March 2001 (vol. 17, #3)
1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716
c 2001 Physicians for Civil Defense
``U.S. commanders ... argue that the previous threat from the old Soviet Union may have been hostile but it was predictable'' (BBC News 3/24/00).
Despite growing concerns about nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation, the Clinton Administration used its veto power to resist every effort in Congress to authorize an anti-missile shield. Perhaps as a ``confidence-building'' measure, Clinton also declassified information on 204 nuclear tests.
In an unclassified summary of a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in 1995 (www.fas.org/spp/starwars/offdocs/nie9519.htm), it was asserted that:
(1) ``No country, other than the major declared nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years that could threaten the contiguous 48 states and Canada'' [note the omission of Alaska and Hawaii]. North Korea has significant technological challenges to overcome, and ``we think we would detect propulsion system development.''
(2) ``Ballistic missile programs of other countries are focused on regional security concerns and are not expected to evolve into threats to North America during the period of this estimate.... We are likely to detect any indigenous long-range ballistic missile program many years before deployment.''
(3) ``We expect countries that currently have ICBMs [or space launch vehicles] will not sell them.''
(4) ``[T]he current threat to North America from unauthorized or accidental launch of Russian or Chinese strategic missiles remains remote.'' The possibility of an intended launch was evidently not even considered.
A Heritage Foundation analysis stated that the report ``contains so many flaws, contradictions, and ambiguities that critics naturally wonder about its objectivity,'' suggesting that the Clinton Administration ``cooked'' the assessment to justify cutting the national missile defense budget by 80%.
On the other hand, a congressionally mandated analysis by a 7-man ``objective, nongovernmental'' expert panel, which included Comprehensive Test Ban advocate Sidney Drell, found no evidence of politicization and agreed that an indigenous ICBM threat from the Third World was unlikely before 2010 (www.fas.org/irp/congress/1996_hr/s961204.htm).
By 1999, it was no longer possible to continue to deny the threat. The NIE 1999 acknowledged uncertainties and admitted that it had missed North Korea's addition of a third stage to the Taepo Dong I, which gave it the potential to cross the 5,500-km threshold to ICBM range, until a launch in August, 1998.
NIE 1999 key points include: ``[D]uring the next 15 years, the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq. The Russian threat, although significantly reduced, will continue to be the most robust and lethal....
``By 2015, China will have tens of missiles capable of targeting the United States, including a few tens of more survivable, land- and sea-based mobile missiles with smaller nuclear warheads-in part influenced by US technology gained through espionage. China tested its first mobile missile in August 1999.'' Current Chinese missiles are capable of reaching targets throughout the U.S., not just Los Angeles.
Russian and Chinese strategic forces have the potential for ``catastrophic, nation-killing damage.''
As for arms sales, ``North Korea continues to demonstrate its willingness to sell its missiles.'' In contrast to NIE 1995 assurances, the report acknowledges that ``we may not be able to provide much warning if a country purchased an ICBM.''
The ICBMs of rogue nations, though less accurate or less survivable, nonetheless give them the capacity to ``deter, constrain, and harm the United States.''
The NIE 1999 concludes that ``the probability that a WMD-armed missile will be used against US forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War'' (www.cia.gov/cia/publications/nie/nie99msl.html).
Clinton's Defense Secretary William Cohen stated in Senate testimony that ``the threat of longer range missiles from rogue nations is substantial, and it's growing. These countries do not need long-range missiles so that they can intimidate their neighbors.... They want long-range missiles to coerce and threaten the United States and our allies.''
Missiles and warheads of such rogue nations might not be ``covered by the ... mutual deterrence structure of the ABM Treaty,'' as Bill Clinton stated at a June 2000 press conference, and thus it would be a moral obligation to explore the potential of defense ``insofar as there might be technology available to protect us and other people around the world.''
In contrast, Americans must remain totally unprotected against the numerically much greater threat of missiles from non-rogue nations, especially Russia.
``[A] growing menace [proliferation] ... has led some people mistakenly to surmise that we are lessening our commitment to one of the sacred texts of arms control-the antiballistic missile, (or ABM) Treaty,'' said Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director John Holum, as quoted in Stubborn Things: A Decade of Facts About Ballistic Missile Defense by Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) (www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/Stubborn.htm). Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the ABM Treaty ``the basis of most of our strategic thinking.'' At a press conference on March 5, 1999, Bill Clinton said that he has ``never advocated, initiated, en-couraged, sanctioned, or blinked at the possibility that we could unilaterally abrogate the ABM Treaty.''
On December 1, 1999, by a vote of 80-4, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution cosponsored by Russia, China, and Belarus that called for preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty, and for the parties to refrain from deploying territorial ABM defenses. Only the U.S., Israel, Albania, and the Federated States of Micronesia voted no.
Unless the U.S. defines all missiles aimed at Americans as rogue missiles, which should be destroyed if possible, Americans will remain hostages to a sacred agreement with the supposedly defunct Evil Empire.
Deterrence. In May, 1999, Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), who is fluent in Russian, traveled to Russia with 10 other Congressmen. A Russian general warned that if the U.S. put ground troops in Kosovo, Russia ``could'' detonate a nuclear device in the atmosphere off the eastern United States. He claimed that the resulting EMP would ``fry'' every computer chip in the country, shutting down electric grids, telephones, and air traffic, so that the country was thrown into chaos. (See ``Who's Responsible for America's Security Crisis'' by David Horowitz, Center for the Study of Popular Culture, P.O. Box 67398, Los Angeles, CA 90067, (800) 752-6562, ext. 209.)
