A New "Old" Wind Blowing!!!
by Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
The recounts finally ended—thanks to the Supreme Court, and George W. Bush is the President of the United States of America!
This is good news on many counts, but especially for those of us who are concerned about American security interests at home and abroad —and most especially for those of us who want to end America’s total vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile. Although only President Bush’s very top lieutenants have been sworn in at this writing, they are making very clear they intend to move out smartly to achieve his campaign promise to build effective defenses for Americans at home and our overseas troops, friends and allies "at the earliest possible date."
See page 2 for definitive statements by President Bush and his two leading executives who will manage the most important Washington organizations dealing with national and international security matters: Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld. These and other statements of the enormously qualified national security team President Bush is assembling make very clear his intention to return to important policies of the former Bush administration in seeking to build a defense for both America and our overseas troops, friends and allies as an integrated whole.
This is very gratifying for me, because this approach was my recommendation to former President Bush and then Defense Secretary—and now Vice President—Dick Cheney, when they chartered me
eleven years ago to lead an independent review of the Strategic Defense Initiative and our arms control and related policies. It was then my privilege to serve those gentlemen as SDI Director seeking to execute this program, which President Bush personally approved in January 1991, as the Gulf War began and the TV audience around the world watched the Patriot-Scud battles from their living rooms.
We made a great deal of progress during the next couple of years—on the technology and political fronts—in gaining acceptance of a concept we called GPALS—which stood for Global Protection Against Limited Strikes. The defense architecture included space-, sea-, air-, and ground-based components; and promised to protect cities around the world against limited numbers of attacking weapons of mass destruction—up to 200 attacking nuclear warheads, for example.
A Democratic-controlled Congress joined the Bush administration in enacting into law Missile Defense Acts in 1991 and 1992, mandating deployment of the first stage of this global concept as soon as technologically possible. Major Pentagon acquisition programs were approved and fully funded to accomplish this mandate as a top national priority, assigned by then President Bush and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.
Our allies and friends around the world were cooperating in support of building such defenses as a way of combating proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. Even the Russians were supporting high level talks about how America and Russia could cooperate and together build a global defense.
On January 31, 1992, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin proposed before the United Nations General Assembly that the SDI take advantage of Russian technology and that Russia and America work together to build a global defense to protect the world community against ballistic missiles. Most notably, he proposed in the same speech the deep reductions in offensive nuclear forces that were eventually embodied in the START II Treaty—making it very clear that Russia could accept both fewer nuclear weapons and effective defenses.
These facts are hard to remember given that Russia, China, and many of our allies are now so anxious about America’s revived commitment to protect her people and overseas friends.
The disconnect is because, within months of taking office, the Clinton administration scuttled the policy and technological achievements of the previous Bush administration. They cut the fully approved SDI budget by nearly 60 percent—and the portion intended to protect the American people by 80 percent. And they declared allegiance to the ABM Treaty and its Cold War Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine,which was based on a confrontational, rather than a cooperative, model of East-West relations.
When Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton met for the first time in Vancouver in April 1993, Yeltsin wanted to continue high level discussions on cooperative defenses—and the Clinton team was simply not interested. To the contrary, they retreated to the Cold War idea of a mutual suicide pact with Russia as the basis of a mutually stable relationship—and they fought congressional initiatives to fund defense programs at every step.
Political disharmony at home and abroad is not surprising, given the lack of U.S. leadership during the past eight years. But there is a new wind blowing. The White House will again be an advocate for building defenses as soon as possible—and leaders of the key institutions of government will be in lock step with the President. Congress will be more supportive than during the past Bush administration, though opponents still abound there. Our allies and friends will join us eventually, though there will be some rough sledding for a while. Already, some are speaking out on our side, as indicated on page 5.
We must stay the course. High Frontier looks forward to the battles sure to come because we have confidence in the vision of the new American leadership. We have sailed this course before—let us reach safe harbor this time!
Quotes to Remember
President George W. Bush:
"At the earliest possible date, my administration will deploy antiballistic missile systems, both theater and national, to guard against attack and blackmail. We will offer Russia amendments to the Anti-Ballistic Missile [ABM] Treaty—an artifact of the Cold War confrontation. Both sides know that we live in a different world than in 1972 when the Treaty was signed. If Russia refuses the changes we propose, we will give prompt notice, under the provisions of the Treaty, that we can no longer be party to it. I will have a solemn obligation to protect the American people and our allies, not to protect arms control agreements signed almost 30 years ago. Given today’s realities, we can no longer drag our feet on building and deploying a missile defense system; nor can we allow Cold War arms control agreements to restrict America’s ability to defend itself and its allies."
Secretary of State Colin Powell:
"As you are aware, President-elect Bush has made it quite clear that he is committed to deploying an effective missile defense using the best technology at the earliest possible date. We will be developing a plan for the way ahead—looking at the diplomatic ramifications.
"I believe it is important that we look at missile defense within the context of our entire strategic framework. This framework includes offensive nuclear weapons, our command and control systems, our intelligence systems, arms control including our non-proliferation efforts, and missile defenses.
"No one thinking soundly, logically, would construct a strategic framework with offense only. Not the New York Giants and not America.
" If we can put together a complete framework, one that includes all the strategic dimensions, including defense, we will be that much better off in our relations with both friend and foe.
"I still remember the original purpose of such a defense—that is to start diminishing the value of offensive weapons. That’s important if we are serious—and we are in our efforts to make the world a safer place with fewer nuclear weapons and with the ones that remain having less currency.
"There is no question that today we still need the offensive component of our strategic architecture because, in my mind, the greatest deterrent right now is the clear fact that we have the capability to destroy any tyrant who could fire a missile at us. . . .
"While we design this complete strategic framework and describe these important issues on missile defense, there will be time to consult with our allies and friends to solicit their views and to ensure their understanding of what we are doing and, in some cases, their participation. We will also discuss issues with the Russians and Chinese, as we continue to operate on the arms control front as well.
"In that context, the ABM Treaty in its current form is no longer relevant to our new strategic framework. We hope to persuade the Russians of the need to move beyond it."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:
"Credible deterrence no longer can be based solely on the prospect of punishment through massive retaliation. Instead, it must be based on a combination of offensive nuclear and non-nuclear defensive capabilities working together to deny potential adversaries the opportunity and benefits from the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction against our forces and homeland, as well as those of our allies."
Capitol Hill Support for Building Defenses
According to press reports, Republican lawmakers believe the Bush administration will quickly review the Pentagon’s National Missile Defense (NMD) program and redirect it to be more effective.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ): "You will see a phased, layered plan and a reconfigured plan for the ground based program with land, sea and space components" because "the Clinton plan is not adequate."
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): "There is no need for any extensive review. . . . Last year, President Clinton signed into law direction from Congress to deploy a system as soon as technologically feasible, and then ignored it. . . . The new administration will move ahead."
Sen. Inhofe favors the sea-based approach to NMD for a near-term capability because he believes it would be quicker and cheaper than the current plan. Inhofe said he is confident Defense Secretary Rumsfeld will adopt this approach within the overall NMD plan.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), said he was certain that Rumsfeld will take a very careful and thoughtful approach to missile defense and he believes he is a "great man." Many lawmakers applaud Don Rumsfeld and urge early action to end America’s vulnerability.
Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA): "[Rumsfeld] was an absolutely brilliant pick. . . . [The new administration will bring] "a strong, solid commitment to missile defense from the top . . . extensively more [support] than under Clinton and Gore—we had to fight them every step of the way. . . . With Clinton and Gore, you basically had double-talk—you had them quietly saying 'well yeah, we support continued work in this' but really, they weren't supportive . . . as a result, the programs were not properly, in my opinion, supported—they didn't have proper focus. . . . This is 10 years after 28 young Americans came home in body bags because we couldn't defend them against these low-complexity missiles that are all over the place now. Over 70 nations today in the world have these SCUD-type medium range missiles."
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS): "The more we delay, as President Clinton has done, the more risk we run and the more vulnerable we become to the threat."
I think we're going to see an administration committed to the deployment of national missile defense in accordance with the legislation that we passed. . . . I don't know what the new advisers will actually recommend, but in my opinion they will likely recommend an early deployment, construction of the elements for a radar site in Alaska, and otherwise proceed with the deployment of the ground-based system that has been under development and testing."
Hopefully, Congress will fund building defenses, in part because the public supports it. Senator Kyl quotes a poll that shows the American people support immediate deployment by a margin of 56 percent to 36 percent and notes that degree of public support will make it "pretty hard for Democrats to filibuster it or make very much of an argument against it."
There is also growing sentiment on Capitol Hill that the time has come to deal with the issue of Russia and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Sen. Kyl argues that President Bush’s views on the ABM Treaty are "right on target. . . . Obviously, nobody has a veto, least of all the Russians. I think what he will tell them fairly early on is 'look, we're going to deploy a national missile defense, and there is no question that it is prohibited by the treaty, therefore we can either talk about this, or we can give you notice right now that in six months we'll consider ourselves no longer bound.' My guess is that'll come fairly soon in the administration."
Sen. Cochran also argues to abandon the ABM treaty and develop a robust missile defense: "I think we have to have some candid discussions with the Russians that we think the treaty has outlived its importance. . . I think agreements with countries on arms issues serve a useful purpose, but we ought not to think that they are a substitute for a capability to defend oneself . . . we cannot sacrifice the security interest of the citizens of the United States in an arms control process."
Mr. Weldon said, "One of the biggest problems, ironically, in this whole effort is the arms control community [is] so enamored with arms control pieces of paper, that for the most part are not enforced, that they don't want to talk about defensive systems. To me, that's just ridiculous."
Rumsfeld Commissions Show the Way
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld headed a 1998 commission directed by Congress to perform an independent assessment of the ballistic missile threat to the United States. Their assessment met much resistance from the Clinton White House.
The bipartisan Rumsfeld Commission reported flaws in the intelligence community’s ability to foresee a ballistic missile attack on the United States and unanimously concluded the United States could be attacked with little or no warning. Six weeks later, North Korea surprised the intelligence community by firing a Taepo Dong missile over Japanese territory almost to U.S. territory. Still, the White House refused to accept the Commission’s unanimous conclusions.
Rumsfeld, in various public forums, explained that when he took his report to the White House, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger downplayed the commission’s findings. Apparently, Berger was more concerned about the effect the report would have on
Congress passing a non-proliferation bill the White House wanted. That attitude angered Rumsfeld and other panel members who urged the global implications of their study far outweighed the administration’s desire to pass its non-proliferation bill. Rumsfeld denied the commission was trying to influence a vote on anything.
Despite White House resistance, Rumsfeld’s public report received wide bipartisan praise on Capitol Hill.
Then, Congress called on him again to lead another commission to consider space management issues, including a notion pushed by Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) to create a separate Space Force. Smith, who has indicated he was quite pleased with the results, observed, "We need to be looking toward the future applications of space. . . . We need to begin to think of pulling all our space assets together and that will be one of my big goals in this Congress." Smith said Rumsfeld understands the need for militarization of space and strong NMD and theater missile defense. (See page 7 for more on the Rumsfeld Space Commission.)
Senator Bob Smith (R-NH): "I am very excited about the selection of Donald Rumsfeld because he supports a strong missile defense and is going to take a look at all, the successes and failures. . . . I support the combination of land, sea and space where you have overlap to get the coverage you need."
Junking MAD: Mandate for Moral Leadership III
By Chuck Colson
Cabinet nominees generally don't say any more than they have to at confirmation hearings. Even those like Defense Secretary-designate Donald Rumsfeld adhere to the maxim, "less is more." Thus, what they do say or emphasize in their remarks tells us what they consider to be vital. Notably, at Rumsfeld's hearing, he took the opportunity to promote a policy that I believe can restore sanity to our national security policies and deliver us from the moral insanity imposed by a forty-year-old relic of the Cold War, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).
At the hearings, Rumsfeld told senators, "there is no question but that I think that we should deploy a missile defense system when it's technologically possible and effective." Such a system, he said, would enable the U.S. to intercept incoming missiles and shoot them down, instead of relying on the threat of massive retaliation to keep us safe.
As has been the case with similar proposals, Rumsfeld was asked about the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that the United States signed when I was working in the Nixon White House. He called that treaty "ancient history," and questioned the relevance of an agreement signed at the height of the Cold War to the post-Cold War world today. Back then, the only nuclear powers were the United States and the Soviet Union. Now, nations like North Korea, China, Iran, and Iraq are working on missiles that could reach our shores.
Rumsfeld's emphasis on missile defense, which obviously reflects Bush's policy, performed a vital service. Over the past few days, I've been telling you how the new administration can exercise its mandate to provide moral leadership. Well, beefing up our missile defense is a great step in doing that.
With the Cold War policy of Mutual Assured Destruction, we held the cities of our adversaries hostage, while they held our cities hostage with the threat of nuclear holocaust. Thoughtful people questioned the morality of such a threat, but there wasn't a workable alternative.
But as Rumsfeld said last week, a lot has changed since 1972. For one thing, we're the sole superpower. That offers us the freedom to consider whether it's better to defend against an attack rather than threatening to annihilate civilians.
Second, defense technologies have advanced by leaps and bounds, thanks to the computer revolution. We now
have the potential to develop a system capable of protecting America and her allies. Defensive weapons
wouldn't target population centers; so, by definition, they offer a more moral alternative -- one consistent with Augustine's classic definition of a "just war" and the Christian understanding that military response must be defensive.
The new administration, which will assume office when the President is inaugurated Saturday, has a chance now to make a case for junking the old, morally bankrupt policy of Mutual Assured Destruction. The case that can overcome the skepticism of its opponents, however, can't be limited to issues of technology and strategic theory. It must have moral component, making the arguments of the Christian doctrine of just war.
The American people need to hear the case for change and the moral reasons for it. And more, they need to understand that junking MAD isn't just the safe thing to do, it's the right thing, as well. And that's what moral leadership is all about.
BreakPoint Commentary (www.breakpoint.org), January 19, 2001. Reprinted with permission from Prison Fellowship Ministries, PO Box 17500, Washington, DC, 20041-7500
British Conservatives Back Bush on Missile Defense
On January 12, William Hague, leader of British conservatives called for Britain to back the new American administration’s plans for a robust missile defense system. He committed a future Conservative government to support plans to protect against missiles, particularly from rogue states such as North Korea, Iraq, Iran, and Libya.
At issue are extensive improvements to the early warning station on the North Yorkshire moors at Fylingdales. The Fylingdales radar has been part of America’s ballistic missile early warning system since 1953. The improvements would help America detect and target missiles launched from North Africa and the Middle East toward North America.
Mr. Hague compared his stance to Lady Margaret Thatcher's lead in the early Eighties, when she approved the deployment of American cruise missiles at Greenham Common. This was later credited with helping to cause the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Tory leader's comments highlighted a growing split in the Government and ruling Labor Party over whether Britain should support President Bush’s commitment to build effective defenses for America and overseas American troops, friends, and allies.
Prime Minister Tony Blair is sitting on the fence, refusing to commit on whether Britain will contribute its Fylingdales early warning radar to provide critical data to help defend America.
Liberal British leaders say that approval for the new system would result in the tearing up of the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty, provoke a new nuclear arms race and create massive wave protests and political turmoil. Conservatives dispute this. (See below.)
During his confirmation hearing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said America must quickly develop the defense system in the face of growing threats around the world. His testimony echoed President
Bush’s commitment during his election campaign to accelerate and expand the Clinton administration’s limited national missile defense program to a defense umbrella to shield Britain and other allies.
"Effective missile defense, not only homeland defense but also the ability to defend US allies abroad and our friends, must be achieved in the most cost-effective manner that modern technology offers."- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Mr. Hague emphasized diplomatic efforts should be made to reduce the threat from rogue states and bring them "within the family of nations". But he argued the world is entering a "second nuclear age," with additional states possessing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them.
Mr. Hague argued Britain should cooperate to the best of its ability as America develops global defenses. He said: "We should act as leaders in Europe, as we did in the 1980s with cruise missiles, persuading others of the need to support the US effort." Mr. Hague's decision to back the plan unequivocally intensified Mr. Blair's dilemma—as he plans for a meeting with President Bush in February.
Prime Minister Blair knows that a refusal to allow America to use Fylingdales would provoke an early rift with President Bush. It would also add to growing suspicions in Washington that he is keener to forge defense links with the European Union than to maintain the close relationship with America.
Needed is a meeting of the minds on building defenses for NATO—on both sides of the Atlantic—and a revival of the vision of British leadership like that which graced the Reagan-Bush years.
"There are, indeed, very strong reasons for building a global rather than merely a national missile defense system. Technically, it is safer for us, and more dangerous for our enemy, if their missiles can be destroyed in the boost-phase, before they are able to send out decoys. Politically, it will solidify the NATO alliance if all its members can be brought within this defense system. Strategically, global ballistic missile defense will reinforce America's position as the only truly global superpower, on which the security of all nations from missile attack rests.
"To achieve these goals will be expensive. America's allies should meet a share of the cost. And delay must be avoided.
