May 21, 1999 |
The House gave final congressional approval Thursday to legislation that would commit the United States to a national missile defense system. President Clinton was expected to sign the measure, which the Senate had modified after administration objections. The legislation, passed 345 to 71, states that it is the policy of the United States to deploy, as soon as technologically possible, an effective system capable of defending U.S. territory against limited ballistic missile attack.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2001 |
Predictably, both supporters and opponents of ballistic missile defenses claim that the events of Sept. 11 strengthen their case. Proponents claim that the attacks showed that we need to protect ourselves against unexpected but devastating threats, while opponents point out that the terrorists did not need ballistic missiles--merely knives and box cutters--to perpetrate their crimes.
March 24, 2003
Undersecretary of Defense Edward Aldridge's claim of a 90% hit rate for the missile defense system against North Korean attack is the scariest thing I have read in a long time (March 19). Although actual tests of the MDS have been rigged to enable the target to be easily tracked prior to interception, the success rate is only 62.5%. The conventional wisdom seems to be that recent threats from North Korea are merely a bargaining stance designed to wring concessions from the U.S. However, North Korea has been a closed state for the last half-century, and most of its current citizens have been born during that period.
August 24, 1999 |
A top Pentagon official is casting new doubt on the progress of the government's leading missile-defense technology, saying two recent test-flight successes haven't established how well the controversial system could handle an actual attack. The test flights, carried out after six consecutive failures, have been hailed by advocates as evidence that the Army's $15.4-billion Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be able to protect troops on the battlefield from missile attacks.
July 26, 2000 |
Two consecutive failures to shoot down a mock warhead in space with a land-based interceptor have "called into question the realism" of having a national missile defense ready by 2005, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Tuesday. Nonetheless, Cohen said that it is too early to give up on the 2005 target date. Yet he conceded in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the failed flight tests in January and July were unhelpful.
September 6, 1995 |
The Senate on Tuesday began to wrap up work on two defense bills that could fundamentally change the Cold War ground rules for national missile defense systems. In the first order of business after their three-week summer recess, senators approved a $243-billion defense appropriation bill for fiscal year 1996, which begins Oct. 1, and planned a vote today on a partner bill that authorizes $265 billion in military spending programs for the coming year.
September 16, 2001
John Balzar's "God Have Mercy, War Has Come Home" (Commentary, Sept. 12) observed, "Sixty years ago, America tried to draw a curtain around itself. Sixty years later, it wanted to build a shield." Very observant. "Star Wars" increasingly looks like another Maginot Line, France's shield against Germany before World War II. Germany's counterpart was the Siegfried Line. The Czechs also had such a line. Neville Chamberlain rendered the Czech line irrelevant when he won "peace in our time."
May 14, 1998 |
Supporters of a national missile defense system cited India's nuclear tests Wednesday as fresh evidence of the need for such a program but failed by one vote to advance legislation in the Senate. The measure by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) would have leapfrogged a Pentagon program by requiring that such a system be put in place as soon as technology permits. The existing program provides for three years of lead time once a potential threat has been identified.
May 13, 1998 |
The Pentagon's newest anti-missile weapon failed its fifth consecutive flight test Tuesday, deepening doubts about it and raising broader questions about how quickly the Pentagon can deploy a larger--and more controversial--system to shield the entire nation from missile attack.
June 15, 2000 |
For U.S. advocates of a robust national missile defense system, the images emanating from the historic Korean summit spell trouble. Photos and TV footage from the summit show a smiling, relaxed North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, hosting his South Korean counterpart, Kim Dae Jung. More important, they depict the reclusive Communist ruler acting in an apparently rational manner.