Strategic Weapons: February 11, 2000


The US continues to seek European support and Russian and Chinese acceptance of its National Missile Defense System, and continues to find little of the former and none of the latter. The US sought support from the 5-6 Feb Munich Conference on Security Policy, but instead found itself subjected to European doubts and harsh Chinese criticism. China bluntly complained that the US was trying to build the system "in an attempt to seek absolute security for itself", implying that it would use such security to threaten others while impervious to their retaliation. NATO allies complained that if the US had a missile defense system, NATO would be divided into the invulnerable US and the vulnerable Europeans. The Russians said that the US had deliberately overstated the threat from missile programs in Iran, Iraq, and North Korea and was using those nations as an excuse to build a system that was really directed against Russia. --Stephen V Cole


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