"It is not for me to prescribe the precise technical solutions. But we should certainly avoid heavy investment in an unsatisfactory system determined by the constraints of an unsatisfactory treaty. The Antiballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), which rules out sea- and space-based systems, is a Cold War relic. It is therefore rather surprising that today's liberals show such misplaced affection for it. In fact, the best lawyers tell us that the treaty has lapsed, because the other party to it, the Soviet Union, has ceased to exist. Moreover, whatever rationale it once had has certainly ended, now that an increasing number of unpredictable powers can threaten us with weapons of mass destruction. The ABM treaty is not, as the present U.S. administration believes, the "cornerstone of strategic stability." It is a worthless document that deserves to be consigned to one of history's many shredders." - Lady Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Writing in the July 24, 2000, The Washington Times, based on a speech given at the Hoover Institution.
Proposed Bush Missile Defense Agenda
President Clinton's missile defense agenda took us a long way from the program he inherited on January 20, 1993—largely in the wrong direction. President George W. Bush has the opportunity to correct these past mistakes and set America on a path to building effective defenses that could begin operations as early as in 2004—provided there is an immediate redirection of policy and programs, supplemented with necessary funding. High Frontier urges the new powers that be to act quickly to revive the vision that guided the Reagan and earlier Bush administrations toward building a global defense system, now needed with growing urgency as missile technology proliferates among those who wish us ill. Key initiatives in policy and programs would put the U.S. on a sound track toward building needed defenses.
Policy. Policy should be based on acknowledging several realities:1. America and her allies and friends face a serious and growing ballistic missile threat. In July 1998, the Rumsfeld Commission observed that any of several rogue states could threaten the United States with missile attack within five years after deciding to do so, and we will not know when they so decide—or have so decided. (North Korea demonstrated the reality of the threat with its August 1998 Taepo Dong launch over Japan, almost to U.S. territory.)Programmatics. Numerous studies, including within the Clinton Administration, have shown that sea-based defenses, free of the constraints of the ABM Treaty, can provide effective defenses of the U.S. homeland as well as our overseas troops, friends and allies.
2. Such threats must be confronted with effective ballistic missile defenses—and no effective defense can be built under the terms of the ABM Treaty.
3. Because of the time required to build effective defenses, we already run a serious risk that we will confront the "Rumsfeld" threat (possibly by 2003) before we can begin operations of any defense.
4. So, the clock has run out on negotiating to change the ABM Treaty—it must go now if we are even to develop and test effective defenses, let alone to deploy them.
5. This fact must be given top priority in formulating our diplomatic efforts to foster cooperation with the Russians, allies and friends.
Such sea-based defenses, free of the constraints of the ABM Treaty and fully funded, could begin operations as early as in 2004—there is no other serious option to defend America this soon. The Bush Administration should provide this program the necessary funding and programmatic directions, while deciding how best to redirect other existing programs and initiate others to build the most effective defenses possible as quickly as possible.
Space-based systems offer the best long-term potential for defending America and our overseas troops, friends and allies. However, these important programs were canceled or sharply curtailed during the past eight years and serious space-based sensor, interceptor, and laser acquisition programs need to be re-energized.
Recommended First Steps.1. President Bush should announce that in six months, all unilateral restraints on U.S. programs, consistent with the ABM Treaty, will cease.
2. Defense Secretary Defense Rumsfeld should:A. Establish a special Navy program office, patterned after the Polaris program forty years ago, with stream-lined acquisition authority, directions and funds to build a global sea-based defense as soon as possible. In particular, this new office should be charged with accelerating the Navy Theater Wide program to proceed as rapidly as technologically possible with a target initial operational capability of 2004—plans should be initiated immediately to include exploiting external sensors and an appropriate command and control system to make this system capable of defending America. And plans for block upgrades to enhance the initial capability should be formulated and executed as soon as possible.3. Secretary of State Powell should prepare an appropriate diplomatic agenda to discuss with the Russians and other friends and allies how they might join in a cooperative global defense aimed at protecting the world community against the growing threat of ballistic missile attack. This discussion should take into account how defenses can reduce the proliferation threat.
B. Conduct a thorough three-month study of all technological options on how best to defend America—free of ABM Treaty or other political constraints. Identify points where these programs go beyond previously observed ABM Treaty-related constraints. Give priority to evaluating effective space-based sensor, interceptor, and laser defense systems.
C. Prepare a supplemental budget request to Congress to initiate and/or accelerate appropriate programs as necessary to build the most effective defense possible as soon as possible.
At the same time that Donald Rumsfeld's confirmation hearing was taking place in the Armed Services Committee yesterday, the latest evidence of why he is precisely the Defense Secretary the nation needs at this point in history was being delivered elsewhere in the building.
The Rumsfeld Commission report on space, which was unveiled yesterday, is up there in importance with the report of the first Rumsfeld Commission, which warned in 1998 of the danger of ballistic missile attack. As if on cue, a month later North Korea provided real-life confirmation of the threat by testing a missile over the Sea of Japan. Rumsfeld I put the lie to the Clinton Administration's blithe assertion that there is nothing to worry about.
This time the issue at hand is the not-unrelated subject of space power, what's at stake and what it will take to ensure that the U.S. remains preeminent. Though the Defense Secretary-designate resigned from the commission the day he was nominated, the report is laced with Rumsfeld wisdom. For one thing, like Rumsfeld I, Rumsfeld II is both bipartisan and unanimous, which means its recommendations ought to be relatively easy to implement. For another, the organization and streamlining that the commission recommends reflect Mr. Rumsfeld's experience as a CEO with his eye fixed firmly on the bottom line.
In this case, the bottom line is maintaining U.S. superiority in space. The commission's main message is that the U.S. has been muddling along, taking its pre-eminence for granted and leaving itself vulnerable to "a space Pearl Harbor" while other nations have been developing space programs apace. Space is a "vital national interest," says retired Admiral David Jeremiah, who served on the panel. "We need higher expectations and more emphasis on doing than on word-smithing."
Among the commission's recommendations are such no-brainers as satellite defenses, a fast-track program to develop a space-launch capability that can compete with the French and the Chinese, and better incentives for American students to study technology and engineering. But the heart of the report is its recommendations for restructuring the myriad Defense Department, military and intelligence bodies responsible for space programs with the aim of forcing them to work together more closely. The idea is to arrange things "so we get better policy judgments," says Admiral Jeremiah.
Toward that end, the commission also recommends the establishment of a Presidential Space Advisory Board, similar to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. It would be made up of experts from industry, government and science and would advise the President on what's technologically feasible. And while the commission stops short of calling for the creation of a separate space force – favored by Senator Bob Smith, sponsor of the legislation setting up the commission – it makes it clear that that's probably not too far off. Most of the commission's recommendations for reorganization can be implemented in a matter of weeks if the President chooses, as Mr. Rumsfeld's new boss almost certainly will.
The commission wasn't afraid to tackle the trickier stuff, and it speaks plainly about weapons in space and arms control: Weapons in space are inevitable, it says, and the U.S. ought to review existing arms control obligations that get in the way of deploying a space-based deterrent. This matter-of-fact approach is sure to inflame those who think the Saddams of the world will stay out of space if the United Nations gets a few countries to sign a piece of paper telling them to. Land, sea and air are battlegrounds and "reality indicates that space will be no different," says the report. Adds the Admiral: "We'll have to be organized to do some kind of warfare in space." We're not organized now.
Anyone who doubts that space is where this century's wars will take place would do well to take a look at the Chinese space program. The Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported last week on China's ground test of a scary satellite weapon called a "parasite satellite." This is a micro-satellite that could attach itself to just about any type of satellite with the object of jamming or destroying it if it received a command to do so. As Sing Tao put it, "to ensure winning in a future high-tech war, China's military has been quietly working hard to develop asymmetrical combat capability so that it will become capable of completely paralyzing the enemy's fighting system when necessary by 'attacking selected vital points' in the enemy's key areas." China's not the only country working on micro-satellites; consider what could happen if Osama bin Laden got his hands on one and decided to use it as a weapon on U.S. satellites.
In his confirmation hearing yesterday, Mr. Rumsfeld got a chance to talk about space as well as to reiterate his commitment to a national missile defense. The two are of course closely tied; an effective NMD system is impossible without the effective use of space and both are impossible so long as the U.S. remains a party to the ABM Treaty. In our view, the best first step toward attaining both goals would be for President-elect Bush to use his Inaugural Address to announce the U.S. withdrawal from that outdated treaty.
There's one more important recommendation from the Rumsfeld Commission that deserves mentioning. Even more important than better management of space, the panel says, "the critical need is national leadership to elevate space on the national security agenda." That's excellent advice. We trust the Defense Secretary-designate will listen to it.
January 12, 2001 Wall Street Journal Editorial, reprinted with permission. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Happy Gulf War Anniversary! Saddam Has Two Atomic Bombs?
As the new Bush Administration gets organized and Americans recall the Gulf war of a decade ago, the January 28 London Sunday Telegraph reported that Saddam Hussein may have two fully operational nuclear bombs and is secretly working to construct others in Hemrin in north-eastern Iraq, near the Iranian border.
An Iraqi defector, a military engineer who fled Iraq a year after United Nations arms inspectors left the country and is currently in hiding in Europe, says he helped oversee completion of the weapons program. International nuclear officials are investigating his evidence, which contradicts recent reports that Iraqi plans were still at a preparatory stage.
Iraqi efforts to build atomic weapons were delayed by UN Special Commission (Unscom) inspectors who were forced to leave in November 1998, but scientists resumed work immediately after their departure.
Last week, the defector said: "There are at least two nuclear bombs which are ready for use. Before the UN inspectors came, there were 47 factories involved in the project. Now there are 64."
In President Bush’s inaugural address, he promised to confront weapons of mass destruction. Under Anglo-US policy, any attempt by Saddam to build nuclear or biological weapons could lead to military action.
Secretary of State Colin Powell (JCS Chairman during the Gulf War) said of Saddam last week: "His only tool, the only thing he can scare us with are those weapons of mass destruction, and we have to hold him to account."
Bush White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said: "The President expects Saddam Hussein to live up to the agreements he's made with the UN, especially regarding the elimination of weapons of mass destruction."
The new world disorder is dangerous. America needs defenses as soon as possible! Stay tuned.
Defense in the Balance!!!
by Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Two weeks after the election—and still undecided! As I write, Florida’s liberal Supreme Court has just overturned the Legislature’s deadline for recounts and imposed its own. As lawyers and the courts now compete with the Legislature to determine how votes are counted (and change the rules midstream)—and the Florida legislature considers whether to re-impose its will in a process properly under its legal domain by Florida’s Constitution, our nation’s future hangs in the balance. The outcome is critical for those of us who favor building defenses to end America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile. I hoped to know who would be our next President before going to the printer, so I could map the consequences for you—but that was not to be. As you read, I hope you know the outcome—and can interpret the following.
It is clear that missile defense advocates on Capitol Hill will be working with less support in both the House and the Senate. The Senate may be 50-50 depending on the outcome of the Washington vote if Bush wins—or 51-49 if Gore wins.
Clearly, sound defense programs will stall if the White House is unwilling to carry out Congress’ agenda—as illustrated by President Clinton’s repeated veto of important Bills that mandated defending the Nation. Last September, he even refused to execute the law after signing an overwhelmingly bi-partisan Bill mandating that it is national policy to build an effective National Missile Defense as soon as technologically possible.
The role of the President in leading the nation’s effort to provide for the common defense is dominate. Congress provides the funds, but the President must lead.
In the Missile Defense Act of 1991, the Bush Administration was able to get a generally uncooperative Congress to agree to build a robust national missile defense before the end of the 1990s—and the Clinton-Gore Administration cancelled those programs immediately when they took office. Then Senator Al Gore led the opposition in the Senate to the 1991 Missile Defense Act—and he had his say from the White House to overturn that law in 1993. When our friends on Capitol Hill were finally successful in gaining a veto-proof, bipartisan majority to pass the 1999 Missile Defense Act, it was much weaker than its 1991 predecessor—and, as noted above, President Clinton refused in September to go ahead with the first site of even that more limited defense, kicking the can to the next President.
What will the next President do?
A President Gore will continue his well-known policies—favoring arms control agreements over active measures to protect America’s interests. His view is that "arms control and strategic modernization programs have to be built upon planned and negotiated agreements." He couldn’t say it more plainly—Russia will have a veto over U.S. defenses in a Gore Administration. No wonder Russian President Putin prefers a President Gore.
The Vice President is a devotee of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) —that mutual suicide pact we had with the former Soviet Union, which Ronald Reagan tried to change when he initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. Senator and then Vice President Gore opposed this objective—and we can expect more of the same from him as President. We can expect more secret deals such as he negotiated in 1995 with then Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, or secret deals like Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reported Clinton-Gore negotiators are seeking with Russia on early warning measures—this to establish an arms control legacy for President Clinton. And we can expect him to continue to withhold from the U.S. Senate 1997 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty amendments that, under the Constitution, should have been sent there—and rejected—long ago as part of our ratification process. We can expect more rule by Executive Order, rather than the rules of our Republic.
Candidate George W. Bush said that his Administration’s first order of priority would be the national security of our nation—and that "at the earliest possible date, my administration will deploy antiballistic missile systems, both theater and national, to guard against attack and blackmail. We will offer Russia amendments to the Anti-Ballistic Missile [ABM] Treaty—an artifact of the Cold War confrontation. Both sides know that we live in a different world than in 1972 when the Treaty was signed. If Russia refuses the changes we propose, we will give prompt notice, under the provisions of the Treaty, that we can no longer be party to it. I will have a solemn obligation to protect the American people and our allies, not to protect arms control agreements signed almost 30 years ago. Given today’s realities, we can no longer drag our feet on building and deploying a missile defense system; nor can we allow Cold War arms control agreements to restrict America’s ability to defend itself and its allies."
Very different views, indeed! Not that the fight to defend America will be over with Bush as President. The arms control elite will fight against effective defenses every step of the way. But if Bush wins, those of us who are advocates for effective defenses will have a much better chance to make our case and prevail in the coming politically charged fight.
In either case, we should anticipate that Congress will continue its strong bipartisan support for building the Navy’s sea-based defenses—at least to defend out overseas troops, friends and allies. But enabling those sea-based defenses also to defend America will remain contentious because that would violate the ABM Treaty, which mandates that America remain vulnerable. Bush has indicated his intention to take on the Treaty head-on to build effective defenses—Gore has indicated he would continue to give Russia, China and others a veto over our ability to defend ourselves, and that means he will continue to resist Congressional mandates to consider sea-based defenses for America as well as our troops, allies and friends.
For example, the Clinton-Gore Administration has stalled for months a report on how such sea-based defenses could be used to protect Americans at home as a National Missile Defense. The report was due to Capitol Hill last March, was promised by Summer in writing by the Undersecretary of Defense Jacques Gansler, and still has not been delivered. Why? Because it must conclude that sea-based defenses have obvious advantages of low cost and high effectiveness. And as readers of The Shield know, sea-based defenses can be built sooner than the ground-based defenses preferred by the Clinton-Gore Administration.
Even more contentious will be efforts to build a space-based defense, which is the most effective defense we can build if we could move beyond the political constraints that bind us. Today’s technology permits such defenses to be built within five years—but the ABM Treaty and other political issues stand in the way. (See Jim Hackett’s excellent article on the following page.) Again, we will have a chance of reinstating development programs I left when I resigned as SDI Director in 1993 if Bush is elected, but will find major difficulties under a Gore White House.
Clearly,the most important issue is whether the next Administration will take on the ABM Treaty—no effective defense can be built under its terms. With the Gore approach, the only serious option to defending America will be a ground-based National Missile Defense.
A ground-based system could have a role in defending the country, of course. But, as I have written numerous times over the past several years, it will cost more and take longer to build than sea- or space-based defenses—and be much less effective when built. My early predictions about the costs for such ground-based systems have proven true as they have escalated by a factor of ten over the past three years.
In fact, the "sticker shock" now presents a formidable obstacle, given the overall shortfall in funds for the Pentagon. I fear that unless more cost effective means are not soon presented to Congress, even continuing that limited capability will stall for lack of funds. I believe that would fit just fine with a Gore Administration’s predilections because he doesn’t want effective defenses anyway, and the current program was designed to self-destruct.
So, if you care about building effective defenses against ballistic missiles anytime soon, know that the stakes are exceedingly high as we watch the shenanigans in Tallahassee—and subsequent political fallout. Stay tuned.
Vitter Wants to Replace MAD Doctrine
Rep. David Vitter (R-LA) has introduced legislation (H.R.5536) to formally replace the Cold War doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) with a new defense doctrine to guide U.S. policy and programs to build effective ballistic missile defenses. He calls his proposed missile defense doctrine "Security Against Nuclear Enemies," or SANE—a fit acronym to replace the Cold War’s MAD lable for America’s mutual suicide pact with the former Soviet Union.
