the 2004 election and the predicted windfall for "the big
technical-military industry" for the "rushed" deployment
decision. Norway's social-democratic Dagsavisen
said the "increase in rearmament" comes "to the weapon
industries' complete pleasure."
With regard to the timing of the system, China's Communist Party-run Global
Times called it no "coincidence that the completion of the MD system
deployment and the presidential election are both in 2004." Slovenia's left-of-center Dnevnik
added that "President Bush most probably expects that people protected by
this system...will have no doubts about who to vote for."
Even a functioning MD would divert resources
away from the anti-terror campaign-- Many dailies responded
to the MD plan with irritation and resignation, carping how Washington plans to
expend billions on "machinery that may not work to deter a threat that may
not materialize." London's
reflexively anti-Bush Guardian deemed it a "high price to pay for a
false sense of security." Some
other papers likewise noted that, even were the system to perform perfectly, it
would drain resources from efforts to thwart catastrophic, albeit low-tech,
terrorist attacks. A Czech business
daily concluded, "The issue is not whether or not there should be an
anti-missile umbrella" but rather "whether its funding could not be
spent more efficiently elsewhere in the fight against international terrorism."
This analysis is based on 34 reports from 20 countries over 18-24
December. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
“Not In Our Interest”
The liberal Guardian stated (12/19): "The formal U.S. request to upgrade the
Fylindales early warning radar station in Yorkshire marks the beginning of a
long road down which Britain should not travel.... Bush’s claim that terrorist groups could
launch missiles at the U.S. has no basis in known fact.... Bush’s decision to deploy by 2004 ignores
recent test failures and looks, overall, more like a premature political
gesture than a useful military measure.
Billions of dollars are about to be spent on machinery that may not
work, to deter a threat that may not materialize. This is a high price to pay for a false sense
of security.... In the end, that is a
matter for the U.S. government and U.S. voters. Britain can not stop Bush
pursuing such schemes. But it does not
have to help him.... A Fylindales
upgrade could make this country a target....
More broadly, missile defence is irrelevant to, and cannot deter, the
principle security threat facing Britain--that posed by terrorists.... It is not just a question of a few extra
aerials at Fylindales. It is a question
of whether Britain, in return for commercial and technological inducements, and
in the name of U.S.-Nato solidarity, is prepared once again, as in the 1980’s
to become a U.S. missile base. The
answer must be no”.
The independent Financial Times commented
(12/19): "The decision to deploy is
no surprise...its timing looks a bit rushed, and perhaps political.... The UK government is clearly inclined to say
yes, though it has to consider whether it is not exposing itself to fresh
threats well before knowing whether the U.S.’s proposed anti-missile umbrella
is leakproof.... Despite Washington’s
reassurances, some in Beijing still see the U.S. system as an attempt to blunt
its relatively small nuclear deterrent in, for instance any US-Chinese crisis
emerging over Taiwan.... For its part,
Britain must ask itself what protection the U.S. system could afford.... In the end, U.S. missile defence will
probably--technology permitting--go ahead.
It is hard for outsiders to tell the U.S. that it cannot indulge in
legitimate self-defence. But the US must
show its system is for that purpose, nothing more”.
"Some Crucial Questions Need Answering
The centrist Independent stated
(12/18): "[The request by the
United States for use of the Fylingdales base for the Missile Defence System]
is a key moment in the programme's development.... MPs critical or suspicious of Bush's
attachment to 'the son of Star Wars' are right to be incensed that the American
request has been revealed so close to the Christmas recess. There needs to be a proper debate on Britain's part in the
Project. The efficacy of a missile
defence system...is by no means proven....
An unreliable missile shield is no shield at all. We deserve to know how much our co-operation
with the U.S. will cost us, and how soon Washington would meet its commitment
to extend its shield beyond the American continent. Without such a guarantee, Britain could find
itself a 'soft' target for enemy missiles without enjoying any of the protection
a reliable system might afford. Some
may ask why.... Britain should be at all
wary about 'son of Star Wars.' The
answer is that any programme that alters the global security balance so sharply
merits close and critical scrutiny. That
scrutiny must be all the closer when, as with missile defence, out own national
security could be at risk."
An editorial in the mass-circulation Sun stated
(12/18): "[Blair’s] championing of
American values post-terror attacks was brave, correct and of great comfort to
the United States. Now he has to do it
again.... Star Wars is an essential
element of our defence--and of America’s.
