NMD test denounced
The first Bush administration flight test of the controversial multibillion dollar missile defence took place last weekend. A year after the last test failed on July 7, 2000, the US military are at it again. The test firing was immediately denounced by the Governments of the Russian Federation and China who strongly oppose what amounts to the launching of a new arms race and could lead to the tearing up of existing nuclear weapon control treaties. These American tests are a preparation for war — not peace. The American threats are speeding up the rapprochement of China and Russia. Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, visited Moscow this week to sign a Friendship treaty between the two countries. Many other countries also oppose the American plans. Only the Australian Government has given unqualified support. The present test involved the same components as the last one — a dummy warhead and decoy launched from California's Vandenburg Air Force Base and a prototype interceptor with a 120-pound "kill vehicle" launched 4,300 miles away, from Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Kwajalein is home to the US Army's Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defence Test Site and played a key role in Reagan's Star Wars defence system. Mr Reagan's demented vision of the world is now proudly upheld by Mr Bush. It is very good news indeed for the US war machine — a national missile defence system is estimated to cost as much as US$60 billion for the land- based leg of interceptors, radar stations and battle management network. Boeing Co. is the lead system integrator for US missile defence. TRW Inc. builds the battle command, control and communications system. Raytheon Corp. builds the kill vehicle and Lockheed Martin Corp. is the prime contractor on the current booster system. In June Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the NATO allies in Brussels that the US would soon start building a "layered" shield involving ground, sea and space-based systems to cope with what US Presidents call a threat of ballistic missiles in the hands of "rogue" states. This is a lot of nonsense. Nobody threatens the USA. It is rather the other way around — having effectively abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 the USA is making sure that it has not only political but the military might to dictate how the rest of the world lives. It has already ditched the Kyoto protocol that, with all its deficiencies, at least put forward some measures to protect the world we all live in from complete degradation. With its latest moves to an even bigger arms race than before, the USA had better look into the mirror to see the "roguest" state of them all.
* * *For more information on NMD, go to: http://www.anti-bases.org/