The drive to deploy a National Missile Defense System in the United States is not driven primarily by threats or technology, but by politics. It is motivated primarily by deeply-held conservative political and strategic views on the nature of international conflict.
Russia is the one exception to U.S. success in dissuading nuclear cooperation with Iran - success, which includes China and Ukraine, according to Assistant Secretary of State for Non-proliferation, Robert Einhorn. In testimony before a U.S Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on October 5, he blamed Moscow's "lack of determination" in failing to stop Iran's procurement of nuclear materials in Russia.
In the wake of President Clinton's decision to delay deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system, missile defense advocates are crying foul. They insist that the technology is here today. They claim a Clinton conspiracy is depriving the nation of effective defense.
As a result of budget constraints, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces are having problems procuring new missiles, Defense News reports.
Carnegie Non-Proliferation Conference
Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India has underscored Moscow's willingness to continue its nuclear cooperation with New Delhi, while strengthening Indo-Russian defense ties. Mr Putin's unprecedented visit to the center of India's nuclear weaponization program -- Bhabha Atomic Research Center - was perceived "like a blessing from the top for Indo-Russian nuclear ties." The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding expanding cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy. Details were not forthcoming, but The Hindu quoted sources saying the memorandum "is a Russian commitment to contribute to India's growing nuclear energy requirements."
A recently announced U.S. arms deal with Taiwan immediately prompted an angry response from Beijing, which warned that there would be "serious consequences" if the deal is approved.
Pakistan reportedly has begun full-scale production of the Shaheen I, a 600 km-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile, successfully tested in April 1999. On September 21, the Pakistani daily The News quoted an unnamed government official saying, "mass production of Shaheen, which can hit Indian strategic points like Mumbai [formerly known as Bombay] and others with 100% accuracy, has started.