Blair has a surprisingly good relationship with Bush. It would be madness if the PM said No to
Rumsfeld. He must say Yes. Quickly.”
FRANCE: “A ‘Shield’ Against
Economic Les Echos editorialized (12/19): “The White House denials were less than
convincing. In fact they only lasted a
few hours until the head of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, publicly recognized that
the anti-missile defense system, officially launched by George W. Bush, would
have limited dissuasive power on a country such as North Korea.... The message is clear the tug-of-war with
Baghdad should not overshadow the threat from Pyongyang on the world’s
security. The fears became legitimate
with the announcement by the North Koreans that they are developing their
nuclear arsenal.... The question is
whether the anti-missile defense shield, that will be put in place within the
next two years, could actually ward off an attack from a rogue state. Or in other words, immunize the Good from
Evil.... According to Donald Rumsfeld,
the shield, though not proven, is better than nothing. But if there is one lesson we learned from
Sept. 11, it is that a handful of terrorists with box cutters is enough to
weaken the most powerful country on earth.
We have to wonder then if Washington is not merely placating the defence
industry and reassuring public opinion.”
“Fizzling Out In Outer Space”
Stefan Kornelius opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung
of Munich (12/19): "President Bush
has now given his approval for the installation of Missile Defense which all of
a sudden no longer seems to be unfounded.
North Korea is boasting about the possession of a nuclear weapon and
also as a producer of medium-sized missiles.
In addition, the regime is working on the development of a long-rage
missile that could easily hit the U.S West Coast. But some years will pass until it works, and
it will also take some years before MD is established. But even if MD works, it will be unable to
protect the United States from attacks with nuclear weapons which a dictatorial
regime could also send via U.S. mail into the country.... This makes clear why star wars can no longer
excite the people. This threat has been
‘atomized,’ the superiority of missiles or the defense against missiles no
longer decides over the vulnerability of a nation.... But the United States continues to afford MD,
because it is used to thinking in worst-case scenarios. But advanced security policy would be more
"Another Arms Race"
Frank Herold stated in left-of-center Berliner
Zeitung (12/18): "MD is a
reason for concern not because of its apparent inefficiency, but because of the
basic policy principles informing it. In
the 1980s and 90s security policy rested on the belief that only disarmament or
at least arms control could bring about a safer world. Bush's decisions in favor of MD is a relapse
into 1960s illusions, when weapons production seemed the only road to more
security. MD will prove that such thinking
remains wrong since MD is inefficient, it will lead to another arms race."
"A War A Day For Bush"
A front-page commentary by Aldo Rizzo in
centrist, influential La Stampa (12/18):
"George W. Bush has officially announced that, as early as 2004,
the major, controversial U.S. strategic plan on the 'space shield' will enter
its initial concrete phase. (This
reflects) confidence in U.S. technology...but it is also, and most of all, a
political response to the threat posed by the 'rogue states.' The message is that America will defend
itself in any case, so be careful....
And Bush referred exactly to North Korea in his 'revival' of star
wars.... The threat posed by Pyongyang
may not be so concrete, and not even so immediate, but Bush had the problem of
explaining why there is so much determination against Iraq, which, among other
things, is undergoing international inspections, and less attention to North
Korea. Hence yesterday's announcement,
meaning that Pyongyang's missiles will never make it to New York. Yet it would be reductive to justify the
decision to deploy the 'space shield' with the perception of the North Korean
danger. The 'strategic defense' plan is
a long-term project, dating back to the Reagan era.... That program has now been confirmed, and the
commitments made towards the big technical-military industry have been
confirmed as well. A different question
could, however, be asked, i.e, whether George W. may not be forcing a sense of
international alarm, from Baghdad to Pyongyang, and later in Tehran, on behalf
of the U.S. superpower, right at a time when complicated problems and relative
risks would require a cool mind and cool initiatives."
"Bush Says 'Yes' To The Space Shield: 'The
World Will Be Safer'"
New York correspondent Arturo Zampaglione wrote
in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (12/18): "Yesterday's announcement by the White
House seems to be linked to developments in North Korea, even though U.S.
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld denied any short-term political calculations. 'It is a strategic decision,' he said,
'destined to change according to the situation and technological progress.' The Pentagon, in fact, still does not have
the 'know-how' to guarantee the United States total immunity from missiles, but
believes that it could acquire such capability within a short time by beginning
to work on it actively."
