Monday | June 17, 2002
US gives go-ahead to Chinese missile buildup
The US' long-standing efforts to reduce nuclear proliferation in the world has ground to a halt thanks to the Bush administration's obsession with the missile defense shield. (login: dailykos | password: dailykos)
Not only are commentators arguing the missile shield would encourage nuclear powers to expand their arsenals to overwhelm the new defenses, but the US is actually encouraging China to do so.
Foreign policy guru Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del) ripped the new policy:
"This is absolutely absurd. It shows that these guys will go to any length to build a national missile defense, even one they can't define. Their headlong, headstrong, irrational and theological desire to build a missile defense sends the wrong message to the Chinese and to the whole world."If, as expected, the Chinese expand their arsenal, India will be forced to keep pace. As India boosts its arsenal, its arch-enemy Pakistan wouldn't be far behind. Russia would most likely be forced to redeploy some of those missiles put in mothballs by the latest 'treaty' Putin and Bush signed.
And, as the entire region went nuclear, there would be even more impetus for the local "rogue states" to built their own nuclear fleets.
Administration officials argue that China is modernizing its missile fleet anyway, so it's no big deal. But it is a big deal. Not only is the US going to give China the green light to build up their arsenal, but it has also signaled a desire to start nuclear testing once again, violating the signed but never-ratified Nuclear Test Ban Treaty -- giving China the diplomatic cover it needs to design, test and build even more advanced nuclear weapons.
We have gone from half a century of efforts to limit the number of nuclear-capable states, and the numbers of nuclear warheads, to a policy that would essentially defeat the entire point of a nuclear missile shield.
There are no pretensions that a nuclear missile shield could stop a full-scale assault. Indeed, every test thus far conducted indicates that the shield couldn't even stop a single warhead with full counter-measures built in. Yet, instead of working to reduce the number of warheads (thus the chances of accidental launch, or of a warhead falling into the hands of terrorists), the US has sanctioned a brand new arms race.Posted June 17, 2002 08:11 AM | Comments (1)