The bill, directs the Administration "to design and deploy a land-based and sea-based National Ballistic Defense system capable of defending against ballistic missile attack as soon as technologically possible." It is co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Dick Army (TX), House Majority Whip Tom Delay (TX), House Policy Committee Chairman Chris Cox (CA), and Reps. Bob Stump (AZ), Tillie Fowler (FL), Robin Hayes (NC), and Mac Thornberry (TX). Although he expects no action this year, Mr. Vitter introduced the legislation "to accelerate the debate on the necessity of a new missile defense doctrine to replace MAD" and he plans to re- introduce it early next year.
Congressional leaders understand the MAD Doctrine makes no sense in the post Cold War world—effective defenses are needed to protect Americans at home and their overseas troops, friends and allies against blackmail and attack. Furthermore, the ABM Treaty, which is based on the MAD doctrine, blocks even the development and testing of the most effective systems to provide such protection—sea-, air-, space- and mobile land-based ABM systems.
High Frontier applauds Congressman Vitter’s frontal attack on MAD, looks forward to the debate it will undoubtedly provoke, an end to the ABM Treaty, and the advent of effective missile defenses.
Russia Trying To Ban Space Weapons
By James Hackett
In his Sept. 6 address to the U.N. Millennium Summit in New York, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the United Nations to sponsor an international conference on "preventing the militarization of space." Then on Sept. 18, in an address to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the representative of China attacked the United States for planning to discard the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty and deploy a national missile defense, which he said would start an arms race in space.
It is no coincidence that both Russia and China are opposing weapons in space. The United States lead in advanced space technologies is great and growing, and Moscow and Beijing are trying to level the playing field through arms control.
But this is nothing new. Soviet rulers Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko all conducted campaigns to ban weapons in space. As early as 1981, the Soviets tabled a draft treaty in the U.N. to ban weapons of any kind in outer space.
In 1983, the Union of Concerned Scientists proposed a treaty banning attacks on "space objects." Later that year, Moscow took the cue and submitted a similar draft treaty in the United Nations. The Soviets then had an operational anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon and the U.S. did not. The Kremlin wanted a treaty to preserve the status quo in space.
Moscow's efforts were supported by a long list of U.S. arms control groups. Working together, they convinced the Democrat-controlled Congress, including Rep. Al Gore, to pass legislation banning flight tests of the U.S. ASAT then under development. Unable to conduct realistic tests, the Air Force canceled that program in 1988. An Army ASAT effort began under President Bush, but it has been all but killed by President Clinton in reaction to a 1997 letter of protest from Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
The possibility that the United States might withdraw from the ABM Treaty and deploy missile defenses has revived the arguments against weapons in space. The ABM Treaty bans missile defense weapons or components in space. This is important to Russia and China in that it prohibits the U.S. from using satellites to defend against their missiles. But because almost any weapon in space would have some ABM capability, it also prevents this country from developing, testing or deploying virtually any kind of space weapon.
Moscow, which no longer can afford to compete with the U.S. and Beijing, which fears this country will block its plans to seize Taiwan, are working hard to line up support in the United Nations against what Beijing calls U.S. plans to dominate the world. Since only a few countries have the technology or funds needed to build space weapons, it is an easy vote for the have-not majority in the U.N. to oppose the U.S. on this issue.
The Clinton administration aggravated the problem in 1997 when it signed documents with Moscow clarifying that the ABM treaty's ban on space weapons includes lasers and other new technologies, and adding a ban on space weapons capable of intercepting theater ballistic missiles. The administration has not submitted the 1997 ABM treaty agreements to the Republican-controlled Senate, which strongly supports development of a space-based laser, because they would be rejected.
Space control opponents want to ban more than weapons. The Chinese representative in Geneva replied to a U.S. statement that a land-based national missile defense does not include space weapons by complaining that it does include space weapon systems. This subtle distinction apparently refers to satellite-based sensors for missile warning and tracking, which will be a very important part of any missile defense.
This campaign to ban space weapons is nothing less than an attempt to severely restrict the weapons the U.S. can develop and deploy to defend this country in the 21st century. Russia and China are trying to constrain U.S. power through arms control, with the support of U.N. members that resent the dominant U.S. position in the world and have nothing to lose, and groups in this country that believe the best defense is no defense.
Today, information transmitted instantaneously by satellite is driving the global economy. As the world's leading space nation, the U.S. needs the ability to protect its interests in space, just as Britain's worldwide interests needed the Royal Navy for protection in an era of seaborne commerce.
Mr. Clinton has been pandering to Moscow and Beijing, and his party's left wing, on this national security issue. The next president should reject any attempt, in the United Nations or elsewhere, to ban space weapons.
Reprinted with permission from The Washington Times, 2 October 2000.
"I believe it is obvious to all—short of deciding we’re going to weaponize space—that we understand we must be committed to space control, that we must be able to prevent [adversaries’] use of space and protect our use of space. And if that protection goes to negation, then we need to be prepared to do that." -General Ralph E. Eberhart, Commander in Chief, US Space Command
As the Clinton-Gore Administration ends and a new administration begins, the World’s press recounts the attributes of increasing danger as ballistic missiles and their weapons of mass destruction become ever more menacing. At the same time, the important role that sea-based defenses can play as the earliest response to this growing threat is also becoming more apparent to America’s allies—and hopefully to the Bush administration. Meanwhile, Russia and China continue their opposition to America’s defending itself, while contributing to the growing ballistic missile threat.
There is no time to waste—we needed effective defenses yesterday! Stay tuned!!!
FOUR CHOICES FACE THE NEW PRESIDENT, Wall Street Journal, [Opinion, Gerald Seib], November 8, 2000. Many Americans went to bed Tuesday night not knowing who they had chosen to be President of the United States . . . and the Leader of the Free World. Yet for the new president . . . problems that have been put off in this election year . . .can't be avoided now. Four issues in particular will have to be dealt with soon by America's new leader. . . . Saddam Hussein: America's most implacable foe is Iraq, and American policy toward Iraq is falling apart. International economic sanctions remain in place but are being flouted on a regular basis. . . . Arab countries that once supported sanctions now range between ambivalent and hostile toward them. . . . The new president faces a choice: accept Saddam Hussein's existence and come up with a more sustainable plan to contain him, or get serious about overthrowing him. . . . Cuba: Fidel Castro is 74 years old, and would be 82 by the end of a new president's second term. . . . That means finally resolving a fundamental question: Would the U.S. be better off preparing to have some influence over that transition by economically engaging Cuba now? . . . Israelis and Palestinians: It is obvious to all that something needs to be done on this front. Less obvious is the fundamental nature of the choice that faces the new president. No longer is the question . . . simply one of how to get the "peace process" back on track. Last summer's Camp David peace summit, which seemed to move so close to a comprehensive agreement only to explode so spectacularly into violence, has called into question the very premise of a generation's worth of diplomacy. The new question to be answered is whether a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is even possible. It may be that an entirely new approach is needed. . . . Missile Defense: The biggest national-security decision of the election year figured to be President Clinton's September choice on whether to proceed with deployment of a national missile-defense system. But, with test failures staring him in the face, he punted the decision into next year, and straight into the lap of his successor. [Hanging] in the balance are the $60 billion or so that would be spent on even a modest plan; relations with Russia, China and Western Europe, all of which are antsy about an America-only missile-defense system; and the structure of the American military for the next generation or so. For the new president, this one falls into the "major decision" file.
NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE, The American Spectator [Opinion, Josh London], October, 2000. It seems the anti-anti-missile defense crowed has become as permanent a part of our political landscape as the anti-anti-Communists - and just as impervious to facts. . . . Though only an expanded R&D program, SDI stimulated a huge and, at times, dramatic debate about the performance of hypothetical defense weapons. Though nothing was ever deployed, SDI proved something new: Even the looming prospect of new technologies can prevent aggression. In 1993, [President] Reagan’s national security adviser, Robert McFarlane, wrote that Vladimir Lukin—former chairman of the Supreme Soviet Foreign Relations Committee and Russian ambassador to the U.S.—told him that SDI had accelerated the end of the Cold war by five years. . . Yet . . . defense technology advanced. . . . Every hurdle to ballistic missile defense has been overcome with the result that no one can credibly cite technological limitations to the system. But that hasn’t stopped the enemies of missile defense from launching more objections than a Soviet first strike. Somehow, one of them always gets through. . . . As Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of the BMDO, recently announced, "There is no technical reason at this point, validated by independent review teams, indicating that we could not develop an effective [NMD] system." Despite six successful hit-to-kill interceptor tests in 1999 alone, President Clinton decided - on the heels of a technologically insignificant test failure to defer a decision on missile defense deployment. . . . The failure of the test was insignificant because the "kill vehicle" . . . failed to separate from the booster. . . . Separating one stage of a rocket from another was perfected long ago. . . . The real threat to American security, it is now clear, is the anti-anti-missile defense crowd, more interested in techless ideology and partisan squabbles than in facing the facts.
VIEW FROM THE US: MISSILE SYSTEM NEEDED, SOONER THAN LATER, Windsor (Canada) Star, [Opinion, Deroy Murdock], October 24, 2000. . . . Washington's adversaries apparently have been encouraged rather than restrained by President Clinton's Sept. 2 decision to allow the next administration to decide whether or not to approve BMD. On Sept. 21, Iran tested a new version of its Shahab-3 missile. Copied from North Korea's medium-range No Dong missile, the Shahab's purported solid-fuel capacity suggests increased sophistication in Tehran's rockets. . . . The Sept. 24 London Daily Telegraph reported that Libya received the first of 50 No Dongs. . . . Russia recently tested both mobile and silo-based versions of its Topol-M ICBM. The Topol—with a 6,200-mile range—could reach your kitchen table. While Muammar Khadafy and Kim Jong-il currently lack such power, future research could leave America increasingly vulnerable to their designs. Even if they never fired such weapons, merely possessing them would help them practice what CIA Director George Tenet calls "coercive diplomacy.". . . And despite cordial relations with Beijing, the U.S. would be impotent against a demented Chinese general who unilaterally decided to win one for Mao. . . . [America] should speed the deployment of an Aegis sea-based BMD system. Housed on U.S. Navy vessels . . . Aegis missiles could be enhanced to destroy enemy rockets soon after liftoff. Rather than chase small, swift warheads through space, Aegis interceptors would pursue large, lumbering missiles and their white-hot exhaust plumes and destroy them as they climbed skyward. . . . The Heritage Foundation estimates that an Aegis system could be BMD-capable in three years for $8 billion. . . .
CHINA PREPARES FOR WAR WITH US OVER TAIWAN, Washington Times [Bill Gertz, page 1], November 15, 2000. . . . A nuclear war with China over its dispute with Taiwan is a real danger. And even though the Clinton administration went to great lengths to ignore it, that danger is growing. . . . China's 24 silo-based missiles are old by American standards. But they can hit targets more than 8,000 miles away and are the backbone of China's strategic nuclear force. The missiles are based on the design of America's first generation of missiles, which China obtained from a defecting U.S. missile engineer. Each of the CSS-4s carries a huge, 5-megaton warhead with the equivalent of 5 million tons of TNT — enough to blow up an entire city. . . . Air Force Col. Allen Baker, NORAD's director of operations, explained that confirmation of Chinese missile launches would be followed by a call to the White House. "At this point, I'd be telling the president how many minutes until Washington, D.C., is gone," Col. Baker said. . . . Asked whether the U.S. military had the means to shoot down the incoming missiles, Col. Baker said, "Absolutely nothing." A national missile defense system to counter a limited attack such as this simulated Chinese strike —or an attack by a single North Korean missile — is being developed but may not be deployed for several years, Col. Baker said. . . . NORAD's 1999 missile exercise . . . showed that the U.S. military could not afford to give up its strategic nuclear deterrent, despite efforts by the Clinton administration to pretend it no longer is needed. . . . On June 27, 1998, Chinese President Jiang Zemin . . . announced: "President Clinton and I have decided that China and the United States will not target the strategic nuclear weapons under their respective control at each other." . . . As with so many other statements by the Chinese Communist leader, President Jiang lied. . . . On Dec. 2, 1998, the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that that the Chinese People's Liberation Army conducted exercises that included simulated nuclear missile attacks on Taiwan and U.S. military forces in the region.
REPORT CLAIMS LIBYA DEPLOYED ‘NO DONG’ MISSILES TARGETING NATO’S EUROPEAN BASES, London Al-Sharq al-Awsat [FBIS], September 30, 2000. According to Israeli intelligence sources, NATO’s bases in Spain and other south European countries have become within the range of No Dong ballistic missiles that North Korea has recently delivered to Libya. These missiles and their launch pads arrived in the Libyan capital in August, were deployed along the Mediterranean Sea coast, and pointed at NATO’s bases in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Israel too is within these missiles’ range. Efrayim Halevi, Director General of Israel’s Mosad, sent a warning this week to NATO’s intelligence officials in which he said that these Libyan missiles are posing "a major threat to the region." . . . The Mosad agents claimed that the deal was originally concluded with an arms merchant living in Marbella, Spain. Libya paid through him 350 million Sterling pounds for these missiles. This amount was transferred through banks in Madrid and Basle in Switzerland before his arrival in Switzerland in July. In August, the Israeli air force followed a Libyan transport plane at the last stage of a long trip from North Korea to Tripoli. The transport plane was carrying 36 No Dong missiles and 11 North Korean experts in launching missiles. According to the deal, they are supposed to remain in Libya until next year. . . . Israeli intelligence sources said the Mosad team in Marbella, Spain, has confirmed that the arms merchant living there is about to negotiate another shipment of No Dong missiles from North Korea. . . . Libya has apparently turned to North Korea for its weapons after the failure of its program to develop missiles with the help of scientists from the former East Germany. The Mosad believes that Libya has given priority to its missiles program. The No Dong missile has a range of 1,800 km and is also equipped with powerful thrust engines that enable it to reach even northern Europe.
DENIAL ON US PLAN INDICATES POLICY SPLIT, Washington Times [Reuters], November 15, 2000. Russian arms-control officials denied yesterday that Moscow had softened opposition to a proposed U.S. national missile shield and urged the future president to agree to big cuts in nuclear arsenals. Their comments appeared to signal a split between the Foreign Ministry and Russia's nuclear missile chief, who suggested Monday that Moscow was shifting away from a blanket rejection of U.S. anti-missile plans. Gen. Vladimir Yakovlev proposed setting up a strategic weapons scale under which any increase in missile defense would be mirrored by a cut in other areas, including offensive capability. His comments were interpreted as a trial balloon. They came just hours before President Vladimir Putin repeated an offer to reduce to 1,500 a ceiling on deployed nuclear warheads, as a platform for even more radical cuts. . . . In Moscow, a senior Foreign Ministry official covering North America denied Moscow was backtracking . . . "There is no softening of the Russian position on ABM Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty," Yuri Kapralov told reporters.
RUSSIAN VIOLATIONS, Washington Times [Inside The Ring], November 17, 2000. U.S. intelligence agencies uncovered new evidence of arms-control-treaty cheating by Russia. Spy services recently learned about new warhead capabilities of Russia's road-mobile ICBM . . . the SS-27. A classified report sent to senior policy-makers revealed the SS-27, Moscow's top-of-the-line missile and also known as the Topol-M, can be quickly outfitted with multiple warheads. The warhead "uploading" capability violates the START II arms treaty, which bans multiple warheads on land-based ICBMs. The treaty also specifically bans adding multiple warheads to single-warhead land-based missiles. Disclosure of the Russian treaty violation comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin is proposing still deeper cuts in U.S. and Russian strategic arsenals. . . . One official said . . . the best deal for the United States is no arms talks at all. . . . Russia's arsenal is rapidly wearing out by itself and will end up rusting to pieces in silos and on launchers without an agreement. It's a sort of natural disarmament. . . . Moscow has tried to backtrack on the single-warhead treaty requirement by suggesting it would add warheads to its mobile missiles to counter U.S. deployment of a national missile defense.
AT-SEA TESTING SHORTENS PATH TO DEVELOPMENT PHASE, Defense News, October 30, 2000. The U.S. Navy will be able to move quickly from the testing phase to production phase of its missile defense programs because of the unique demands of at-sea testing aboard ships. . . . Navy officials long have said the service could field a theater ballistic missile defense quickly, once the technology was tested. But why this fielding may occur so fast, compared with other theater missile defense programs under development, has never been fully explained. The key to early deployment of Navy missile defense programs lies in the fact that at-sea testing forces a much more rigorous up-front engineering and development phase than would be the case for land-based missiles. Such rigor is necessary to prevent accidents and damage to the ship and personnel. "We have been trying to do as much engineering up-front, so we have as little to do as possible in going from testing to production," Rear Adm. Rodney Rempt, director of surface warfare, said. . . . Thus, when the Navy’s testing is completed, the missile likely will shift from testing to production with minor modifications, service officials said. The Navy has earmarked two cruisers to serve as the test bed for missile defense capabilities . . . the USS Port Royal and the USS Lake Erie, and the limited missile defense capability they will possess during testing [is] referred to as Linebacker by the Navy. The Navy’s requirement for a tactically useful missile during the test phase means the weapons will be closer to a production missile than a developmental one. This will reduce the time it takes to field the capability, service and defense industry officials said. . . . Under current schedules, the service’s Navy Area program is expected to undertake its first intercept tests next year with the first ship to be equipped in 2003. . . . The unused test missiles from both the Navy Area and NTW testing program will be left on the two ships . . .