"Bush: Green Light To The Anti-Missile
New York correspondent Alessandro Plateroti
writes in leading business Il Sole-24
Ore (12/18): "The anti-missile
shield--the pillar of George Bush's electoral campaign and a White House dream
since the Ronald Reagan era--is about to become a reality: by 2004, in fact, the United States will
provide the Fort Greeley base, in Alaska, with 10 interceptor missiles. The plan is to install 10 additional
missiles--thus covering the entire north American territory--by 2005 and 2006. For Europe and Asia, instead, missile defense
will go into effect in a second phase, with no exact date yet.... Italy has not been asked to participate in
the initial phase of the project yet. According to experts, the project will
have huge economic and technological repercussions for the nations
"MD May Affect Russia-U.S. Treaty Ratification In Duma"
Nikolai Poroskov remarked on page one of reformist Vremya MN
(12/24): "All the United States'
NMD plans may really affect is the ratification by the Duma of the treaty on
strategic offensive reductions that the Russian and American presidents signed
last May. With U.S. anti-missile systems
appearing near the Russian border, some deputies may vote against that
"The Order Is Given To 'Go!'"
Yevgeniy Bai wrote in reformist Izvestiya
(12/19): "This year the United
States managed to withdraw with minimal damage from the American-Russian ABM
treaty, which prohibited the deployment of systems like the one that it is now
starting to build in Alaska. But, having
successfully overcome the political barrier, the United States has still not
been able to raise the actual technology of missile interception to an
acceptable level. The test carried out
on 11 December, the eighth in all, failed when the "infernal machine"
that was supposed to hit the enemy missile was unable to separate from the
launch vehicle.... Nevertheless the
military people have persuaded the President that there is no time to lose and
that all the flaws in the technology will be overcome 'operationally.' Many experts doubt that the military will
succeed in fulfilling the plan under the conditions of the brief Arctic
summer. Some reports suggest that Bush
will therefore have to agree to the deployment in Alaska by October 2004 not of
ten but of five interceptor missiles. If
that is achieved, the President will be able to declare on the eve of the
election that he has fulfilled his promise and made the country safe from
attack by 'rogue states.'"
"Arms Race Resumes"
Moscow's centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
commented (12/19): "In announcing
the deployment of missile defense, Bush demonstrated that the United States has
no intention of coordinating or even discussing with Moscow its moves in the
missile defense sphere. Not for nothing
did Marshal Sergeyev, the Russian Federation president's aide, say yesterday
that Russia has been provided with 'no weighty arguments to indicate that the
deployment of missile defense will not bring about a reduction in the
effectiveness of Russia's strategic nuclear forces.'... The official reaction from the Russian
Federation Foreign Ministry was restrained and boiled down to an expression of
'regret' in connection with the 'galvanization of the U.S. attempts to develop
so-called 'global missile defense.'
However, analysis of the two sides' real moves shows that, while evading
a public confrontation, which is inappropriate in the context of the joint war
on terrorism, Washington and Moscow began a new round of the arms race about a
"Bush Says 'Now'"
Reformist Izvestiya (12/18) front-paged
this piece from Yevgeniy Bai in Washington:
"Washington has set about implementing its ambitious (MD) plan in
spite of protests from Moscow and Beijing.
True, those have been muted somewhat lately.... As if testing America' s patience, North
Korea has over the past few days made several statements seen in Washington as
undisguised provocation.... According
to U.S. military experts, the deployment of even five interceptor missiles is enough
to protect the United States from a possible North Korean attack.... This year the United States has managed to
pull out of the ABM treaty with minimal damage."
AUSTRIA: “White House
Security affairs writer Burkhard Bischof
commented in centrist Die Presse (12/19): “Whatever you think about the current US
government, there’s one thing you’ll have to say about them: They’re certainly
consistent. In 2000, George Bush boosted his election campaign by announcing he
would build a missile defense shield. In
2004, while he’ll probably be running for re-election, the first interceptor
missiles will be stationed in Alaska....
George Bush sees his plans through, no matter what. At least his
stubborn determination makes him predictable to a certain extent.”
"Action And Counteraction"
Center-right, West-oriented Dnevnik
commented (12/20): "Both opponents
and proponents of NMD realize that considering the current state of world
affairs, when terrorist attacks are no longer a figment of novelists'
imagination, a new security system is quite necessary. The series of messages coming from North
Korea lately made it clear that Pyongyang most likely possesses nuclear weapons
and cannot be trusted to continue a self-imposed ban on testing long-range
missiles.... It is not clear yet what is
hidden in the bunkers around Baghdad, so the work on a new security system must
start somewhere somehow."
