Strategic Weapons: July 19, 2000


US Defense Secretary Cohen has rejected Russian efforts to split the NATO alliance, saying that the US will cooperate with the Russians on missile defense technology. Cohen said he would send experts to hear the Russians explain their boost-phase interception plan, but openly doubted that it was a complete plan rather than just a vague idea. The Russians want to use anti-aircraft missiles to hit ballistic missiles as they rise, but the plan has serious problems. It would require bases to be very close to the potentially attacking countries, which effectively means that they would be under the control of a foreign country. The US doubts that Europe would accept the idea of Russian SAMs protecting it from attacks by Iran, Iraq, or North Korea as this could subject Europe to Russian blackmail.-Stephen V Cole


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