USA WOOS NAVAL TBMD PARTNERS, Jane’s Defence Weekly, November 1, 2000. The US Navy is stepping up efforts to attract international partners to establish a co-operative programme for the development, production and support of a future Maritime Theater Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) capability. The initiative follows Japan's decision last year to join with the USA on the co-operative development of the Standard Missile SM-3 Block II missile associated with the planned Navy Theater Wide (NTW) Block II TBMD system. Speaking at last week's Euronaval 2000 exhibition in Paris, Capt. Jim Wylie from the office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Missile Defense called on European and other allied nations to join with the US Navy in a co-operative maritime TBMD development. . . . "Co-operative development . . . eliminates duplication of work, allows cost sharing of common requirements, and enables the best use of national capabilities." . . . Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Canada have already begun defining requirements for a TBMD capability, and have established a Maritime TBMD Forum with the USA, which is now convening on a quarterly basis. . . . [T]he Royal Netherlands Navy and the German Navy have undertaken a three-year study to explore adding a Maritime TBMD capability to the anti-air warfare system (AAWS) . . . . In addition, Capt. Wylie identified Spain and Norway as potential partners, noting that both have purchased Aegis combat systems and associated AN/SPY-1 radar technology that could form the basis of a TBMD capability. Australia has also expressed interest in a possible co-operative development programme, and the use of Australian range facilities for live-fire testing. The UK has also been courted [but] remains outside the Maritime TBMD Forum. . . .
"Front and Center"
High Frontier’s President, Maj. Gen Milnor Roberts, hosts a weekly, hour-long radio program, "Front
and Center," covering a broad range of issues of interest to the defense-minded listener. The stations currently
carrying the program are listed below. While hosting guests on a wide area of subjects, General Roberts always
puts in a good word for ending America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile. Recent guests to these
hour long shows, usually broadcast late on Sunday afternoons, have included:
09/11/00 Maj. Gen. Donald Dawon, USAF (Ret.), Special Assistant to Pres. Harry Truman.
09/25/00 Mark Olanott, Exec, the Retired Enlisted Assn.
10/02/00 Rear Adm Thomas Hall, Ex-Director, Navy Reserve Assn.
10/18/00 Reed Irvine, President, Accuracy in Media
11/06/00 Kenneth and Beverly McClure, Vice Presidents, USAA
11/13/00 J.Thomas Burch, Chairman, National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition.
In the Washington, DC area, the program is carried by WRC 570 AM. It is also on Live Audio at
www.RadioAmerica.org under "Listen Now."
SENATE RENEWS NATIONAL SECURITY WORKING GROUP
The Senate's bipartisan National Security Working Group has gotten a new lease on life . . . to keep the two-year-old group going for another two years. Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-SD) said the group is intended to be the Senate's "non-partisan eyes and ears on defense and national security issues." The group, consisting of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, receives briefings and conducts overseas trips to observe and monitor executive branch negotiations with foreign governments on such topics as weapons of mass destruction, export controls and missile defenses. In 2001 and 2002, Republican members of the group will be Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Senators. Wayne Allard (R-CO), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jesse Helms (R-NC), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Fred Thompson (R-TN), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), and John Warner (R-VA). A list of Democratic members wasn't available.
Whoever is President, this is potentially a very important ad hoc Senate Committee that maintains cognizance of the various arms control negotiations. It could play a significant role in the coming debate over the utility of continuing the ABM Treaty in the face of the growing ballistic missile threat and in view of last year’s overwhelming Congressional support to build a National Missile Defense to protect Americans from those missiles
High Frontier intends to keep an eye on this important group and to press for an end to ABM Treaty constraints that prevent American engineers from using the best possible technology to build effective defenses.
It is always good, at this time of year, to sit back and reflect upon the events of the past year. A lot has happened here in Washington. Through attending and making presentations at various events (conferences and seminars – among other things), and through distributing timely educational material to relevant policy makers we have been doing our level best to make sure the absolute need for a common-sense ballistic missile defense is recognized.
We owe a special thanks to those elected officials in Washington who have supported ballistic missile defenses. Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Bob Smith (R-NH), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Dan Inouye (D-HI); and Representatives Floyd Spence (R-SC), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and Bob Schaffer (R-CO) have been stalwarts. We would like to congratulate Senator Kyl and Representatives Spence, Weldon, Hunter, and Schaffer for retaining their seats in the recent election. We are excited that our most fervent supporters are returning to Washington.
Most of all, though, we thank you. Without your kind support, none of this would be possible. We appreciate your sacrifice and commitment, and commit to do our best to make sure that ballistic missile defense is in the spotlight. We know that defending lives is better than avenging them. With your help, the misguided arms control ideas currently propping up the decrepit ABM Treaty can be corrected.
We would like to leave you with the warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. See you in 2001!
An Expensive "No-Test"—And Consequences
by Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Much has been made of the July 8 failed attempt by a test interceptor on Kwajalein in the South Pacific to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from California.
Too much was claimed to be riding on this test—one of a series of 19 (or more) development tests. Allegedly, the President was to use this test to decide whether to build the first site in Alaska—which it was alleged could be operational as early as 2005. In fact, the timing of the President’s decision has little to do with acquisition strategy. His decision—framed by the so-called 3 + 3 program (3 years to develop, then three years to deploy) invented in 1997—has more to do with political strategy intended to excise the Clinton Administration’s stewardship on missile defense from election politics. (Note that, since 1997, "3 + 3" morphed into "3 + 5"—and most probably more —as the cost estimates increased by an order of magnitude.)
Congress had it right when it passed the Missile Defense Act of 1999, calling for an effective defense to be built "as soon as technologically possible." And President Clinton signed it into law—while illogically claiming this law-of-the-land was not a deployment decision. The right thing was to accept Congress’ deployment mandate—as did the Bush Administration for the Missile Defense Act of 1991—and frame an event-driven acquisition strategy with competent engineers in proper management roles to decide when to move forward with deployment.
Now the President has a dilemma. He’d still like to diffuse debate on his missile defense record by now deciding to build an ineffective, expensive defense masquerading as a National Missile Defense (NMD). But because of the hype built up about this particular test, it’s a bit awkward to ignore the fact that the nature of failure—a rocket stage separation failure—precluded any useful data on the effectiveness of the interceptor. Even the target vehicle’s decoy balloon did not inflate.
In a MSNBC interview just after the test, I called this setback in the Administration’s NMD program "an expensive no-test." The interceptor was not even turned on—according to Pentagon reports; so, because of a failure to properly employ technology perfected over 40 years ago, this $100 million test proves nothing except that our engineering team doesn’t yet have its act together.
Because the Administration billed this test as a critical benchmark for making a "key" decision on whether to proceed with deployment plans, the expensive no-test has become an excuse for every opponent of ending America’s total vulnerability to urge delay, or even cancellation, of the NMD program.
For example, ideological opponents point to "two-out-of-three" failures to claim a completed system would have low effectiveness. But system effectiveness can’t be determined by operational testing until after the system is developed—and the July 8 test was just one early test in a development test series. Further, it is well known that effective defenses must be layered with several intercept opportunities, beginning early in the target missile’s flight.
Critics also argue NMD won’t work and costs too much; they question the threat; and they argue Russia, China and others don’t want to see Americans protected.
Won’t Work? Bear in mind that hit-to-kill technology was first demonstrated 15 years ago with a Volkswagen-size interceptor (over 10 times as large as the NMD interceptor) launched over the same Pacific test range as the recent failed attempt—and also by a smaller anti-satellite interceptor launched from an F-15 fighter plane to shoot down an operating satellite in low earth orbit. So there is no question about whether the hit-to-kill concept can work—the July 8 test was simply one of many events in an engineering development program.
Too Costly? The Washington Post recently noted General Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, had joined U.S. critics in saying deployment of a NMD system "will be a waste of U.S. taxpayers’ money." Why, pray tell then, do the Russians protest so loudly—to save us money? Give me a break!
Threat? Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed last month at the Moscow Summit that there was a missile threat and proposed that we work together with the Europeans on a boost-phase defense—which would be more effective than the Alaska-based NMD system. Such a defense could defend the entire world because it would shoot attacking missiles down near their launch points—before they release multiple warheads, decoys, or other countermeasures. This is an idea well worth considering, especially after the July 8 test.
What to Do? Current programs should be adapted to provide an early option for defending America—and our overseas troops, friends and allies—to counter the potential threat, which the Rumsfeld Commission indicated could develop by 2003, well before the Alaska-based NMD system can be built.
While evaluating what went wrong on the recent test and getting our systems engineering act together, the U.S. should take Mr. Putin up on his suggestion in serious discussions about boost-phase defenses—and initiate a program to build sea-based boost-phase defenses as soon as possible. On the way to building such a capability, we should expedite development of the Navy Theater Wide system, which, if it were fully funded, could begin operations within 3-4 years.
Meanwhile, we could proceed with plans to begin building the proposed radar in Alaska next spring and completing it by 2005—this radar could help enable the Navy Theater Wide system and give it an NMD capability well before a ground-based system can be deployed in the wake of Saturday’s test failure. And a sea-based boost-phase defense could be operational shortly thereafter—and operated in an alliance context to provide global protection against ballistic missiles.
Such a sea-based system is our only option to begin defending America against missile attack by 2003, the year by which the Rumsfeld Commission indicated a number of rogue states could threaten to attack U.S. cities with long-range missiles. The Clinton Administration’s much more expensive plan could not meet this deadline—its target date was 2005 even before the July 8 test failure, and that was "high risk."
The cost of this initial sea-based defense would be relatively small—about $500 million a year more than already budgeted for the Navy Theater Wide and related programs. It could be the leading edge of an effective layered global defense with ground-, sea-, air- and space-based components.
The Navy is ready to start, now, as indicated on page 7. But the Navy needs the right policy guidance from senior Executive Branch officials and the money from Congress to make it happen. Maybe next year?
"[The July 8 test failure] doesn’t mean that such a system is impossible to build, although the specific lessons from the failure will have to await a more thorough analysis." Vice President Al Gore
"The thing that failed in this test is something that we've done hundreds of times before . . . it's not something that technologically we don't know how to do." Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
"President Clinton, notwithstanding this disappointment on Saturday morning, ought to decide to at least keep the process moving forward. . . . That may mean nothing more than putting out the contract to turn the earth in Alaska for bids from contractors and then to let the incoming president next year decide whether we should actually begin to turn the earth." Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT)
"We need [national missile defense]. . . . We've had one successful test, and a couple of unsuccessful tests. We're simply going to have to continue until we perfect it. . . . I'm more concerned the president will cut a quick deal for an inadequate system than I am that we don't have the technological capability of perfecting the system."
Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), Chairman of Government Affairs Committee
The technological piece of this is not yet in place. The cost obviously is not in place. I don’t think we’ve brought our allies on; I don’t think we’ve handled that very well, and how we’re dealing with the Russians and the Chinese on this is important. So, therefore, it’s only responsible in my opinion to allow the next administration, working with the new Congress, to start making these decisions. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
"I think we ought to expand the research on ABM . . . it's the boost-phase system that we need to spend money and time and effort to . . . determine its feasibility." Governor George W. Bush
Missile Defense Isn't Rocket Science
By Frederick Seitz
Hardly a day goes by when we don't read about another Silicon Valley success, an extraordinary breakthrough coming from an industry that barely existed a decade ago. Contrast this with another much-discussed technology: ballistic-missile defense. Despite years of effort and billions of dollars in research, missile defense still remains more in the lab than in the field.
We seem incapable of even testing the technology without controversy; there is sure to be plenty of debate no matter how the missile-interception test scheduled today turns out. Theodore A. Postol, a nuclear engineer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently accused the Pentagon of concocting an "elaborate hoax" to make U.S. missile-defense technology appear more viable than it actually is. The Pentagon denies his charges, but Mr. Postol raises important questions about the effectiveness of the proposed system. Do we really possess the scientific know-how to defend ourselves from even a limited missile attack?
Frankly, we answered this question years ago. The science behind missile defense is solid, and we certainly do possess the capabilities to defend ourselves. The only things holding us back are outdated treaties and a lack of political will.
Missile-defense technology relies on kinetic energy interceptors, which destroy targeted ballistic missiles by ramming them. These interceptors have been tested successfully and form the core technology behind major missile-defense systems under development. The systems include the Patriot PAC-3 missile (a descendent of the missile that helped protect U.S. troops against Iraqi Scud missiles in the Gulf War), the Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense system, the Navy Theater Wide program and the land-based system favored by the White House.
These systems aren't new. The Navy program -- the Aegis defense system -- has been around for more than 20 years and already protects the U.S. fleet from aircraft and cruise missiles with technology similar to the kind that critics deride as science fiction.
When I chaired the Pentagon's science advisory committee for strategic missile defense, we seldom argued over feasibility, because we knew fielding an effective national missile defense was an engineering challenge, not a scientific one. What we had to do was analogous to shrinking the size of the computer chip, not inventing it. Those who counsel delaying missile defense, insisting that more tests are necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of the basic technology, are engaging mostly in diversionary tactics.
The real impediment to deployment of missile defense is not technology, but adherence to the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, signed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Even though the other signer of the ABM treaty no longer exists, the pact has forced our country to limit its most promising missile-defense technologies. The best example is Aegis, which the Pentagon has acknowledged could -- in short order and at relatively low cost -- be upgraded to intercept longer-range ballistic missiles. A still-classified report by the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, leaked recently to the media, acknowledges that time and funding limitations -- that is, political will -- are the only real roadblocks to success.
The "Aegis-plus" system, proposed more than five years ago, would offer several advantages. The "platforms" (Navy talk for ships) for such a system already exist. An upgraded system that includes space-based sensors and interceptors would also give the U.S. the ability to destroy threatening missiles during "boost phase," or before they can release the multiple warheads, decoys and other countermeasures that, as Mr. Postol and others point out, can fool a ground-based system. During the boost phase, a threatening missile is traveling more slowly and is emitting an exhaust plume that can be tracked easily from sea and space.
It is also clear that the ground-based defense the Clinton administration favors could be overwhelmed by submunitions -- bomblets carrying chemical or biological weapons. But a sea- and space-based system would be capable of destroying the missiles before the bomblets could be released. Such a system might use a shotgun array of space-based, low-altitude mini-interceptors, as envisioned in the "Brilliant Pebbles" program, which the Clinton administration discontinued several years ago.
So why isn't the administration considering a sea- and space-based system? Because the ABM treaty rules out the use of any external sensors -- such as low-altitude satellites -- that could help the enhanced Aegis platforms track and destroy missiles earlier in flight than a ground-based system. The treaty has also been used to deliberately slow the speed of the Navy Theater Wide interceptor, so that it protects a smaller area than it otherwise could. The interceptor therefore avoids classification as national missile defense, which the treaty forbids.
We have the technology today to start building an effective missile defense. Over time we will improve that technology, as we always do. The successful June 8 test of a U.S.-Israeli laser weapon that can shoot down battlefield rockets, such as those used by the radical Islamic group, Hezbollah, shows what is possible whendefensive weapons are developed without political constraints. The Tactical High Energy Laser tracked a Katyusha rocket and destroyed it with a chemical laser beam. A Katyusha is no ballistic missile, of course, but the test proves once again that it is possible to shoot down a projectile traveling at supersonic speed.
What the opponents of missile defense are really advocating is that we do nothing until we can do everything. Imagine telling the scientists and engineers of the Manhattan Project, in which I participated, to build nothing until they had solved all the problems of splitting the atom. How would World War II have ended?
Dr. Seitz, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, is chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute. Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal © 2000 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
". . . The United States stands naked before its enemies, unable to intercept even a single ballistic missile aimed, by accident or design, at our territory. Many Americans would be shocked to learn that this condition of abject vulnerability is the freely chosen policy of the U.S. government.
"Frozen in the Cold War like a fly in amber, the Clinton-Gore administration believes our exposure actually makes us safer. Therefore, it argues, the vulnerability that developed during the Cold War should become a permanent fixture of American policy, enshrined in a trivially modified--and thereby reinvigorated--Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
"The administration and its arms control acolytes oppose our building a technologically advanced defense against ballistic missiles. Instead, they are considering a hopelessly inadequate system in Alaska that would fail to protect much of the United States or any of our allies, a system designed more to remain within the confines of the ABM Treaty than to defend the country.
"The administration argues that a serious defense, even if limited, would precipitate an arms race because other nuclear powers, especially Russia, would seek to counter it by building additional nuclear weapons in numbers sufficient to overwhelm any defense we might deploy. This is why (according to talking points prepared for recent meetings with the Russians) the administration has sought to assure the Russians that even if we build an ineffective defense in Alaska, Russia will be able to incinerate the United States after a massive American nuclear strike. It is hard to imagine a mind-set more reflective of the Cold War than that. Yet this is the logic that animates the administration's belief that the ABM Treaty is the "cornerstone" of strategic stability.
