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.
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.
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.
The difficulties facing U.S.’ leadership in nonproliferation efforts are due in large part to the fierce partisan divide that characterizes recent American politics. However, the historical record and declared positions of President Bush indicate that he may be willing and able to implement sweeping arms reductions and advance arms control measures more effectively than the Clinton administration.
Sea-based national missile defense systems have become the most discussed and least understood of all proposed missile defense projects. Proponents assert that Aegis destroyers and cruisers can quickly and inexpensively provide a highly effective defense.
Time and again, US officials have stated that they do not want America to become the policeman of the world. Yet the one institution that can help the United States from being placed in that role-the United Nations-has been treated shabbily by the United States. The United States must re-affirm the UN’s mission with concrete action, beginning with the payment of long-overdue UN dues.
U.S. and North Korean officials made no concrete progress after three days of talks in Malaysia. U.S. officials are hopeful that the next round would take place before the end of the year. However, no date has been set. The near-term goal of the talks is to solidify plans for a visit to Washington by Kim Yong-sun, who would be the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S. Capitol.