Bush Accelerates Missile Defense ; Bush Team Wants to Create a Sense of Inevitability, but Critics Say the US Is Risking a Game of High-Stakes Chicken

By Peter Grier writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 2, 2001 | Go to article overview

Bush Accelerates Missile Defense ; Bush Team Wants to Create a Sense of Inevitability, but Critics Say the US Is Risking a Game of High-Stakes Chicken


Peter Grier writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The Bush administration is pressing hard to make the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty a thing of the geopolitical past and put the United States on an almost irreversible path toward strategic missile defenses.

Any US antimissile shield is still years away from deployment. Yet teams of high-ranking officials will travel to Europe next week, in the wake of the president's speech yesterday on nuclear issues, to engage ally and adversary alike in delicate ABM and missile-defense diplomacy.

In essence, the nation's new security team is bringing up a tough subject before it really has to. The likely goal: create a sense of inevitability about the dawning of a new nuclear age.

"They're sending a clear signal that this is what we're going to do," says Wade Boese, a senior research analyst at the Arms Control Association in Washington. "They want to get that out of the way."

There is debate even among administration officials as to whether an accelerated, more aggressive approach toward nuclear issues will be effective.

Under a best-case scenario, European governments will quietly accept the US move toward a defense-dominated atomic regime. Russia, lured by a promise of further deep reductions in offensive nuclear weapons, will agree to some sort of framework that includes a mutual reworking or elimination of ABM restrictions.

The US could then pump billions into defensive research projects, secure in the knowledge that they could be deployed, if proven to work.

A worst-case scenario would involve continued fierce Russian opposition to something that it believes could make its own nuclear deterrent obsolete. Key European governments such as Britain and Denmark, where the US would like to upgrade early-warning radars, would remain nervous, or worse. The US could be then be caught in a game of high-stakes chicken, edging closer year by year towards unilateral deployment of defenses, saying all the while, "we really mean it, we really mean it."

Yet some aspects of the more-robust layered defense system that the president favors aren't yet even in the design stage. "I'm a little uncertain that they really need to fight this fight now," says William Hartung, director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at New School University's World Policy Institute.

Missile defense is not solely a GOP issue. Almost 20 years after Ronald Reagan brought the defenses back to public view with his ambitious Star Wars initiative, Republican and many Democratic lawmakers have struck a consensus that the rapid advance of guidance and targeting technologies has brought effective defense within the realm of possibility.

Differences lie mostly in the avidity with which lawmakers want to pursue such a system. The Clinton administration's plan called for a limited, single-layer system relying on ground-based interceptors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bush Accelerates Missile Defense ; Bush Team Wants to Create a Sense of Inevitability, but Critics Say the US Is Risking a Game of High-Stakes Chicken
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.