:: Point-Counterpoint Forum ::

Should We Deploy a National Missile Defense?

Pro and Con: "The Case For National Missile Defense" and "The Case Against National Missile Defense"

Pro: Summary:
There is today substantial consensus that the threat from weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles is both real and expanding. This consensus is clearly reflected in the overwhelming passage by both houses of Congress of the National Missile Defense Act, making it U.S. policy and law to deploy a national missile defense "as soon as is technologically possible." The unanimous findings of the bipartisan Rumsfeld Commission and the most recent assessments of the intelligence community leave little reasonable doubt about the growing challenges to the security of the American homeland from missile attack. A comprehensive long-term strategy is required to counter this threat. The United States must lead international efforts, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, to prevent and slow further proliferation. These efforts are essential but, as evident from the threat, insufficient. As a consequence, we must also pursue the deployment of effective missile defenses.

Read the Full Article @ Homeland Defense.org

Ambassador Robert Joseph National Security Council
Con: Summary:
"The debate on national missile defense has revolved around feasibility and dependability, but far more serious problems should concern decision-makers in Washington. Should the system work or, more likely, should the international community perceive that the United States can make it work, a series of national security problems will ensue. Ties between Russia and China will improve; the angry reaction of our European allies will weaken our leadership of NATO; we will weaken our counter-proliferation and disarmament policies; and we will lose our limited leverage on the nuclear policies of India and Pakistan. Thus, any U.S. decision to pursue NMD will have negative consequences for most aspects of U.S. national security. "

Read the Full Article @ Homeland Defense.org

Melvin A. Goodman is professor of international security at the National War College and senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. He is the author of Gorbachev's Retreat: The Third World and The End of Superpower Conflict and the co-author of The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze and The Phantom Defense: The Case Against NMD. His articles have appeared in such journals and newspapers as Harper's, Foreign Policy, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He was a Soviet analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1966 to 1985

Pro and Con: "Missile Defense: A Supporting Argument" and "Missile Defense: An Argument Against"

Pro: On May 2, 2001, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis Senior Defense Analyst David Tanks discussed the argument in favor of President Bush's missile defense plan.

Read the entire On-line discussion with Dave Tanks @ WashingtonPost.com

Dave Tanks Senior Analyst, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis
Con: On May 2, 2001, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Ivo H. Daalder discussed the argument against President Bush's missile defense plan.

Read the entire On-line discussion with Ivo Daalder @ WashingtonPost.com

Ivo Daadler Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

We would like to know your opinion, please send us your comments.


National Missile Defense: Policy Issues and Technological Capabilities, July 2000
By: David R. Tanks A comprehensive and highly illustrated study reviews the international missile proliferation environment, examines the U.S. arms control and national missile defense (NMD) deployment dichotomy, explains the technology being developed for the NMD system, surveys the NMD program and deployment plans, and explores alternative NMD options.

How to Get Europe and Russia Into a Consensus on Defense, The International Herald Tribune, June 13, 2001
By Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, Senior Fellows, Brooking Institution

Copyright 2001 S.A.F.E. Foundation
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