Strategic Weapons: July 22, 2000


The Senate defeated a measure to reinforce the testing procedures for the National Missile Defense program by a vote of 52-48. The vote was along party lines, with Democrats voting for more tests (particularly against warheads protected by decoys) while Republicans voted to block an expanded test program. In an even more bizarre twist, the uniformed military wanted the testing while the Clinton Administration did not. While Senate Democrats said that the episode proved that the Republicans are committed to building the system even if it doesn't work, the Republicans are betting that the next President (presumably George W Bush) would scrap the Clinton system and proceed with a more extensive system.--Stephen V Cole


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