"Bet On The Anti-Missile Umbrella"
Adam Cerny wrote in a business daily Hospodarske noviny (12/18): "There is hardly anything surprising in
George Bush's decision to start deploying the anti-missile system. After the 9-11, the U.S. Administration
concluded that it is necessary to take all steps that would prevent any similar
attack from happening in the future. Prevention has become the key term to any
strategic planning, including the option of taking action even before potential
strike. The issue is not whether or not
there should be an anti-missile umbrella, but rather how effective will it
be. The weak point is that it does not
provide sufficient guarantees of its reliability. That could pose a question whether its
funding could not be spent more efficiently elsewhere in the fight against
"Bush Gives Go-ahead For Star Wars II"
Conor O'Clery, North America editor, wrote in
the liberal Irish Times (12/18):
"US President Bush has given the go-ahead for the construction of
an anti-missile system in Alaska by 2004, despite protests from around the
world at the deployment of a new generation of missiles, and the failure of
more than half the interceptor missile tests.... The US withdrawal from the ABM treaty was
criticised by many US allies concerned that work on a missile defence shield that
depended on intercepting an incoming missile with another missile could spark a
new global arms race."
Social democratic Dagsavisen commented (12/19): "President George W. Bush has given the
order to start with the building of a missile defense in the year 2004. This
won’t give anything else but a false feeling of security.... The only thing one gains is an increase in
rearmament - to the weapon industries’
Stanislaw Lem wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza
(12/23): “President Bush, who is so
passionate about his commitments, has decided to launch the Star Wars
Program. The first of the anti-missile
launchers will be mounted despite the fact that two of eight recent tests
failed completely. Every single shot costs a hundred million dollars, and the
project is to consume more than billion dollars by 2006. Proponents say that
the accuracy of the system will grow over time.
Nevertheless, it looks like the U.S. President will sink billions to
achieve his fancy thinking.”
Darko Strajn wrote in left-of-center independent Dnevnik
(12/20): "With the placement of
interceptor missiles in Alaska by 2004....
President Bush will fulfill his promise to American people. And a new
presidential term will also begin in 2004. President Bush most probably expects
that people protected by this system...will have no doubts about who to vote
for.... Visionary Bush may even believe
that this system can really function. But - since his order for deployment of
the system came right after an unsuccessful test - realization of the Star Wars
plan may prove to be of secondary importance. The American empire is getting
ready for interception of strikes coming from imaginary attackers, old
acquaintances from supposed terrorist international alliances and the “axis of
evil” countries. The question whether this so-called alliance of evil is capable
of attacking the United States is of secondary importance. What is really
important is that defense capabilities of the United States grow, and therewith
the expenses for scientific research, development of fantastic technologies,
and very expensive production and deployment of weapons known from Hollywood
"Stop the Arms Race"
Stockholm's Social Democratic Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet
(12/19): "The Swedish government
has criticized the missile defense system and proposed negotiated arms control
agreements for the tactical nuclear weapons that still are deployed in
Europe. That would be an excellent way
to proceed. The reaction to the American
(missile defense) decision should not be resignation but rather trigger
increased efforts to bring about a non-nuclear world."
"Shield Over U.S. Has Many Holes"
Diplomatic correspondent Bengt Albons opined in
independent, liberal Dagens Nyheter (12/19): "The missile defense system that the
Bush administration wants to deploy within two years is a limited one, both in
scope and in terms of technology. It is
not a 'missile shield,' but it might stop occasional missiles from reaching
targets in the United States.... Politicians
who recommend deployment of the system point out that the U.S. has no defense
against a missile that is launched against an American city.... The provocative decision by North Korea to
resume its nuclear weapons program and the terrorist threats make the Americans
uneasy. This has brought comprehensive
support for the missile defense program and accelerated its completion. The fact that it is now being deployed means
that it has come to stay."
"U.S. Antimissile Defense Deployment: The Warlike Under A Lucky
Editor Fatma Ben Dhaou observed in independent French-language Le
Quotidien (12/20): "Neither the
Canadian nor the Chinese 'No' nor even the Russian intense regrets seem to have
dissuaded the Americans to deploy the new Antimissile Defense.... President Bush who feels threatened by
'invisible powers'...did not find another way but to activate a warrior project
he terms "defensive." This project will lead 'friends and partners'
of America in a destabilizing arms race that risks undermining an already fragile
strategic and global equilibrium....