"But far from assuring "stability," the Cold War doctrine that we must seek safety through voluntary vulnerability is dangerously ill-conceived. Consider the core of the administration argument, that the Russians would build more nuclear weapons if we were to build a ballistic missile defense.
"Since we have no defense, a nuclear force consisting of even one missile could do catastrophic harm to Los Angeles or Washington or New York. Suppose we were to deploy a defense capable of countering not one, but a few hundred incoming warheads. With such a defense, our vulnerability to such nuclear powers as Britain and France might be eliminated. Would the British or French feel compelled to build more nuclear weapons to overpower our defense? Of course not. They do not regard the United States as their enemy. They do not fear an American attack on London or Paris.
"Now that the Cold War is over, should Russia regard us as an enemy? We are more likely to send Vladimir Putin a check than a massive barrage of missiles with nuclear warheads. Would it make sense for him to respond to an American defense against North Korea or Saddam Hussein by building more missiles? And what about China? We've just sent them an invitation into the world trading system. Should they fear an American missile attack? And even if China did think in these terms, should we remain vulnerable to the world just to reassure them?
"By clinging to the idea that the security of others is diminished if the United States is protected against missile attack, the administration, perhaps unwittingly, and certainly ironically, actually perpetuates the anxiety of the Cold War. And that is a climate we must now transcend." - The Honorable Richard Perle - Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration and advisor to presidential candidate George W. Bush on missile defense and other national security issues, writing in The Washington Post "Outlook Section," 11 June 2000.
No longer is there much debate over the reality of the growing ballistic missile threat to the United States and its allies and friends around the world. Even Vice President Al Gore, who led the opposition to building missile defenses when in the Senate, now acknowledges the threat is just around the corner. On July 11, he is quoted as observing that a National Missile Defense he opposed in 1992 and until recently is now important because the United States "will probably face a new threat later in this decade from a small arsenal of relatively unsophisticated [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles] in the hands of a rogue state." Better late than never. But now the question is, "What to do?"
Missile Defense Triumph
By Robert Kagan
Much to his credit, George W. Bush has made national missile defense the central plank in his foreign policy platform. This may or may not prove to be good for Bush's electoral prospects (though we suspect it will help him). But there is no question that Bush has done the nation a real service by sparking a serious national debate on missile defense.
It is a debate Vice President Al Gore did not want to have, and for good reason. The Clinton administration never wanted to build a national missile defense of any kind. From the day they took office, the president, the vice president, and their top advisors set about cutting funds for the most promising missile defense programs they inherited from the Reagan and Bush years, killing some altogether. They negotiated bad agreements with Moscow on theater missile defense systems, which had the effect of further limiting American capabilities. They downplayed the threat that states like North Korea, Iran, and Iraq could develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States. And why? Because Clinton and Gore were, and are, devoted apostles of the arms control faith. To them, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty was sacrosanct.
Then along came the 1998 report of a bipartisan commission headed by former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which demonstrated convincingly to anyone with an open mind that the danger posed by North Korea, Iran, and others was more immediate than the Clinton administration had wanted to admit. This report, quickly followed by North Korean and Iranian missile tests, bolstered the case of congressional Republicans and forced the Clinton administration to move ahead with some kind of missile defense system, if only to protect its own political flanks and to give Gore some cover in the 2000 campaign.
But we all know how people carry out tasks when they are forced to do so against their will. They carry them out badly. The Clinton administration was dragged kicking and screaming to national missile defense, and it shows.
Clinton officials went about everything backwards. Instead of trying to devise the best possible missile defense system to meet the emerging threat, the administration tried to devise the system that would require the least possible revision to the ABM treaty. Instead of working hard to explain to the Russians how they might share in the benefits of a robust missile defense system, the administration put forth a proposal designed to be the least troubling to the Russian government. Instead of prompting the administration to develop a plan for helping defend American allies as well as this country, reverence for the ABM treaty led to a constricted effort that would leave our friends abroad unprotected and alarmed.
Clinton is the master triangulator, but on this vital matter of national security his triangulation has been a disaster. Clinton and Gore wanted to be able to boast that they had both built a missile defense and saved the ABM treaty. But that is a logical contradiction, and even this Houdini of a president hasn't been able to pull it off. As a result of Clinton and Gore's fancy footwork, the nation runs the risk of getting a bad missile defense system and angry allies.
There is a good chance no one would have known quite how shoddy, duplicitous, and fundamentally inadequate was the Clinton-Gore approach had Bush not set forth his own, far more coherent position on missile defense. Bush's plan calls for a comprehensive and robust missile defense system. It would protect American allies as well as American territory. It would employ the most promising technologies, regardless of whether they comply with the antiquated ABM treaty. Indeed, Bush declares that he will not allow U.S. security to be held hostage to a treaty so outdated that even its author, Henry Kissinger, believes it should now be scrapped. Bush has also offered to share missile defense technologies with the Russians, something first proposed by Ronald Reagan and already in the works during his father's administration.
Ever since Bush laid out his proposal, President Clinton has been scrambling to keep up. During his recent trip to Europe, Clinton was forced to agree with Bush that the allies should be protected. He was forced to accept the idea that some technology might be shared with the Russians. And ever since Bush offered his own proposal, just about every expert on missile defense has agreed that, whatever else may be true, Clinton's planned deployment is probably the least desirable.
In other words, Bush is winning this debate hands down. While Clinton has been endorsing key elements of Bush's plan, poor Al Gore has been left mumbling lengthily and incoherently about "Star Wars" and the wonderful ABM treaty. This has made for a useful contrast: Bush as Ronald Reagan; Gore as Frances Fitzgerald.
But there's far more at stake here than politics. Whether the United States can deploy a robust and effective missile defense system in the next few years will affect the role we play in the world in the decades to come. A vulnerable United States could retreat into isolation or, at the very least, become an unreliable ally. A well-defended United States, capable of extending protection to friends and allies around the world, can be the pillar of international security.
This article is reprinted with permission of The Weekly Standard, where it first appeared on 26 June 2000. To subscribe to the Weekly Standard please call 1-800-283-2014.
From Governor Bush's Prepared May 23 Remarks On Missile Defense And Nuclear Security
. . . When it comes to nuclear weapons, the world has changed faster than U.S. policy. The emerging security threats to the United States, its friends and allies, and even to Russia, now come from rogue states, terrorist groups and other adversaries seeking weapons of mass destruction, and the means to deliver them. Threats also come from insecure nuclear stockpiles and the proliferation of dangerous technologies. Russia itself is no longer our enemy. The Cold War logic that led to the creation of massive stockpiles on both sides is now outdated. Our mutual security need no longer depend on a nuclear balance of terror.
While deterrence remains the first line of defense against nuclear attack, the standoff of the Cold War was born of a different time. That was a time when our arsenal also served to check the conventional superiority of the Warsaw Pact. Then, the Soviet Union’s power reached deep into the heart of Europe – to Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Prague. Today, these are the capitals of NATO countries. Yet almost a decade after the end of the Cold War, our nuclear policy still resides in that already distant past. The Clinton-Gore administration has had over seven years to bring the U.S. force posture into the post-Cold War world. Instead, they remain locked in a Cold War mentality.
It is time to leave the Cold War behind, and defend against the new threats of the 21st century.
America must build effective missile defenses, based on the best available options, at the earliest possible date. Our missile defense must be designed to protect all 50 states – and our friends and allies and deployed forces overseas – from missile attacks by rogue nations, or accidental launches.
The Clinton administration at first denied the need for a national missile defense system. Then it delayed. Now the approach it proposes is flawed – a system initially based on a single site, when experts say that more is needed. A missile defense system should not only defend our country, it should defend our allies, with whom I will consult as we develop our plans. And any change in the ABM treaty must allow the technologies and experiments required to deploy adequate missile defenses. The administration is driving toward a hasty decision, on a political timetable. No decision would be better than a flawed agreement that ties the hands of the next President and prevents America from defending itself.
Yet there are positive, practical ways to demonstrate to Russia that we are no longer enemies. Russia, our allies and the world need to understand our intentions. America’s development of missile defenses is a search for security, not a search for advantage.
America should rethink the requirements for nuclear deterrence in a new security environment. The premises of Cold War nuclear targeting should no longer dictate the size of our arsenal. As president, I will ask the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of our nuclear force posture and determine how best to meet our security needs. While the exact number of weapons can come only from such an assessment, I will pursue the lowest possible number consistent with our national security. It should be possible to reduce the number of American nuclear weapons significantly further than what has already been agreed to under START II, without compromising our security in any way. We should not keep weapons that our military planners do not need. These unneeded weapons are the expensive relics of dead conflicts. And they do nothing to make us more secure.
. . . [I]n the area of strategic nuclear weapons, we should invite the Russian government to accept the new vision I have outlined, and act on it. But the United States should be prepared to lead by example, because it is in our best interest and the best interest of the world. This would be an act of principled leadership – a chance to seize the moment and begin a new era of nuclear security. A new era of cooperation on proliferation and nuclear safety.
The Cold War era is history. Our nation must recognize new threats, not fixate on old ones. On the issue of nuclear weapons, the United States has an opportunity to lead to a safer world – both to defend against nuclear threats and reduce nuclear tensions. It is possible to build a missile defense, and defuse confrontation with Russia. America should do both.
While acknowledging the threat and the need for a national missile defense, Vice President Gore defends the Clinton-Gore single-site ground-based defense as the right approach, primarily because it won’t upset the Russians, Chinese and others as much as the more robust defenses Governor Bush supports. Indeed, Mr. Gore typed answers to press inquiries on the internet following the July 8 test failure, defending Clinton-Gore plan and criticizing the Bush plan as "more expensive and less likely to work," and moreover as being calculated to destroy arms control agreements with Russia that have calmed down the old arms race for the last 28 years." Bush said he was determined to push ahead on a missile defense system to protect the United States and its allies even if Russia opposes it. "We’ll find out how good a diplomat I am," Bush said.
The Navy Gets Ready for a Bigger Role
As readers of The Shield should understand, the earliest option to defend America against ballistic missiles is to modify existing Aegis Cruisers, upgrading their air defense system to also provide the means to shoot down ballistic missiles.
The Navy also understands this possibility and is preparing to play a much more important role in building a National Missile Defense (NMD) if and when the senior leadership of the executive branch provides the needed policy guidance.
In February, Admiral Jay Johnson—Chief of Naval Operations—wrote to Defense Secretary Bill Cohen that "Foreclosing a Navy contribution at the front end of NMD development would not be in the best long-term interests of the country." (See the March/April issue of The Shield.) Congress has applauded this development.
Admiral Johnson is a gentleman, and understated the importance of a forward-based sea-based NMD system in providing early opportunities to shoot down ballistic missiles while they are still rising from their launch sites. And he was silent on the cost advantages of this system, which can be built much sooner that the Clinton-Gore ground-based system. Recent acknowledgement of the growing costs and slipping schedule of Clinton’s NMD plan make these details important to understand—especially because the Administration has overstated the cost of a sea-based defense and the time in which it can be built. (See the May/June issue of The Shield.)
High Frontier has argued since 1995—when the Heritage Foundation’s Missile Defense Commission chaired by Ambassador Cooper reached this conclusion—that, under the right management and with necessary funds, sea-based defenses could begin defending America and our overseas troops, friends and allies within 3-4 years for $2-3 Billion more than currently being spent on the Navy’s theater missile defenses and related programs. This is only a tenth of the now acknowledged cost of the first ground-based site which won’t be built until years later, if ever.
In early July, the CNO (with the endorsement of his successor, Admiral Vernon Clark) took the next important step toward preparing to build a fully capable sea-based global defense. He in effect "cleared the decks for action" by replacing a fractured organizational structure and often conflicting division of labor on the Navy’s missile defense programs with a consolidated and streamlined management structure under the command of a dynamic and visionary leader—who works directly for the CNO.
Using this management approach forty years ago, the Navy’s extraordinarily successful Polaris program overcame even greater technological obstacles and deployed its first operational strategic submarine and associated ballistic missile system in only four years.
The new Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Missile Defense, Rear Admiral Rodney Rempt, is imminently qualified for this important position. Adm. Rempt has been a visionary advocate for missile defense since he worked to establish a serious Navy missile defense program under the Strategic Defense Initiative during the Bush Administration. Had that program continued as it was planned—and funded—at the end of the Bush Administration, there is little doubt that Aegis cruisers would be on patrol today with interceptors capable of defending America and our overseas troops, allies and friends.
Regrettably, the Clinton Administration scuttled the Navy’s missile defense programs and has consistently resisted attempts by the Congress to re-establish a technology limited—rather than a funding limited—schedule to develop fully capable sea-based ballistic missile defenses. Study after study has shown the potential of sea-based defenses and the maturity of the associated technology—only a slavish adherence to the ABM Treaty as "the cornerstone of strategic stability" has discouraged the Clinton-Gore Administration from pressing ahead rapidly with sea-based theater and national missile defenses.
This adherence has frustrated Navy engineers—leading to "dumbed-down" theater defenses to make sure they can’t protect Americans at home although they can protect our troops and allies overseas—in Japan, for instance. All the aforementioned studies have so well demonstrated the undeniable fact that sea-based defense is a good idea that a reluctant Clinton-Gore Administration now acknowledges that they can become part of a National Missile Defense, sometime in the distant future, of course—well after the Clinton-Gore ground-based site can be built.
Such phasing is forced by funding rather than technology constraints. And the fact remains that Navy programs provide the only real option to build defenses that can protect America by 2003—the year by which the Rumsfeld Commission projected that a number of Rogue states might have the capability to launch ballistic missiles at the United States.
High Frontier applauds Admiral Johnson and the Navy leadership for taking the steps now to set the stage for a major effort to end America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile.
Now if only we can get equally visionary Executive Branch policymakers who want to build effective global defenses for America and our troops, friends and allies around the world—and if Congress will provide the funds that permit the Navy Theater Wide development to proceed at a technology limited pace. Maybe next year?!!!
"FRONT AND CENTER"
Radio Network Program Continues
The one-hour radio program which was initiated in 1999 with the title "Generally Speaking" is now featured on the Radio America Network with the new name "Front and Center."
Moderated by Maj. Gen. Milnor Roberts, the program brings the latest news about missile defense to a national audience. The program continues to feature important guests who are affiliated with military or veterans organizations.
Recent guest speakers include:
May 6 – Hon. Dave Vitter, Member of Congress, First District, Louisiana
May 14 – James Oliver, Director, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC
May 21 – Col. Robert F. Norton, USA (Ret.) The Retired Officers Association
May 28 – Hon. Lewis Brodsky, Associate Director, The Selective Service System
In the Washington, D.C. area, the program is carried by WRC, 570 AM. It is also on Live Audio on the internet at "www.LibertyWorksRadio.com."
Shocked, Shocked at NMD Cost Growth!
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
In early April, the press revealed an inflation-adjusted 60-percent growth in the most recently reported cost ($12.7 billion) of the first National Missile Defense (NMD) site. Now, they’re saying $20.7 billion to deploy 100 interceptors in Alaska by 2007—and $30.2 billion if 20 years of operations is included.
So, what’s the big surprise? After all, the Clinton-Gore Administration inherited a fully approved (by many Pentagon acquisition bureaucrats still in place) NMD program that could have built the first site by now—albeit in North Dakota—for $25 billion (in 1991 dollars). As the Strategic Defense Initiative Director during the Bush Administration, I testified to these facts in 1992, and a Democratic-controlled Congress approved SDI’s proposed program as a "low-to-moderate" risk acquisition effort.
The Bush Administration issued requests for proposals that had been fully approved by many of the same Pentagon bureaucrats that still manage the current acquisition process. And industry—in early 1993—responded to these proposals to build the first site by as early as in 2000!
The Clinton Administration cut this fully budgeted program by some 80 percent; directed industry’s proposals, then already in Huntsville, be returned to the various companies—unopened; and instead initiated a "technology readiness" program. And they’ve been stalling ever since.
Under pressure from Congress, the Clinton Administration initiated its so-called "three-plus-three" program in 1997—standing for three years of development followed by three years to build the first site if that action were warranted by the threat. Initially, Defense Secretary Bill Perry claimed the first site could be built in six years for only $3 billion, but it wasn’t long before that incredible estimate was doubled—and then doubled again as the "3+3" morphed into "3+5." Now, we’re told of another 60-percent cost growth to $20.7 billion, or $30 billion if operations costs are included, as "3+5" is becoming "3+7"—whatever!
Meanwhile, the Administration claims giving NMD capability to the Navy Theater Wide (NTW) theater defense system would cost $16-19 billion and take longer than the ground-based NMD system. This estimate is grossly exaggerated—as shown in the last issue of The Shield.
So, why doesn’t Congress direct the Administration to go as fast as it can to build both, and let the Devil take the hindmost?
In Bill Cohen’s recent interview with Sea Power Magazine (See page 2.), the Secretary of Defense and sometime author of fiction acknowledged a sea-based NMD system could complement the Administration’s ground-based NMD system, but claimed building it would take longer, requiring "new platforms" and a "new Standard Missile." But both claims are erroneous. A fully enabled Block I Standard Missile, already being built for NTW, could be deployed on existing Aegis Cruisers within four years to begin protecting the majority of Americans. And this would cost only $2-3 billion more than is already being spent on NTW and NMD systems, exclusive of the most expensive elements of the $20.7 billion NMD system.
