U.S. Threatens ABM Treaty

WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration said it would go ahead with a national missile defense system, even if it meant withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty over Russian objections. "We will not permit any other country to have a veto on actions that may be needed for the defense of our nation," Walter Slocombe, undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a speech given at the Center for Strategic International Studies.

The first deployment -- 200 missile interceptors and a radar station in Alaska -- would break the ABM treaty, which strictly limits the number, type and placement of defensive missiles in Russia and the United States. That would require renegotiating the treaty, which Moscow has been resisting.

A United Nations Russia-sponsored resolution opposing any new missile defense system that "attempts to undermine or circumvent the ABM Treaty" won in a committee vote 54 to 7, with all of the members of the European Union either voting with Russia or abstaining.

Propaganda inciting paranoia has been spewing from the White House in order to justify the $20 billion missile system. The revamped "star wars" network, which is designed to knock down incoming enemy missiles, is not large enough to be aimed at Russia or any other major nuclear power. Instead, it is said to protect all 50 states from small missile attacks from countries like North Korea.

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met with NATO members in Brussels, and received "an earful" of complaints from the Europeans, but explained, "it is necessary because of what we need to do and when we need to do it in order to respond to a looming threat." Slocombe said that in the next 15 years, North Korea, Iran and possibly Iraq were "likely to be able to field intercontinental-range missiles that could deliver chemical, biological or nuclear weapons against the territory of the United States."

The U.S. military already tested an element of the missile network and has sixteen more tests planned. Russia announced that it had tested a short-range interceptor missile for their system.

An international effort is in the works promoting a series of actions in 2000. The Global Network invites organizations and individuals to join in endorsing the actions. Activities are scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. April 14 - 17 of 2000 intended to escalate the level of opposition to this new arms race.