According to a document distributed to regional garrisons and army headquarters in China, the smaller size of the Chinese arsenal is of no practical significance to deterrence. ``So far we have built up the capability for the second and third nuclear strikes and are fairly confident in fighting a nuclear war. The PCC [Communist Party Central Committee] has decided to pass through formal channels this message to the top leaders in the U.S.'' While China is willing to sustain large losses, the document states that ``if the U.S. forces lose thousands or hundreds of men under our powerful strikes, the anti-war sentiment within their country will force the U.S. government to take the same path as they did in Viet Nam'' (Charles Smith, WorldNetDaily, 3/4/00).
Saber Rattling. On the eve of the first talks between U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Russia staged the largest exercise of its strategic triad in a long time. The highlight of the exercise was the flight test of the SS-25, Moscow's first road-mobile ICBM. According to former CIA Director James Woolsey, the exercises signified ``Russia deciding to deal with the West after the fashion of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, namely to bluster in order to try to prevent an American strategic overture, in this case missile defense'' (Bill Gertz, Washington Times 2/15/01).
The missile launches were meant to show that ``Russian strategic forces have the power to surmount any anti-missile defenses,'' said Valery Manilov, deputy chief of the general staff. American national missile defense is perceived as being aimed at the strategic forces of Russia and Communist China. The idea of a ``rogue state'' aiming an ICBM at the U.S. is ``nonsense...that nobody in the world believes,'' according to Russian general Leonid Ivashov (FT.com, 2/16/01).
Though Russia denies it, American spy satellites detected the arrival of tactical nuclear arms in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. Moscow refused a request by the Polish government to conduct an inspection. Under an informal 1992 agreement, Moscow was to remove all tactical nuclear weapons from forward-deployed areas, and said that it had done so (Bill Gertz, Washington Times 2/15/01).
Arms Deals. China's Central Military Commission has signed a new series of defense, military technology, and economic agreements with Russia to aid in the modernization of its forces. CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Wannian said that these efforts must meet the needs of a successful modern war, which includes ``partial, short and high-tech destructive war; all-around medium and long term war[s] of attrition; and a war of annihilation fought with non-conventional weapons.'' The deterrent weapons of a future conflict would include laser and neutron weapons (Jon Dougherty, WorldNetDaily 2/26/01).
According to Jane's Defence Weekly, a sophisticated anti-aircraft gun and surface-to-air missile system has been in use by the PLA for several years. Besides defending against airborne threats, the system would be able to destroy most light-armored fighting vehicles. China North Industries Corp. is now promoting the system for export. This is the same company that conspired with another Chinese company, Poly Tech, to send 2,000 AK-47s to the U.S. in the hope of selling them to street gangs and drug dealers (J Dougherty, WorldNetDaily 2/17/01).
Nuclear Theft. While many have been concerned about the theft of nuclear weapons from a chaotic Russia, RETA Security Inc. has warned new Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham that ``terrorists have a ready supply of special nuclear materials already existing and available within our borders.'' RETA President Ronald E. Trimm claimed that the Department of Energy had avoided addressing this fact for 8 years.
``There's nothing left for the Department of Energy to lose except an actual weapon,'' said a former Energy security official (Paul Sperry, WorldNetDaily 2/13/01).
Russian NMD. Remember the Krasnoyarsk phased-array radar? (The May 1990 issue notes that it had ``not yet been dismantled.'') The Soviet Union was caught out on this clear violation of the ABM Treaty only because of the illegal inland location. Though Krasnoyarsk is now closed, other Soviet radars are networked to pass along tracking and targeting information to a central command-and-control system-also a treaty violation. Moreover, states William T. Lee, formerly of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, Russia's 8,000 SAMs may carry nuclear warheads and are thus capable of bringing down ICBMs. Numerous Russian sources, he says, tell how the SAMs were designed expressly for this illegal purpose.
Continuing Russian violations are another good reason for abrogating the ABM treaty, states Melanie Kirkpatrick, assistant Wall Street Journal editorial editor (Wall St J 3/6/01).
No Criticism Allowed. ``No one can accuse the [Russian] government of inappropriate use of antiterrorist measures in Chechnya, [or] call Russia an aggressor or occupier,'' stated Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The reason: the successful launch of the new Topol-M ICBM, used as an occasion to warn the West against criticism (AP 12/14/99).
More reasons: Russian officials say they plan to reactivate missile production capabilities, especially for the navy, in order to ramp up production several fold. As of June 2000, the Russian navy claimed to operate 25 strategic nuclear submarines carrying 2,272 nuclear warheads on 440 ballistic missiles (Jon Dougherty, WorldNetDaily 3/17/01).
Superfast Torpedos. The spy trial of Edward Pope in Moscow last year concerned the alleged attempt to acquire breakthrough technology, a Russian rocket-propelled torpedo that can travel 230 mph in water in a semivacuum bubble (NY Times 12/1/00).
``Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts or evidence.'' John Adams, quoted by Thad Cochran in Stubborn Things