The reason for the relatively small cost should be obvious to anyone willing to consider that the ships exist, on-station around the world. The American taxpayer already paid $50 billion for them and doesn’t have to pay for them again. Their operations around the world are already in the budget and don’t need to be included again. Sailors are already trained in accomplishing the Aegis air defense mission—we need only to expand their capability to shoot down ballistic missiles as well as aircraft and cruise missiles. We’re already paying for most of the needed command and control improvements. The same vertical launch system that launched Tomahawk cruise missiles during the 1991 Gulf War can launch an ABM capable Block I Standard Missile—if only we give the interceptor the needed capability.
Ah, there’s the rub! You see—as the press is beginning to understand (See the editorials, beginning on page 4), if we gave the Block I interceptor the capability to shoot down a ballistic missile launched at the U.S., the Administration claims that would violate the ABM Treaty. And the ABM Treaty is an arms control icon—the so-called "cornerstone of strategic stability"—in Cold War jargon.
The Clinton Administration insists on slowing and dumbing down this cheaper sea-based defense system, while falsely claiming it costs more and takes longer to build than the Alaska ground-based site.
So, why doesn’t Congress direct the Administration to go as fast as it can to build both, and let the Devil take the hindmost? Just the most recent cost growth for the ground-based NMD system is over twice what it would take to build an NMD-capable NTW system. So, obviously we can afford both.
But we must remove the restraining effect of the ABM Treaty—and, if the Clinton-Gore Administration has its way, that very well could become even more confining in the near future. As The Shield goes to press, the Russian Duma has just ratified the START II Treaty—after 7 years of stonewalling. It is very hard to imagine this has happened in a vacuum—without a commitment from the Administration to constrain our NMD deployment options. The Russians don’t like any U.S. NMD system and will insist that the U.S. retain the most onerous restraints of the ABM Treaty, which include not giving sea-based defenses the capability to protect Americans at home as well as our overseas troops, friends and allies. Regrettably, the Administration is likely to accommodate them.
Secretary Cohen’s comments reflect the Administration plan that a sea-based NMD capability not be built until far into the future, if ever. And Lt. General Ron Kadish, who directs the Administration’s missile defense programs, recently illustrated that restraining the Navy Theater Wide program is a policy choice. He wrote Congressional leaders that the current Navy Theater Wide program could move ahead at a technology limited pace for another $160 million—small potatoes compared to the recent cost growth in the ground-based NMD system.
The Administration is not building sea-based defenses as fast as it can, because it simply doesn’t want to!
So, the battle continues between Congress, which wants effective defenses as soon as possible, and the Clinton Administration, which seems intent on delaying building needed effective defenses as much as it can. Stay tuned!
From "The Peace Dividend Is Over"Interview with Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
By Editor-in-Chief James D. Hessman and Senior Editor Gordon I. Peterson
In the April 2000 issue of Sea Power.
. . . Regarding the WMD threat, your director for operational evaluation and testing said that the Pentagon has faced undue pressure to meet an artificial decision point in the timetable for a National Missile Defense [NMD]. You have testified that the program is on track and that you would be able to make a recommendation to the president by June 1st. Could you elaborate on the reasons for this confidence?
COHEN: First of all, the deadline has been artificial. I hark back to the days when President John Kennedy said, "Within ten years we are going to put a man on the moon." And we did. That was an artificial deadline. It put tremendous pressure on our scientists to perform. We’re doing the same thing here with the NMD system. This is a high-risk proposal. But it’s also high-threat. If you know that the threat is out there and growing and you don’t try to accelerate—to whatever extent you can consistent with responsible science and technology—then you are not doing your job to protect the American people. So, yes, it’s high-risk. We’ve always said that.
We will press the program forward as rapidly as we can. But we’re not going to press it if it doesn’t prove viable. We’ve had a number of tests, and we have another major one coming up. We had a success last fall. We had a "failure" with the most recent one, but it didn’t fail by much—it failed by five seconds from a malfunction. It wasn’t a question of the science not being there; it was a mechanical failure. We will know more about this at the next test in April.
I think that we’ll be in a position then to make a recommendation to the president. If it’s another failure and the program is not mature, I won’t recommend going forward at this particular point. Setting the summer deadline allows us to work back from 2005 by insisting that we make some kind of decision either to go forward or not. If we make a decision to go forward this summer, we still would not have something in place until 2005.
The ballistic-missile threat is there, and it is growing. We see the extrapolation of what’s taking place with North Korean technology. Wherever they are getting their resources—indigenously and elsewhere—it’s going to Iran and possibly to Iraq and Libya. I say that when we are exposed to that kind of a threat, we ought to accelerate our effort to counter it. Yes, it’s high-risk, but the need for urgency is real.
Could you comment on the idea of using the Aegis sea-based ballistic-missile defense system as the basis for a much broader system?
COHEN: Aegis could complement what we are doing now. The reason we have chosen a land-based system is that we can get it sooner. I think that a sea-based system can be complementary to us, but many things will be required to deploy it—new platforms, a new Standard Missile—which we won’t have until 2007, I believe—and then there are upgrades that could extend well into the 2010 to 2012 time frame. We want to get a system that we can deploy as quickly as possible. I can see that the Aegis system could be complementary to that.
There may be some disagreement—there are some who feel you could spend $200 or $300 million and have an Aegis system up and running, but it would be a substitute for intercepting an ICBM. All of the information that I have received rejects that—saying we would need a new missile and new radar that would take considerable time to develop. I believe our present approach is sound, and I am hopeful that we can have a complementary NMD system eventually. . . ."
A New Coalition to Protect Americans Now!
On March 23, several conservative leaders and Members of Congress met to celebrate the 17th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s speech that launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). In addition, this meeting on the Capitol grounds with the press was to announce a new coalition of conservatives intended to focus over the next six months on gaining public support for building an effective missile defense as soon as possible.
The Coalition to Protect Americans Now will emphasize the growing missile threat; that seven years after the Clinton-Gore Administration inherited a fully funded plan to protect Americans at home and abroad, the U.S. still has no defense against even one missile; that, with all the hype about the President’s possible decision to deploy a very limited ground-based system in Alaska, the Administration is muddying the waters on the issue because America’s policy not to protect Americans from ballistic missile attack is politically potent; that the Administration’s negotiations with Russia are likely to lock in the ABM Treaty’s bans on even R&D on sea- and space-based defenses; and that conservatives should unite behind building within the next 3-4 years a sea-based defense for the American homeland as well as our overseas troops, friends and allies.
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy served as master of ceremonies—and other conservative leaders that spoke or attended included David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Dr. Bill Graham—President Reagan’s Science Advisor and member of the Rumsfeld Commission on the missile threat, and Ambassador Cooper of High Frontier. Other conservative organizations that agreed to join with this effort include the National Funders Group, the American Council for Immigration Reform, the U.S. Business and Industry Council, the Small Business Survival Committee, the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, Eagle Forum, 60-Plus Association, the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, the Christian Coalition, Coalitions for America, the Marshall Institute, the Claremont Institute and Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Members of Congress who support building missile defenses as soon as possible strongly support this timely consciousness-raising effort. Of particular note on March 23rd were the comments of Senators Jim Inhoffe (R-OK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Larry Craig (R-ID) and Representatives Tillie Fowler (R-FL), J.D. Hayworth (R-AK), Bob Schaffer (R-CO) and David Vitter (R-LA). All are concerned about the Clinton-Gore strategy to frustrate efforts to build the most effective defenses because of their slavish adherence to arms control and the ABM Treaty in particular. And all support building the Navy Theater Wide sea-based defense as quickly as possible as the earliest way to begin protecting America.
High Frontier applauds this effort, and we will do all we can to see that it succeeds. Time is indeed fleeting—the time for action is now, as negotiations with Russia are entering a bit of a frenzy.
Recently, Russia’s new president, Vladimir Putin, has shown his political strength in getting START II ratified in the Russian Duma. And President Clinton wants to complete a START III agreement to help establish his legacy in foreign affairs. No doubt, the conclusion of any such agreement will come at the expense of U.S. programs to build truly effective defenses, such as sea-based and space-based defenses.
So there is a great need to gain the support of all Americans to assure that America’s options for the most effective defenses are preserved. Hopefully, the Coalition to Protect Americans Now will be a big part of the solution.
Authoritative Administration Sources Acknowledge the Feasibility of Sea-Based National Missile Defense
"The NTW Block II, as part of an integrated sea- and land-based NMD architecture with space-based sensor support, could provide protection to the U.S. that is far superior to that which can be provided by the NTW system alone (or without external sensors), or by the single site, land-based architecture (with or without space-based sensors). Specifically, this fully integrated architecture could add robustness, reduce program risk, expand protection to U.S. Territories, and contribute to defense against ship-based ballistic missile threats to the U.S."
-- Summary of Report to Congress on Utility Of Sea-Based Assets to National Missile Defense,
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, June 1, 1999
"In his annual report to Congress, the Pentagon’s Director of Test and Evaluation, Mr. Philip E. Coyle, recommended an increased emphasis on the deployment of Navy Theater Wide (NTW) Block II. NTW is the Navy’s theater wide or ‘upper tier’ theater ballistic missile defense (TBMD) program based upon the Aegis weapons system, the Standard Missile and the Lightweight Exo-atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) kill weapon. . . . Coyle stated that it was his belief that all the technology to complete the NTW Block II development exists now."
-- Interview of Philip Coyle by John Carey
IDICI Website, internationaldefense.com on February 22, 2000
Recent editorials illustrate that High Frontier’s message is being amplified to a broad readership, and a serious debate may be in the offing. The three below recount the reality of a pressing ballistic missile threat; the availability of an affordable, effective way to begin defending America soon; the Clinton-Gore Administration’s lethargic efforts to build a much more expensive system sometime in the future; and that building cheaper, better defenses sooner is frustrated by the Administration’s slavish adherence to the Cold War’s ABM Treaty. An informed public response could be very important to our continuing efforts to counter the unhelpful pressures that are likely to result from arms control agreements with Russia, the achievement of which is a high Administration priority. But building effective defenses against the missiles of numerous threatening states is far more urgent than realizing the Administration’s misplaced confidence in arms control agreements to protect Americans at home and their interests abroad. Let the debate begin!
First By Sea*
As President Clinton ponders whether to make a decision this summer, as promised, on whether to proceed with deployment of a land-based national missile defense system, another crucial NMD decision looms. And that is whether to also proceed with development of a sea-based system.
The Navy's top sailor, Admiral Jay Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations, wants a role for the Navy and became the first Navy officer to formally say so in a letter he wrote to Defense Secretary Cohen a few weeks ago. The head of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Air Force Lt. General Ronald Kadish, agrees. And a classified Navy-BMDO study that was supposed to be delivered to Congress last month, but is being held back by the Defense Department, says a ship-based NMD system is technically possible.
A sea-based system has several advantages. First, it would be mobile, which is to say it could be dispatched to trouble spots, showing up in the Bosporus or the Taiwan Strait or the English Channel as the situation warranted. This would go a long way toward alleviating U.S. allies' concerns about being made more vulnerable to enemy attack by a land-based NMD system that would protect the American homeland alone; with a ship-based system, they, too, could be protected.
Another advantage is that some of the infrastructure already exists. An anti-missile system – Navy Theater Wide – is [being built] aboard Aegis cruisers and destroyers, which are deployed world-wide. The current system is technically a "theater" missile defense, which is to say it covers a military theater much smaller than that of the vast U.S. itself. But one country's TMD is another country's NMD. The so-called theater system that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all want is intended as a "national" defense for those countries.
To protect the entire U.S. homeland, the Aegis radar would need to be upgraded, as would the interceptor missile it currently carries. An improved interceptor missile is already in the test phase and the Navy has scheduled a test for this summer. The total cost of upgrading Navy Theater Wide is estimated at about $5 billion.
By far, the key advantage of a sea-based system is that it could be deployed quickly – maybe even in time to deter a ballistic-missile attack on an American city. The bipartisan Rumsfeld Commission warned in 1998 that a country bent on building a ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. could do so in five years. That brings us to the year 2003. Proponents of the Aegis option say it could be up and working by then. By contrast, the earliest talked-about date of deployment for a land-based system is 2005.
Given all this, what's keeping us from moving ahead with the Aegis option? The answer is the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union, which flatly forbids deployment of a national missile defense. The Administration is trying to get the Russians to agree to changes that would allow its proposed ground-based system in Alaska to go forward; if they treaty were further amended to permit a sea-based system, there'd be nothing left.
The Administration and other devotees of arms control haven't come to grips with this reality yet. Vice President Gore warns of destroying the ABM Treaty by demanding modifications to permit a sea-based system. Senator Joe Biden recently called for stationing an Aegis cruiser off North Korea with the aim of intercepting a missile on its way up. This is a fine idea, but if we want to stay treaty-compliant, we'll have to make sure we shoot down the missile only if it's heading for Tokyo, not Seattle. Is that what the Senator had in mind?
Ultimately, any effective national missile defense is going to be a layered defense, which means land, sea, and, as the threat gets more sophisticated, space. The U.S. ought to be proceeding aggressively on all fronts, without having to tiptoe around an archaic treaty signed with a power that no longer exists. That means going ahead with deployment of the ground-based NMD system that is under consideration, no matter what Moscow has to say. And it means pursuing the Aegis option as fast as we can.
*Reprinted with permission of The Wall Street Journal ©2000 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Time For Missile Defense**
Seventeen years ago, in announcing the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), President Ronald Reagan turned the decades-old nuclear strategic doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) on its head. Proposing to banish to the ash heap of history the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which forbade the United States from deploying defenses to thwart a nuclear-missile attack on America, Mr. Reagan asked [a] simple question: "Wouldn’t it be better to save lives than to avenge them?"
The nearly two decades that have elapsed since Mr. Reagan posed the question have been noteworthy for the utterly destabilizing effect of rapid, and now accelerating, proliferation of ballistic missile technology, which has now found its way to numerous rogue states, including North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.
Incomprehensibly, Americans today are no more protected from ballistic missile attacks than they were when Mr. Reagan directed U.S. scientists to conduct a "comprehensive and intensive effort to define a long-term research and development program to begin to achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles."
The failure to deploy defensive systems cannot be attributed to popular opposition. Indeed, according to a Zogby poll conducted in February, more than 60-percent of Americans want "a viable missile defense system in place rather than relying on the diplomatic success of disarmament treaties."
Nor can the failure to defend against ballistic missile attack be attributed to the absence of a feasible system whose deployment could begin almost immediately. A global missile defense system, based on existing technology, could exploit the $50 billion that has already been invested in the Navy’s 22 Aegis cruisers. For a mere $2 to $3 billion, or about $500 million per year over the next five years, the Pentagon could modify the Aegis air-defense systems to enable them to destroy not only short- and medium-range ballistic missiles but also long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads to the U.S. mainland.
Given the promise and affordability offered by sea-based defenses, to what, then, can the failure to seek to deploy them be attributed? First, there has clearly been the failure of the Clinton-Gore Administration, which entered office actively opposed to ballistic missile defense. In 1993, for example, President Clinton canceled both the SDI program and the Global Protection Against Limited Strikes program, a missile defense system proposed by President Bush to protect U.S. territory and U.S. troops overseas.
Second, the Clinton-Gore Administration has utterly reversed the priorities Mr. Reagan outlined in 1983. Instead of recognizing the moral superiority of saving lives over avenging them, Messrs. Clinton and Gore have embraced the ABM Treaty as, in the words of National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, the "cornerstone of U.S. strategic policy." To that end, the misguided president has been desperately seeking permission from Russia, a nation that did not even exist in 1972 when the Soviet Union signed the ABM Treaty, to modify the treaty’s terms to enable the United States to deploy a far inferior land-based missile defense system in Alaska, which would also be far more expensive and take much longer to deploy than the Aegis option.
Mr. Clinton is scheduled to decide this summer whether to move forward with the Alaskan option. A bipartisan effort led by Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is now afoot to delay any decision until the next administration. That would be a big mistake. The time for a decision has long passed. The Aegis sea-based option is technologically feasible, fiscally affordable and globally operational, all of which make its swiftest deployment morally mandatory.
Congressional Republicans ought to join GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush by endorsing the Aegis option—now. Since saving lives is clearly preferable to merely avenging them, then doing so sooner must be preferable to doing it later. As for the ABM Treaty, it deserves to be relegated to the same ash heap of history that one of its signatories, the former Soviet Union, now occupies.
**Copyright ©2000 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission from The Washington Times. No further republication without copyright owner's permission.
The Anti-Missile Defense Chorus***
As we’ve noted before, the media are no friends of anti-missile defense. They’ve buried successful tests and trumpeted failures. But at least they’ve addressed it. Now even debating it seems to be off the table for some of them.
Case in point: The Los Angeles Times recently argued that Al Gore and George Bush "must agree to keep national missile defense out of the campaign."