Even before being ready, this project succeeded in accentuating more and
more the climate of distrust that reigns among the great military powers.... As always only the people who look to regain
their rights will pay the bill. The more
turbulent rounds of the star wars will be played out on earth."
“China ‘Worried’ About Missile Scheme”
Hu Qihua declared in the official
English-language China Daily (12/20):
“China expressed ‘worries’ Thursday about a plan mulled by the United
States and Japan for a joint missile defense shield. It said such a move should not threaten the
security interests of other countries in the region. Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told
a regular news briefing in Beijing: ‘Like many countries in the region, we are
worried that the cooperation on a missile defense system between the United
States and Japan may have negative effects on regional stability and
security.’ Liu said Thursday that the
development of the missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific should not
infringe on the security interests of other countries. He also said that China hoped that a U.S.
decision to deploy a limited missile defense shield by 2004 would not upset
global security. ‘We always hold that
only through the good co-operation of the international community can we
effectively solve the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction,’ Liu said."
“NMD May Restart World Arms Race”
Hu Xan commented in the official
English-language China Daily (12/20):
“Instead of bringing the United States and its allies real safety, the
decision announced by President George W. Bush on Tuesday to begin deploying a
National Missile Defense (NMD) system by 2004 will only undermine world
stability and the global strategic balance by encouraging a new arms race. Bush’s decision is a turning point in the
history of this long-disputed missile defense plan, and means the plan has now
entered the implementation period. Some
analysts have said that the timing is just a political ploy aimed at
influencing the 2004 election.”
“Why Does Bush Start The Deployment Of The NMD System So
Niu Xinchun opined in the official Communist Party international
news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (12/23): “First, Bush’s unusual behavior is a result
of the impact of September 11 on the U.S. foreign policy and national defense
policy. Second, Bush’s behavior can make
U.S. taxpayers feel at ease, so they will pay money contentedly for the NMD
system. Third, the U.S. attempts to
convince its allies that are still doubtful about the U.S. NMD system. Fourth, it cannot be a coincidence that the
completion of the NMD system deployment and the presidential election are both
CHINA (HONG KONG & MACAU SAR): "U.S. Missile Defense System Will Damage
Global Strategic Stability"
The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked
(12/22): "Bush's remarks emphasized
that the establishment of the missile defense system aims to 'protect the
security of the U.S. and its allies' as well as to deal with the threats from
'rogue states' such as North Korea. This
rhetoric is just an excuse. Compared to
other countries around the world, the power of U.S. strategic nuclear and
conventional weapons is overwhelming.
Therefore those countries hostile to the U.S. should be feeling a threat
to their security, not the other way around.
As far as 'safeguarding the security of U.S. allies,' apart from
resolute support for the missile defense system from Britain, Australia and
Japan, most of the European Union member states and other countries friendly to
the U.S. have objected to this system and its potentially dangerous
consequences. Bush is nevertheless
trying to impose this unnecessary 'protection' on his allies. This is ridiculous."
"Too Many Questions"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
observed (12/19): "Unanswered
questions abound over the U.S.'s missile defense system. While its reasoning remains unclear, China,
Russia and North Korea have as much right to increase military defenses as the
U.S. does in constructing and deploying so threatening a network of
missiles. President George W. Bush's
avowed self-defense system is far from complete and will be put in place as it
is developed. It flies in the face of
international agreements on non-proliferation of weapons. He can hardly be surprised that China is
developing better and longer-range missiles or that North Korea is threatening
to restart testing programs....
Political pundits would prefer to think that Mr. Bush's bid for
re-election in 2004 is more likely the reason.
But given the desire to rush into place a system that has so far proven
to be technically flawed, it would also be seen as a warning. Mr. Bush should realize that while he seems
intent on weapons proliferation, his actions are being seen on this side of the
Pacific as a green light to follow by example in the name of
Enhanced Study On MD Development Too Hasty"
Liberal Mainichi observed (12/19): "JDA chief Ishiba's remark during his
Washington meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, promising enhanced study on
MD development/deployment, was a little too abrupt and even hasty. If Japan goes ahead with study on the
development and deployment of a missile defense system, currently researched with
the U.S., it would radically depart from Japan's defense policy. Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda, speaking at a
daily press briefing on Wednesday, dismissed Ishiba's remark, saying Japan's MD
project would not go beyond the 'research' stage.... Then what was the 'motive' and 'purpose' of the
Defense Agency chief's bombshell statement?
