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Clinton's missile defense plan

America is vulnerable to nuclear attack from Russia and President Clinton wants to keep it that way. If you don’t believe this, consider what the Clinton administration did last week.

Clinton directed top Pentagon officials to meet with Russia’s foreign minister, Igor Ivanov. The purpose of the meeting was to allay Russian fears regarding a proposed U.S. missile defense system. Ivanov was told that Clinton’s missile defense program, a pale mockery of President Reagan’s SDI proposal, did not intend to protect the United States from Russian nuclear missiles. In fact, Clinton’s Pentagon team explained to Ivanov, in exact terms, how the Russian General Staff could defeat America’s latest anti-missile technology in a future nuclear war.

But this is not all that was offered to the Russian foreign minister. Clinton’s Pentagon told Ivanov that American tax dollars could be used to strengthen Russia’s missile defenses. Specifically, America would build an early-warning radar system in Siberia for the Russian General Staff. America would also help Russia put up satellites for monitoring U.S. missile launches. More than that, America would allow Russian personnel free access to America’s missile defense radars.

On the surface it appears that President Clinton was making a good faith gesture. In reality, however, he was compromising the defense of the United States while offering aid and comfort to our national enemy. As recent events show, the Kremlin is using the Antiballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 as a political sledgehammer with which to bludgeon the good name of the United States. While Moscow cheats on the ABM Treaty, the U.S. desire to change the treaty is viciously interpreted as proof of evil intentions.

But Russia is the country that harbors evil intentions.

Consider an incident which occurred in mid April, during a closed session of the Russian Parliament. On that occasion, President Vladimir Putin stunned the assembled legislators by warning that any Russian citizen in contact with foreigners “outside the framework of official duties” could be subjected to criminal prosecution.

Sadly, Russian democracy is a sham, which serves to hide Soviet era structures. These structures control the country from behind the scenes. It is a sad fact, but the Cold War did not end. The danger of war between Russia and America has not passed. And Clinton has no business telling Russia how it can defeat a U.S. missile defense system.

It is time to wake up. A career KGB officer and former chief of the secret police — Vladimir Putin — has been elected to the Russian presidency. About this event, the Business Editor of the Moscow Times wrote: “Russia’s presidential election[s] were a farcical show that stripped the people of all but a few remaining democratic rights.”

America has got to come to terms with Russia’s deceptive appearance. We have to get past the propaganda and deal with the facts at hand. Russia is a country that has been preparing for World War III for 45 years. Consider the size and nature of the effort involved: In the mid-1970s U.S. intelligence satellites revealed massive underground constructions in Russia. According to Major General George Keegan, former chief of U.S. Air Force intelligence, there were “incredible photographs of civil defenses of all types going up all over the Soviet Union.”

In the 39 largest cities of the former USSR every apartment house built after 1955 had a nuclear blast and fallout shelter built into the foundation. Every new factory also had a shelter system. Underneath Moscow there were 75 huge underground command posts, each one as large as the Pentagon. According to Gen. Keegan, these were protected from nuclear assault by four hundred feet of earth fill and a hundred feet of reinforced concrete. Huge storage containers were also detected by USAF intelligence These contained water and diesel fuel.

Besides passive defenses like blast shelters and bunkers, Russia built a national missile defense system — in direct violation of the ABM Treaty. But Russian disinformation has fooled Western intelligence agencies and Western politicians. For example, many of Russia’s surface to air missiles (SAMs) can be converted to antiballistic missiles (ABMs). Despite the CIA’s inability to admit this politically inconvenient fact, in October 1995 a leading Russian military journal (Armeyskiy Sbornik, No. 10, 1995) discussed the subject of transforming SAMs to ABMs. According to Col. V. Sayenko, in an article entitled “A Counterbalance to Intimidators,” Russian SA-5 and SA-10 missiles were designed as dual-purpose SAM/ABMs. There are literally thousands of these weapons in Russia today. Yet President Clinton does not complain of Russian violations. Instead, he seeks to appease the Russians on arms control matters.

Clinton’s national missile defense, like Russian democracy, is a sham. The ABM Treaty is totally unfair and should be set aside. As noted above, Civil defenses are well developed in Russian cities, while American cities have almost no civil defense. This is a terrible position for our country to be in. But additional asymmetries appear when Russian treaty violations are taken into account.

America is in an ugly situation. Russia’s leaders wish to hold a loaded gun to our heads (in the form of nuclear missiles). They don’t care about making a better life for their own people. They only want to disarm the United States. This is obvious from the entire previous history of Russia vis-a-vis arms control. But Bill Clinton is willing to go along with the Russians. He wants to keep America vulnerable to a Russian attack. That’s the kind of person he is.

It is entirely possible that Bill Clinton’s presidency will fascinate future historians. This won’t be on account of the sex scandals that receive so much attention today. It will not be due to Clinton’s affair with Monica or the impeachment trial. Crimes and adultery will not interest future generations as much as Clinton’s determination to prevent the U.S. from building a strong national missile defense.

Of course, Bill Clinton doesn’t like the idea of a missile defense system — even the bogus one under discussion. In all probability he has given lip service to this idea as a way of opposing the real thing. Perhaps fearing that a bogus ABM defense is easily converted into something effective, Clinton may postpone his decision on ABM indefinitely.

On this issue Americans need to ask themselves two questions: Should we remain vulnerable to Russia forever? And if so, to what end?