This past summer the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission presented its findings to the United Nations. A thud resounded from the report hitting the floor as it fell through U.S. Ambassador John Bolton’s hands. The way he and the United States responded one might think the report radioactive. Shortly thereafter, everyone piled on attacking the U.N., including the National Rifle Association.
Several recent revelations warrant revisiting the report. Condi Rice asserts that North Korea is a rogue state when the U.S. and Israel are yet to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The U.S. announced it would pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in late 2001 with other nations expressing concern about it causing a new arms race. The WMDC report mentions this development under the section on missile defence.
“Other specific causes for concern include the June 2002 withdrawal from the ABM Treaty by the United States, its pursuit of a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system, and various research and development activities under way in the U.S. and other states that may lead to the testing and deployment of weapons in space.” (page 144)
“Concerns have continued to grow internationally that the US pursuit of ballistic missile defences is likely to increase nuclear dangers and reduce international security. The potential value of these systems is not in proportion to the risks they pose to the international community, including the states possessing such systems.” (page 145)
Also, President Bush unveiled his space claims today, which provide for capabilities to ensure freedom of action in space and deny those same capabilities to our adversaries. Defense Department plans in space are classified and not included in the President’s public Executive Order. The report clearly shares its concern over space weapons.
“Another cause of concern is that the Conference on Disarmament has for many years been unable to agree to commence negotiations on a treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space.” (page 144)
WMDC Recommendation #45 All states should renounce the deployment of weapons in outer space. (page 148)
The American public should be aware of the greater picture as the world descends into a new arms race. The United States is not practicing restraint, much less taking the lead in reducing the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction. Under President Bush’s leadership, a new generation of WMD’s are currently under development. Can you say Space Cowboy?