Hadn't there been mutual understanding on the issue between senior aides
to PM Koizumi and JDA officials? There
is speculation that Ishiba made the statement to demonstrate the strong will of
Japanese defense officials. Whatever its
real purpose, the statement was indeed problematical, if it gave the U.S. the
impression that the GOJ has decided to go ahead with MD development and
deployment. Given rising concerns over
the DPRK's WMD ambitions, Japan should be properly prepared for
emergencies. Discussions on MD
development and deployment should not be made in a manner that will only deepen
The pro-government Straits Times editorial opined
(12/23): "The decision makes no
sense - politically, diplomatically, militarily or technologically. To begin
with, America faces no immediate danger from long-range intercontinental
missiles.... Other than a blind,
ideologically-driven commitment to the idea of missile defense, there is no
credible reason for the Bush administration's decision to deploy a system that
it acknowledges is undeveloped. Mr. Rumsfeld's statement that he liked 'the
feeling, the idea of beginning and putting something in the ground or in the
air or at sea, and getting comfortable with it, and using it and testing it,
and learning from that' was not an explanation as much as it was a poor
excuse. The excuse, though, is likely to
cause harm, for it will provide China, especially, with an excuse to expedite
its program to expand its arsenal of ballistic missiles.... This, in turn, will prompt the Indians to
build up their nuclear forces to counter the Chinese, and no doubt, Pakistan
will follow suit to counter the Indians. A missile-defense system that its more
starry-eyed American advocates say will make ballistic missiles obsolete, will
end up provoking an arms race in Asia. If only a fraction of the money the Bush
administration is planning to spend over the next few years on missile defense
were spent on destroying loose Russian nukes or strengthening security at
Russian nuclear sites, the US will contribute more to global security, as well
as its own. Missile defense is a dangerous waste of money."
SOUTH KOREA: “North Korea’s
Nuclear Issue Should Be Resolved Through Dialogue”
Conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized
(12/19): “President Bush’s instruction
to deploy a missile defense system in Alaska from 2004 can also be seen as part
of the U.S. effort to pressure North Korea....
We have to be concerned about deployment of a missile defense system in
Northeast Asia, which will most likely incite China to develop missiles and
trigger a regional arms race.... There
are voices in the U.S. criticizing President Bush’s hard-line North Korea
policy and calling for the U.S. to engage in direct negotiations with the
North.... Some predict that North Korea
will be the U.S.’s next target in 2003 after resolution, in one way or another,
of the Iraqi issue. The U.S. and the
DPRK should tackle issues through negotiation before such gloomy predictions
come to pass.”
ARGENTINA: "The US
Deploys Its Antimissile Shield"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La
Nacion, commented (12/18):
"President George W. Bush does not stop in the aggressive arms race
launched by his administration after the September 11 attacks, and he is not
willing to lose a minute in reinforcing the US defense strategy and
overwhelming military supremacy. The head of the White House announced that he
ordered to start deploying a national defense system at a military base in
Alaska, which will be ready to be working in some 18 months, in 2004.... Bush's official announcement was made one
week after a failed test of a missile interceptor system in the Pacific
Ocean.... The Pentagon has a 7.8 billion
dollar budget for research and development of this system, which has been
harshly criticized by China and Russia, but the US continues with it. The USG
decision to advance in its deployment was also made just a few days after North
Korea announced it would continue with its program to develop nuclear weapons.
Nevertheless, the White House's spokesperson, Ari Fleischer, said the decision
to advance with the project has nothing to do with the Korean program to enrich
uranium to be used in nuclear weapons."
CANADA: "Killing Arms
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (12/18): "U.S. President George Bush promised to
'add to America's security' by building missile defences, and he intends to
deliver.... But whether this will make
the United States more secure remains an open question. Despite endless research since Ronald Reagan
first dreamed of a Star Wars shield in 1983, the Pentagon still doesn't have a
reliable system. Just last week an
exotically named 'exo-atmospheric kill vehicle' failed to hit its target, the
most recent in a string of failures.
Even if a credible system emerges, deploying it could cost $250
billion. And China and others may opt to
field more missiles, and build shields of their own in a new arms race. Seen this way, Bush's decision to approve
Star Wars Lite is less a sign of his success in defending the U.S. than of his
lack of interest in thwarting a proliferating threat...by better international
arms control. But the Bush
administration balks at being bound by global agreements.... Washington's contempt for arms control encourages
countries such as North Korea to adopt the same attitude, and arm to the
teeth. This is anarchy, not