In the wake of the China scandal, the American people finally got the
message that the United States is defenseless against the greatest
physical threat we face — intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s not
because we haven’t developed the technology. Indeed, we have paid dearly
for it. It’s because the Clinton Administration has blocked deployment
at every turn. Why? Because it might offend the Russians.
Presumably, Russia would be offended, because it would lose the
advantage it now holds over us, an advantage that was secured when we
signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with the old Soviet Union. The
ABM treaty allows each country to defend only one site. The Soviet Union
had put up a multi-layered defense around Moscow, which is not only the
country’s largest population center, but the Russian capital.
We put up a defense around Grand Forks, North Dakota, which had a few
missile silos and even fewer people. We toyed with the idea of putting a
missile defense around Washington, D.C. but there was a problem. How
would the American people have responded when they discovered that their
elected representatives had defended their homes and families, but the
rest of the country was hung out to dry? That kind of thing might have
been acceptable in the old Soviet Union where the peasants were just
peasants and had no rights, but it would not have been acceptable here.
The idea was abandoned.
Meanwhile, the Soviets kept improving their missile defense system,
which is the only such defense in the entire world against these
The Clinton Administration has held on to the old ABM treaty because
Russia has used its preservation as a bargaining chip for any new arms
agreements, and arms agreements always have meant favorable press for
U.S. presidents. If we don’t abide by this relic of the Cold War, Russia
won’t play the arms control game, and, make no mistake, it is a game.
Russia has cheated on every arms control agreement it has signed.
Although Russia has the greatest number of ICBMs, China and North
Korea also have missiles capable of hitting our shores, and many other
countries are working frantically to develop this technology. That is
why we must defend America now.
You responded to this news with your phone calls and faxes to
Congress and bills calling for the deployment of a national missile
defense passed the House and the Senate by veto proof margins. However,
this is just the first step. Neither bill authorizes a particular
system, appropriates any money or sets specific target dates. Encourage
your elected representatives to deliver and pass the necessary
legislation immediately. Tomorrow could be too late.