And the Times argues that amid this silence President Clinton should defer a decision—due sometime this summer—on going ahead with it.
Why? Because there will be a new president, and the decision should be left to him.
From a purely political standpoint, one can understand the newspaper’s comment. The paper’s hope is that Gore will win. And Gore has been a staunch foe of any serious missile defense system.
But from the standpoint of our national defense, this position is the wrong one. And to call for excising it from the campaign is the height of hubris masquerading as sophistication.
What, after all, is more central to a president’s duty than protecting his citizens? The Founding Fathers placed national defense at the heart of presidential responsibility for a reason: The security of the Nation depends upon the resolute decision making of an executive, not the endless nattering of a committee of 535 lawmakers.
Like Clinton, Gore has supported feckless baby steps on national missile defense. Yet the polls have shown the public overwhelmingly supports Ronald Reagan’s vision of a Strategic Defense Initiative. So the disarmament crowd that rules the Democratic Party has to pay it lip service.
But Clinton and Gore have used every unseen means to delay it. And deferring this summer’s decision is just one more way to emasculate it.
Gore as cheerleader for this bunch hides behind the paper of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Not long ago, Gore lampooned SDI-supporting Republicans as a "small and willful" band beholden to a tiny minority of right wing extremists. Gore and his crowd see no folly in the ABM Treaty. It allows a country that no longer exists, the Soviet Union, to expose the American people to nuclear attack.
How curious it is that this bunch resists the most humanitarian military idea of all time. A universal defense system that neutralizes the nuclear threat forever should warm anyone’s heart. Instead, it inspires alarmism and sudden fiscal stinginess.
One suspects a subtle anti-Americanism at work here. "The Democrats don’t trust America," a longtime Democrat and former Cabinet official told IBD on background.
The Democrats who cringed at Reagan’s "Evil Empire" speech still view America’s superpower status as a threat to freedom. Leaving America vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to their perverse logic, is an antidote to arrogant Americanism.
The problem with this reigning nuclear dogma, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), is that it places faith in the faithless, such as the tyrants in Beijing and Baghdad.
Perhaps Clinton should ask the Indians he meets this week if they support MAD and nuclear disarmament. Unlikely, given the nuclear sabre Pakistan has acquired (with China’s help, we might add).
The obvious moral appeal of Reagan’s SDI is its universal application. From Taiwan to Texas, a protective shield would render nuclear weapons impotent.
But Reagan’s plan is "elaborate and costly," complains the Los Angeles Times.
OK. So what? What taxpayer wouldn’t be willing to pony up to end the threat of a nuclear holocaust?
George Bush is playing up military issues in his campaign, saying without ambiguity that he supports SDI. Gore should be forced to state his position on
anti-missile defense. And both men should be forced to defend their views.
It seems that the Los Angeles Times has forgotten what political campaigns—and by extension, democracy—are about: a vigorous discussion of issues important to Americans. And there is no issue more important than preventing nuclear war.
***Reprinted with permission from the March 21 Investors Business Daily. Emphasis added
House Advisory Board Says U.S. Should Withdraw From ABM Treaty
A senior advisory panel set up by House Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox (R-CA) contends the United States should withdraw from the ABM Treaty and deploy effective defenses to protect America and overseas U.S. troops, friends and allies.
In memoranda to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), the group correctly observes, "We cannot adequately develop, test or deploy such defenses as long as we adhere to the ABM Treaty, which prohibits effective missile defenses."
High Frontier applauds the panel’s conclusion that "The president should promptly either invoke Article XV of the treaty and give notice of withdrawal, or clearly announce that the treaty is no longer legally binding on the U.S."
The Congressional Policy Advisory Board is chaired by Martin Anderson, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and includes in its membership former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior physicist Dr. Edward Teller. Secretary Rumsfeld led a bipartisan commission in 1998 that determined that rogue states could threaten the U.S. with missile attack by as soon as in 2003. (See the July/August, 1998 issue of The Shield.)
The 35-member panel is very critical of the Administration’s discussions with Russia to modify the treaty and recommends that "Any new agreement that restricts U.S. ballistic missile defense research and development, testing or deployment must be opposed by Congress."
The Advisory Board has also met with Congressional leaders to discuss U.S. relations with China, especially regarding Taiwan. Specifically, it called on the Senate to pass the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, approved last year by the House. This Act aims to reaffirm U.S. commitments under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act for peaceful resolution of tensions between Taiwan and China, and strengthening U.S. ties with Taiwan’s military. The White House strongly opposes the bill, claiming it would jeopardize Taiwan’s security.
We at High Frontier urge the Congressional Policy Advisory Board to focus its attention critically on the Clinton-Gore arms control initiatives during the next several months! Congress will need all the help it can get to resist the likely assault by the Administration on the ability of America’s engineers and scientists to build needed, effective defenses as soon as technologically possible.
Naval NMD Role?
By John E. Carey
Lieutenant General John Costello, USA, Commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, USAF, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, have both recently commented on the potential Naval role in National Missile Defense (NMD).
In the April 3 issue of Defense News, General Costello was quoted as saying, "There is a role for the Navy in the NMD as an adjunct to the ground-based defense system." General Costello said the decision on if, and when, to implement a Navy element to NMD would be up to the "national leadership."
BMDO Director Ronald Kadish was quoted in the April 10 edition of Defense News as saying, "I think there is a general consensus growing that a sea based activity would be very valuable to us [in NMD]. The only question is the time frame."
General Kadish first addressed the benefits of a Naval role in NMD at a Senate sub-committee hearing on February 28. On that same day, veteran reporter Bradley Graham had a page one story in the Washington Post discussing the potential for a Naval NMD role. Graham quoted from a memo from the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson, to the Secretary of Defense, on the topic of Naval NMD.
Concerned that critical decisions later this year could shut the Navy out of a major role in National Missile Defense, Admiral Johnson warned that such a step "would not be in the best long-term interests of our country."
Many "think tanks," including the Heritage Foundation, High Frontier, and the Center for Security Policy, have advocated an immediate, accelerated development to Navy Theater Wide (NTW) to allow for a Naval NMD element in a few years.
At least three studies have pointed out the operational effectiveness of adding a Naval element to NMD. Advantages include depth of fire, additional opportunities to kill the target, the ability to mass maneuverable Naval forces when and where they are needed, and the fact that Naval forces may be less vulnerable to a pre-emptive strike or terrorism.
None of the studies criticize the current plan for fixed land-based NMD interceptors in Alaska. But all show how the addition of Naval forces would make the national architecture more "robust."
Neither General Costello nor General Kadish would be in a position to advocate an immediate acceleration of Navy Theater Wide (NTW) to make it ready for NMD development. Such a plan would run counter to the President's budget, contravene provisions of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM Treaty), and would add millions, if not billions, of dollars to the BMDO budget.
But the problem of not addressing the issue openly, and now, is that the United States is already negotiating with Russia to make changes to the ABM Treaty. As the treaty stands today, the U.S. plan to defend the entire nation and the U.S. intention to put interceptor missiles in Alaska both violate the Treaty.
Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Dr. Henry Kissinger voiced his concerns on this issue in a February 9 Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, "The Next President's First Obligation." Dr. Kissinger recommended, "We should suspend further talks with Moscow until we have decided on the kind of missile defense most in the national interest."
His rationale? "An impressive array of technical options—land, sea or space—cannot be adequately explored until we overcome ABM Treaty restrictions," wrote Dr. Kissinger. "At this writing, our national priorities with respect to missile defense are the reverse of what is needed. We are talking to Russia about modifying the existing system without having as yet decided what program best serves our security and that of our allies."
A Report to Congress from the Department of Defense on the benefits of a potential Naval role in NMD is due. But we now know a Naval NMD element is a good idea. What we don't know is; will our national leadership move toward the best long-term NMD solution? Or are we moving toward ABM Treaty provisions that allow only the NMD that makes Russia happy this year?
Reprinted with permission from internationaldefense.com, 4 April. Emphasis added.
While Pentagon officials speak up about the need for layered effective defenses—and the press gets out the word that there are relatively inexpensive ways to build effective, layered defenses, the Clinton-Gore Administration remains more committed to arms control. As this issue of The Shield goes to press, plans are being made for an early June Moscow Summit between Presidents Clinton and Putin. Many in Congress are very concerned about a grand compromise. As Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says, "Fundamentally this is a philosophical argument. . . . Would you rather have peace through strength or peace through paper?" The Washington Post quotes Leon Fuerth, Vice President Gore’s National Security Advisor, as saying that Gore is committed to negotiating with the Russians over the ABM Treaty, and to get a deal, he is willing to rule out the possibility of building sea- or space-based defenses in the future. Hopefully, George W. Bush will make building truly effective defenses a major campaign issue to assure the American people get a say.
Getting the Word Out!
Generally Speaking, High Frontier’s Radio Talk Show, hosted by Maj. Gen. Milnor Roberts, is broadcast on the Liberty Works Radio Network and Radio America Network each Saturday from 3-4 p.m. EDT. Recent guests include:
– Sgt. Maj. David W. Sommers, USMC- National Commander Non-commissioned Officers Association
– Dr. Edgar F. Puryear, Jr. Author, American Generalship, Character is Everything.
– Dr. Veselica – Senior Member, Croatian Parliament.
– John Smart, National Commander Veterans of Foreign Wars
– Jack Brandt, CMCS (Ret.) National Commander SEABEES Veterans
– Lt. Col. Harvey Barnum, USA (Ret.) National President The Medal of Honor Society
– Capt. Samuel F. Wright, JAG, USN (Ret.) Coordinator, Voting Information Center
– Andrew Jones, Business Manager, The Pentagon
The latest news about Missile Defense is broadcast in each program, and The Shield is offered to the audience. In the Washington, D.C. area, the program is carried by WRC, 570 AM. It is also on Live Audio on the internet at "www.LibertyWorksRadio.com."
Coming-Out for Sea-Based Defense
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
On February 28, the Washington Post published a front page article by Bradley Graham reporting that Admiral Jay Johnson, the Chief of Naval Operations, had written to Defense Secretary Bill Cohen, proclaiming the advantages of sea-based defenses as part of the Administration’s National Missile Defense (NMD) system. The concluding words of Admiral Johnson’s February 18 letter stated, "Foreclosing a Navy contribution at the front end of NMD develop-ment would not be in the best long-term interests of the country."
If anything, this good news understates of the importance of moving ahead as soon as possible to make the approved Navy Theater Wide (NTW) system "all it can be." Alas, the Administration does not want to take this sensible course—and is making a number of false and/or misleading claims to justify "dumbing-down" and "slowing-down" NTW development.
As readers of The Shield know, this important system is being "dumbed-down" so it can defend only our overseas troops, friends and allies—but not Americans at home. That would violate the ABM Treaty, you see.
NTW’s interceptor velocity has been reduced by a third from the 4.5 km/sec design I established for the program in 1992 (as President Bush’s SDI Director)—giving it reduced coverage and limiting its utility to defend America.
Also, it is being designed with "near-sighted" sensors, lest it be able to see missiles from Russia that might be launched at the U.S. It is not even to use the "coop-erative engagement concept" being developed by the Navy (at a reported expense of $2 billion so far) to provide a theater-wide defense against cruise missiles—no doubt because that would enable the same system to defend America against ballistic missiles. (It’s OK to defend from the sea against cruise missiles—just not long-range ballistic missiles.)
Perhaps most outrageously, NTW’s firing protocol is being artificially restrained so that a forward-based ship can not shoot at an attacking missile until it has achieved too high a velocity for the interceptor to catch up.
These constraints are producing the absurd situation whereby an Aegis cruiser in the Sea of Japan can shoot down a ballistic missile out of North Korea if that missile flies overhead on its way to Japan—but not if it flies to the side toward Alaska, Washington, Oregon, or California.
How will Americans respond if that terrible day ever comes and they learn that policy—not technology—constraints have led to millions of American deaths?
The Clinton Administration cancelled the fully funded NTW program it inherited from the Bush Administration in 1993. By now, that program could have produced a large number of Aegis cruisers with NTW interceptors, operating around the world.
With the urging of outside groups—such as a Heritage Foundation Commission I was privileged to chair, Congress has kept the program going. But every year, the Administration has slowed funding or otherwise delayed the program, notably with study after study. Invariably, these studies by inside- and outside-the-government groups have endorsed the development of a sea based defense—even the "dumbed-down" defense discussed above makes sense on its own merits.
Most recently, Lt. Gen. Ron Kadish, Director of the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) programs conceded to Congress that the Navy eventually has a role to play in a fully developed NMD system to defend America. But he noted that would not happen until 2010 under the Administration’s plan.
It is clear that plan could be changed and NTW accelerated by a bunch—I have consistently argued that a streamlined Navy program could begin building an NMD-capable sea-based defense within four years for $2-3 billion more than is already being paid for in the President’s budget.
Exaggerating NTW Costs
As has been widely reported (See, e.g., the February 15, 2000 Investor’s Business Daily frontfront page article by Brian Mitchell.), the Pentagon told Congress last year that it would cost $16-19 billion to build a sea-based NMD system.
This is about what the Administration’s so-called "3+5" ground-based NMD system is advertised to cost. But the Clinton Administration’s own NTW theater missile defense system could be improved to defend Americans at home sooner than the Clinton Administration’s NMD concept—and for a lot less money.
Air Force General Lester Lyles—then Director of the Pentagon’s missile defense programs—observed last year that the Administration’s analysis actually had little to dispute with the Heritage Commission’s $2-3 billion estimate for giving NMD capability to the NTW system.
It is clear the Administration has inflated the cost estimates of the NTW option by making unreasonable assumptions. For example, the $16-19 billion estimate:
Assumed $2.5-5 billion to build 3-6 new Aegis Cruisers dedicated to the missile defense mission. But if existing ships were used, there would be no such costs, and the Navy agrees it could modify existing ships for this mission.
Assumed $2-4 billion to operate the 3-6 new ships for 20 years—obviously not needed if there were no new ships. The Navy already pays to operate existing Aegis cruisers, so no additional costs need be incurred by the NTW NMD mission.
Assumed about $8 billion for stand-alone warning and fire control sensors and battle management. But the NTW system would employ systems already funded elsewhere in the President’s budget. Slight modifications to relay fire control data to ships at sea would have minor cost impact. So, this $8 billion is not needed.
Assumed $0.7 billion for a new missile (Block II Standard Missile)—currently unfunded. But the funded baseline Block I Standard Missile can be given limited NMD capability for small additional cost—or Block II could be built instead.
If these costs are subtracted from the Clinton Administration’s $16-19 billion estimate, the cost of giving the NTW system a NMD capability is $1.3-2.8 billion—clearly within the $2-3 billion claimed by the Heritage Commission. The Commission also argued that the low-altitude satellite system, SBIRS-Low, should be built as soon as possible to enable the NTW system—and other missile defense. This should cost about $5 billion—and is included in the Pentagon’s program, albeit on a budget limited schedule.
Build NTW Now!
From almost any perspective, America needs to be defended as soon as possible. As this article goes to press, Red China is threatening peace in its region of the world—as Taiwan’s election approaches. And the Chinese continue to threaten Americans with missile attack if we interfere with their bullying tactics.
Today, we could only watch Chinese missiles leave their launch pads, pass through space, and descend on American cities. This is totally unacceptable. We need an effective defense, now.
Because of threatening developments in North Korea—e.g., their August 31, 1998, Taepo Dong ballistic missile launch over Japan and almost to U.S. territory—we have agreed to work with Japan to help build a sea-based homeland defense for them. It would be ludicrous not to enable that same sea-based defense to also defend the American homeland—especially since the additional cost is minimal.
We must face the fact that our slavish adherence to the terms of the defunct ABM Treaty is costing us time, money and defense effectiveness—and if we continue to dither, someday sooner than later it could cost us lives.
We should abandon the ABM Treaty, and build the most effective defenses as soon as we can. For my book that means full speed ahead on building a fully capable NTW system, whatever else may be done. We have no more time to waste.
China’s Bad Manners Re. Taiwan
China is once again threatening the Taiwanese as they prepare for their second democratic election on March 18. China’s official military newspaper, the Liberation Army Daily, repeated China’s 1996 threat to use missile strikes against U.S. cities if the U.S. intervenes to help defend Taiwan in a conflict. This threat was issued on the heels of an official "white paper" threatening force against Taiwan if unification with China did not move along fast enough to suit China.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) aptly observed, "I would urge China to re-evaluate their threatening demeanor." Representative James Traficant (D-OH) used more colorful language: "China sells nuclear weapons to our enemies. China threatened to nuke Taiwan. Once, China even threatened the city of Los Angeles. . . .If the White House succeeds in getting China admitted to the World Trade Organization, I say the White House needs a lobotomy performed by a proctologist."
Strong words—justifiably so. We need effective defenses to help back them up. As hard as we try, it will still be several years before America’s vulnerability to even a single missile is ended. But the time for action is now!
November Missile Defense
Anyone wondering just how far President Clinton will go to get Al Gore elected might consider the risks he's taking with national missile defense.
