[FPSPACE] Two articles on the NMD

dconst+@pyrrhus.cimds.ri.cmu.edu dconst+@pyrrhus.cimds.ri.cmu.edu
Wed, 9 Aug 2000 15:46:25 EDT


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 23:40:09 PDT
From: C-ap@clari.net (AP / ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer)
Organization: Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press (via ClariNet)
Subject: Delays Plague New Defense Plans

	WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon's experimental missile defense,  
already beset by high-profile test failures, must now deal with 
longer delays from the contractor building new rocket boosters. The 
setbacks could jeopardize the missile's readiness by the target 
date of 2005. 

	Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Tuesday that Defense  
Secretary William Cohen is not ready to abandon the 2005 goal, but 
he conceded that delays in technical aspects of the project are 
growing. 

	``We have always admitted that this was a high-risk program and  
part of being high risk is the deployment date; whether we can meet 
the deployment date of 2005,'' Bacon told reporters. ``We will try 
our best.'' 

	What has become apparent, one month after a highly publicized  
failure to shoot down a mock warhead in space, is that the 
Pentagon's lead contractor on national missile defense, Boeing Co., 
is facing even longer delays than previously acknowledged in 
building a booster for the new missile interceptor. 

	The new rocket booster is designed to carry into space, then  
release, a self-guiding ``kill vehicle'' that would maneuver in the 
path of an incoming warhead and destroy it by force of impact. 

	The new rocket would replace the old-generation rocket booster  
used in an embarrassingly failed anti-missile flight test last 
month. A 10-year-old electronic component failed to send a signal 
to release the ``kill vehicle'' from atop the rocket, and the 
``kill vehicle'' never attempted to intercept its target. The s 
considering now.'' 

	It remains possible that even if Cohen were to decide to move  
back the 2005 target by a year or two, he could recommend that 
Clinton begin the first deployment steps now in order to ease the 
overall schedule crunch. The first step would be awarding contracts 
for construction of a new X-band radar on a remote island in the 
Aleutians off Alaska. 

	The new rocket had been eight months behind in development, and  
Bacon disclosed Tuesday that it is running an additional several 
months late. He said department officials are still calculating an 
exact timetable. It originally was to make its first solo flight -- 
without the ``kill vehicle'' aboard -- last April; then it was 
delayed until November 2000, and Bacon said a further delay until 
spring 2001 was now likely. 

	The new booster's first flight in conjunction with testing the  
overall missile defense system is officially scheduled for sometime 
in the first three months of 2001, although it probably will not be 
ready for ram. Their report said the Pentagon faced ``stressing 
challenges'' to demonstrate in time for a 2005 deployment that the 
rocket booster -- technically called a ground-based interceptor -- 
would perform reliably. 
                            	 *------	 
	On the Net: Ballistic Missile Defense Organization:  
http://www.acq.osd.mil/bmdo/bmdolink/html/nmd.html 
  	   	


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growing. 

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 10:50:10 PDT
From: C-ap@clari.net (AP / ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer)
Organization: Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press (via ClariNet)
Subject: Response To US Missile Defense Eyed

	WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. intelligence officials have informed  
President Clinton that China is likely to accelerate its nuclear 
arms buildup if the United States erects a national defense against 
long-range missiles, officials said Wednesday. 

	The prediction, in a classified report known as a National  
Intelligence Estimate, is part of a broader assessment of how 
foreign countries might respond to a U.S. decision to go ahead with 
a national missile defense. 

	It will be for Clinton to judge whether a faster Chinese nuclear  
arms buildup is an acceptable price to pay for a national missile 
defense that critics say is unnecessary in the short term and 
unworkable. 

	Clinton has said he would decide soon whether to authorize the  
initial steps toward deploying a network of missile interceptors, 
missile-tracking radars and battle management computers to defend 
all 50 states against a small-scale nuclear attack. China is among 
the few nations capable of a nuclear strike on the United States. 

	In making his decision, Clinton has said he would take into  
account four main factors: the urgency of the missile threat 
against the United States, the cost of a missile defense, the 
feasibility of building a reliable defense and the implications for 
U.S. foreign policy, including responses from China and other 
nations. 

	China and Russia are strongly opposed to the U.S. plan, arguing  
that it would undercut the deterrent value of their nuclear 
arsenals, violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty logies and might not be 
deterred by U.S. nuclear threats. 

	U.S. officials who are familiar with the classified intelligence  
report, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it states that 
China plans to increase its nuclear arsenal regardless of U.S. 
national missile defense plans. However, it adds that the increase 
likely would be sped up if a missile defense were built. 

	``Would they probably accelerate it? Yes,'' one official said.  

	The report also affirms an intelligence estimate of September  
1999 that the United States most likely will face a missile threat 
by 2015 from North Korea, probably from Iran and possibly from 
Iraq, the officials said. 

	The report also predicts that Russia would continue shrinking  
its nuclear force, which has been eroded in recent years by a lack 
of money to modernize. Russian officials have warned that they 
would feel compelled to respond to a U.S. missile defense, possibly 
by withdrawing from major arms control agreements. 

	Additions to China's nucleabe targeted mainly at the United 
States. 

	The CIA also has reported that China is developing a  
submarine-launched nuclear missile, the JL-2, which the 
intelligence agency said was likely to be tested within the next 
decade. It said the JL-2 probably will be able to target the United 
States from waters near China. 

	Anthony Cordesman, a national security expert at the Center for  
Strategic and International Studies, said in a report last month on 
likely Chinese reactions to U.S. missile defenses that Washington 
might be able to negotiate ceilings on China's strategic force in 
exchange for clear limits to the U.S. defenses. 

	Cordesman concluded, however, that China was more likely to  
reject such a negotiation and instead would react to U.S. 
deployment of missile defenses by ``systematically upgrading its 
strategic nuclear forces to ensure that it can saturate and defeat 
any national missile defense system the United States deploys.''