Return to Armageddon: The United States and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1981-1999

By Ronald E. Powaski | Go to book overview

5
Clinton, START II,
and the ABM Treaty

Candidate Clinton

Unlike Ronald Reagan, William Jefferson Clinton
entered the White House determined to reduce the
number of nuclear weapons. He also promised to go
much farther than the Bush administration in ending
the nuclear arms race. He indicated that his adminis­v
tration would continue to reduce the risks of vertical
nuclear proliferation by giving the START I and START
II treaties high priority.

As for ballistic missile defenses, Clinton's campaign statements strongly suggested that his administration would continue to adhere to the 1972 ABM Treaty. Although he believed the United States should conduct missile defense research and development, he insisted it should be done "in strict compliance" with the ABM Treaty. However, he also said that he "would consider modest changes in it that clearly enhanced U.S. security interests and were negotiated in good faith with Russia.""At present," he added, "such changes are not needed." Clinton also promised that his administration would spend far less money on the Strategic Defense Initiative than the previous administration had wanted (as much as $8 billion per year on SDI). Clinton stated that the deployment of a massive space-based defense, such as the Bush Brilliant Pebbles program, was not necessary. In addition to scaling back SDI, Clinton said that he would support negotiated limits on antisatellite weapons. 1

-165-

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Return to Armageddon: The United States and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1981-1999
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction the Nuclear Arms Race, 1939-1981 3
  • 1 - The Reagan Nuclear Buildup 14
  • 2 - The Reagan About-Face 39
  • 3 - Bush and Start I 83
  • 4 - Bush and Start II 128
  • 5 - Clinton, Start Ii, and the Abm Treaty 165
  • 6 - Clinton and Counterproliferation 205
  • Conclusion the Enduring Nuclear Threat 251
  • Acronyms and Technical Terms 259
  • Notes 263
  • Suggested Readings 283
  • Index 287
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