It would be reassuring to believe that the NMD system the Administration is pursuing would do what it needs to do: protect the nation against a deliberate or accidental launch of a ballistic missile—and do so quickly since the threat is growing apace. Instead, the system the Administration is contemplating is aimed at meeting a higher priority: get Al Gore elected.
From Mr. Clinton's standpoint, the main advantage is that the Russians will probably go for it. If Moscow agrees to amend the ABM Treaty, he can claim a foreign-policy victory before the November election. Never mind that there's no way to amend the ABM Treaty to make it possible to build an effective defense.
Ultimately, an effective defense will be a "layered" defense: on the sea, on the ground and in space. The best course is to work on all fronts simultaneously, with a twofold objective: First, get something out there fast, even though it may be imperfect, and second, work hard on developing and deploying a more sophisticated defense in a few years' time. The Administration's favored system, however, is the worst of both worlds: a complex ground-based system that will take years to develop and once deployed won't protect all of the country against a variety of threats.
The system the Administration is looking at would link a network of ground-based radars and space-based sensors with 100 missile interceptors located at a single site. The high-profile failure of last month's interceptor test isn't the problem here. The anti-missile technology is clearly on the right track; an interceptor test last fall succeeded and no one seriously doubts that the technology can be perfected.
Rather, the problem is the Administration's likely location of the interceptors--Alaska. This is a fine spot from which to get a good shot at a missile coming from Russia, North Korea or China, but it would be far less effective against one originating in Iraq, Libya or any ship off the East Coast. In other words, Hawaii would be well protected but not New York. Actually, it's not just Alaska. Any single-site NMD system poses an inherent problem of coverage and even a two-site system probably couldn't cover the country well enough. The U.S. is just too big and the potential threat could come from too many directions.
This is one reason many NMD experts prefer to begin with a sea-based system, since ships can be repositioned as needed to meet a variety of threats against the U.S. or its allies. Supporters say such a system could be patched together quickly and relatively cheaply using components that already exist or are in the works; a Pentagon report agreed it could be done. There's just one problem with this option: It violates the ABM Treaty in so many places that there'd be nothing left after the requisite amendments. This makes it unacceptable to the Russians--and to the Clinton Administration.
The Administration's NMD system, designed with the express aim of making it palatable to the Russians, is another matter. Contrary to its public protestations, Moscow isn't too perturbed about an NMD system that will take years to deploy (even if the taxpayers are willing to foot the bill) and in any event won't provide a good enough defense to deter would-be buyers of Russian missile technology.
And so a deal is in the works. An influential member of the Duma said this month that a compromise on the ABM Treaty was possible and would probably include steep cuts in the limits on strategic warheads and an end to the ban on MIRVs, missiles that can hit more than one target. It's absurd enough that the Administration is asking Russia's permission for the U.S. to build a defense against terrorists or rogue states. But to "pay" for it with cuts in our nuclear arsenal is even more absurd.
The CIA reported this month that the threat of missile attack is higher than ever, as more and more terrorists or rogue states have the ability to build or buy long-range ballistic missiles. And so Mr. Clinton's promise to make an announcement this summer on what kind of NMD system and when to deploy it ought to be something to cheer about. Instead, it's just another political maneuver in the campaign to elect Al Gore. It will take another President to do what the U.S. ought to have done long before this: Exercise its option to withdraw from the ABM Treaty and get to work.
Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal copyright 2000 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial appeared February 15, 2000
Unanimous Congress Backs Sanctions On Russia Because of Arms Deals With Iran
On March 1, the House and Senate passed—by votes of 420-0 and 98-0, respectively—a bill to back sanctions on Russia to help deter proliferation of Russian weapons and technology to Iran. (Iran is building nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them to threaten our troops and friends in the region—and eventually Americans at home.) This overwhelming margin of support should overcome the President’s threat to veto this bill, as he did a similar one two years ago. Referring to this block on U.S. funds to Russia that might find their way into Iranian hands, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, "We should not be financing our deadly enemies."
Missiles and Gnashing Teeth
By Helle Bering
As though it wasn't enough that National Missile Defense (NMD) has plenty of opponents in this country, including the White House itself, which has only moved on the issue with the greatest reluctance, the reaction overseas has been underwhelming. The Russians and Chinese hate the idea, and our NATO allies in Europe watch with concern that is becoming more outspoken.
Count on the French to say it like it is. As French Defense Minister Alain Richard told a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International studies, yesterday, "We fear that NMD could fuel a new arms race and more generally could serve as a convenient cover by those states that do not want to be strictly bound by non-proliferation norms." The rest of Europe's center-left governments are equally unhappy with the prospect of an American NMD. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, Europe is now governed by the very same people who not so long ago were on the ramparts in the anti-nuclear movement, railing against American intermediate range missiles in the early 1980s. They don't like nuclear weapons.
Personal issues aside, there is a lot more going on here, adding to the atmosphere of mistrust that has been creeping into the relationships between the United states and Europe in the 1990s. It could make for some difficult moments for the next American president.
Even with the Cold War behind us, we are hearing echoes of the debate of the early 1950s, when President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles faced a host of not dissimilar decisions relating to Europe, ranging from NATO expansion to containment of the Soviet Union, to investment in NATO's conventional forces by Europeans, to the role of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Nor were relations easy then. The British government of Anthony Eden remained resentful of the U.S. government following the 1956 Suez crisis, fearing that when Dulles talked about "rollback" he was thinking more of their empire than that of the Soviets. It was a shaky moment in the alliance. One would hope that this one, too, can be overcome.
The Europeans see NMD as part of a package of problems that includes the defeated Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was voted down by the U.S. Senate last fall, and which will now also include the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. The White House believes the ABM needs to be modified in order to allow for a limited missile defense system, to be based in Alaska according to current plans. (Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he may accept such modifications, a sure sign that the limited missile defense preferred by the White House is seen as no threat by the Russians.) Many Republicans, however, want to scrap the ABM entirely, given that one of its two signatories in 1974 — the Soviet Union — went out of existence almost 10 years ago. They fear that the United States, protected by missile defense and not banned from improving its nuclear arsenal, will be more inclined to go it alone.
Mr. Clinton has set a deadline of June for a decision — the wrong time if ever there was one. As important a decision as this ought to be postponed until there is a new man in the White House, preferably one with a genuine commitment to real missile defense. Republican candidate George W. Bush has declared his support for NMD, whether or not the Russians give us their permission.
As for the Europeans, they stand a better chance of formulating a coordinated opposition to NMD, through the Common Foreign and Defense Policy undertaken by the European Union. That still doesn't give them veto right, of course, though they would very much like it. "Even if you wanted to, you would not be able to take this decision in a vacuum," Mr. Richard said. In other words, Europe expects consultations on the subject.
Still, if the United States makes a unilateral decision to go ahead, there really isn't much anyone can do about it. What the next U.S. president should explain — slowly and carefully — is that the United States needs missile defense in order to protect itself against unpredictable enemy nations of a nuclear-tipped variety, North Korea, for instance, or Iran, or our old friend Saddam Hussein, who remains unhampered by nuclear inspections. And how about China and Russia themselves? Their arsenals, which they are upgrading, presumably are not just ornamental. That is, of course, if the next president believes in NMD, which both Republican candidates George W. Bush and John McCain do — and Vice President Al Gore does not.
But what the president should also explain is that we are willing to share. The Europeans ought to be concerned about safety no less than the Americans, being within striking distance of medium-range missile attack from the Middle East. As NATO allies, they should benefit from American research and development. Unfortunately, wanting to protect Europe's defense industries, they do not want to buy American technology. (Lockheed-Martin produces the most promising sea-based missile defense system, on which a U.S. national missile defense could be based).
How to invest is, of course, Europe's problem — not ours. If the United States decides to act in its own national security interest, more than likely, they will come to an accommodation with that fact.
Helle Bering is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. This article appeared on February 23, 2000—Copyright NewsWorld Communications.
Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Budget
Congressman Floyd D. Spence (R-SC)
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
Adapted from Opening Statement to the Hearings With Defense Secretary Bill Cohen and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs, General Henry Shelton
On February 7, the President delivered his final defense budget to Congress. The good news is that the President’s 2001 defense budget proposal is the best one to come out of the Administration in its eight years in office.
Indeed, the request reflects the first significant real spending growth in the defense budget in a decade and, at this preliminary stage, does not appear to be built on a foundation of assumed savings, questionable economic assumptions, and outlay gimmicks like last year’s budget request.
In the context of longstanding bipartisan concerns in Congress, Defense Secretary Cohen deserves credit within the Executive Branch for recognizing that quality of life, readiness and modernization shortfalls are real, that they have real-world implications, and that increased spending is necessary.
Unfortunately, the bad news with regard to the President’s budget is that serious mismatches between strategy, forces, and resources are not getting any better. The consequent widespread shortfalls have left a legacy of debilitating quality of life, readiness and modernization problems that the military services now confront on a daily basis.
Indeed, it is unfortunate that the Administration waited until its eighth and last budget request to finally propose a budget with real growth in defense spending. Over these past eight years, the Administration’s cumulative defense budget requests have fallen more than $300 billion short of even covering the costs of inflation relative to the fiscal year 1993 defense spending levels it inherited—spending levels that already reflected significant cutbacks from President Bush’s post-Cold War downsizing of the United States military.
It was not too many years ago that the Administration’s defense budget requests were so low that the top-line fell short of keeping pace with inflation even after Congress added more than $10 billion! And it was not too many years ago that the President consistently threatened to veto these congressional top-line increases, arguing as he did, that it was too much money for defense. It is rewarding to note that Congress and the Pentagon have finally managed to alter the President’s perspective on these matters.
Thus, the Administration’s fiscal year 2001 defense budget request is certainly better than its predecessors, but this is hardly a useful standard. After years of decline, the Administration has dug such a deep "hole" that it will take a decade or more for real growth in defense spending to climb out of it and to catch up.
One real growth budget proposal, presented during the Administration’s last year in office, will not make much of a dent in addressing the long-term systematic problems the services now face. And one real growth budget proposal will certainly not solve the shortfalls caused by the Administration’s continued conduct of an aggressive "Base Force" strategy with a "QDR-sized" force now being paid for out of a "Bottom-Up Review" budget.
Whether the services’ unfunded requirements are consistent with the approximately $150 billion identified by the Joints Chiefs more than a year ago, or closer to the $400-500 billion identified by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in their recent Defense Train Wreck analysis, it is important to guard against getting bogged down in a debate over specific numbers.
The fundamental point, and one from which to build consensus, is that the nation is going to need to spend a lot more money than the Administration is requesting, and projecting to spend in the future, in order to maintain even current military capabilities. For instance, despite significant congressional increases to the defense budget last year, the service chiefs testified last October to having at least $9 billion in critical unfunded requirements this current fiscal year, excluding the unbudgeted costs of Kosovo operations. Few, if any, of these shortfalls are addressed in the fiscal year 2000 supplemental submitted with the budget request, and there is no end in sight to this level of short-term operationally-related shortfalls in the years ahead.
Whatever the level of annual operational shortfalls, annual modernization shortfalls will be significantly greater. In this regard, it is important to note that while the Administration’s fiscal year 2001 procurement request has been advertised as finally reaching the five-year old $60 billion target, it was only with the help of some new accounting such as the inclusion of submarine overhaul funds in the procurement accounts for the first time.
More troubling, perhaps, than the specific modernization figure is the fact that the fiscal year 2001 procurement request reflects at least the sixth consecutive year that acquisition programs have been cut in order to pay shorter term bills. This year’s $60.3 billion procurement request is $1.5 billion below what the Administration projected the request would be at this time last year. This is difficult to comprehend in an overall defense budget characterized by spending growth.
There were many who criticized President Reagan’s defense build-up of the early 1980s. Yet the very force that resulted from this build-up is the one being worn
out as a result of extensive operational deployments and inadequate resourcing. As former Secretary of Defense Schlesinger indicated before the House Armed Services Committee on February 8, the United States military continues to live off and wear out the "capital" of the late Cold War.
Modernizing and maintaining even today’s smaller military forces, following on the heels of the past decade of declining budgets, is going to take the kind of sustained commitment and investment in the years ahead that took place in the early 1980s. Some may argue that the nation cannot afford such an investment. What the nation cannot afford is another decade, like the last, of declining defense budgets and shrinking military forces if the United States is to remain a superpower able to promote and to protect its global interests.
"In light of these worsening shortfalls, I recommend that the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget provide for the increased spending over the next five years sufficient to address, at a minimum, the critical unfunded requirements that have been identified by the military service chiefs."
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Floyd Spence (R-SC)
From His February 25, 2000, Letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich (R-OH)
Missile Defense Hearing Introduction
Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA)
Chairman of the R&D Sub-Committee of the House Armed Services Committee
February 16, 2000
We are going to explore here today the full range of BMD issues, and much of what we’ll hear today will be positive. I want to stress three points.
First, we’ve long since passed the threat threshold. We’ve known for a long time that North Korea is developing theater and long-range ballistic missiles. We’ve known for a couple of years that Iran has been developing missiles capable of threatening U.S. forces and allies in the Middle East, Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations are developing missile arsenals as well. Our own Department of Defense says the same thing: the threat threshold has been crossed. Secretary Cohen believes that Iran will have a missile capable of threatening all of NATO within 5 to 10 years. His conclusion: we need to deploy TMD systems and a limited NMD system.
Second: now, after a long period of frustration and delay, we’ve had a string of successes in the development of BMD systems. The THAAD program conducted two successful hit-to-kill intercept tests. PAC-3 now has three consecutive hits and, in the most recent intercept test just a couple of weeks ago, demonstrated its remote launch capability that will extend the footprint it can defend.
The NMD system also conducted a successful intercept last October, and last month conducted a test
that demonstrated successfully that integration of virtually the entire NMD system. While we can’t minimize the fact that the January test missed the target, I want to stress my view that this test was more challenging and, in many ways, more successful than the earlier one, and it demonstrated substantial technical progress in the NMD program. I am also encouraged that the problem uncovered in the January test is apparently a minor one, not a fundamental problem of science and technology.
By my simple arithmetic, that’s six out of the last seven, and one near-miss. That’s either six "accidental" successes, as the critics keep suggesting, or conclusive evidence that hit-to-kill technology can and will work.
And third, I believe we have to move ahead as rapidly and efficiently as we can with these systems. I am concerned that, while the BMDO budget request is better than this Administration has ever managed in the past, that key programs are restrained by lack of funding. . . . I am especially concerned that BMDO’s technology funding has been reduced $100 million from last year’s level and I understand that [the] entire innovative science and Technology budget is just $7 million. This level of technology funding, I believe, is clearly inadequate to meet future BMD requirements.
On the 17th Anniversary of Reagan’s SDI Speech, America Remains Defenseless
From Ronald Reagan’s March 23, 1983, Vision:
"I have become more and more deeply convinced that the human spirit must be capable of rising above dealing with other nations and human beings by threatening their existence. . . . One of the most important contributions we can make is, of course, to lower the level of arms, and particularly nuclear arms. . . . If the Soviet Union will join us, we will have succeeded in stabilizing the nuclear balance. Nevertheless, it will still be necessary to rely on the spectre of retaliation, or mutual threat. And that is a sad commentary on the human condition.
Wouldn’t it be better to save lives than to avenge them? Are we not capable of demonstrating our peaceful intention by applying all our abilities and ingenuity to achieving a truly lasting stability?
I think we are. Indeed, we must. . . . Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope. It is that we embrace a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive. . . . What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation . . . that we could intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reached our soil or that of our allies.
I know this is a formidable task, one that may not be accomplished before the end of this century. Yet, current technology has attained a level of sophistication where it is reasonable for us to begin this effort. . . . Isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?
. . . My fellow Americans, tonight we’re launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history. There are risks, and results will take time. But I believe we can do it…"
Radio Audience to Double
"Generally Speaking", the radio Talk Show moderated by Maj. Gen. Milnor Roberts, is now carried by an additional radio network - Radio America. The program, initiated in September 1999, is broadcast each Saturday on the Liberty Works Network at 3-4 p.m. EST.
Radio America has about 400 affiliated stations throughout the USA, and it features a series of live talk shows which includes Common Sense Radio with Col. Oliver North, Good Day USA with Doug Stephen, and Dateline: Washington with Dave Tecuwen. In addition to live programs, Radio America carries a wide range of documentaries and commentaries which include a program featuring US Attorney Klayman who conducted the investigation of President Clinton. Steve Forbes, and Phyllis Schlatly are other popular programs.
In February, Generally Speaking guests included:
Feb 5—Adm. Jim Cary, Navy League of the United States
Feb 12—Col. Mike Duggan, DC Headquarters; American Legion
Feb 19—Tom Newman, Ex-Dir. Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Feb 26—Maj. Gen. George Kundahl, Chief of Staff, Military Order of World Wars
The latest news about Missile Defense is broadcast in each program, and The Shield is offered to the audience. In the Washington, D.C. area, the program is carried by WRC, 570 AM. It is also on Live Audio on the internet at "www.LibertyWorksRadio.com."
If you would like to recieve your own copy of The Shield please contact our office and we would be happy to place your name on our mailing list.