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"Let the Games Begin"
[A brief rant from Your Special Correspondent]

For the past two years one might have believed that Congressional Republican interest in missile defense was largely an artifact of their Presidential election strategy of attempting to create a foreign policy issue in the campaign. With the notable failure last year of the Dole campaign to gain any traction on this front, one might have hoped for a remission of partisan posturing and some return to pragmatic policy-making.

The events of this week suggest otherwise.

As documented in this and other recent emissions to this list, Congressional Republicans seem bent upon making missile defense the centerpiece of their foreign policy confrontation with the White House this year.

Although it was not accompanied with the fanfare of the Contract on America, Senator Lott's ten major legislative initiatives unveiled earlier this week include a new Missile Defense Act as the sole foreign policy initiative.

Ed Rowny's oped in The New York Times today is obviously not unrelated to this initiative.

And the ever amusing Rep Curt Weldon remains entirely unrepentant in the face of explicit chastisement from the Gates Panel, established to review the NIE 95-19 on emerging missile threats. Indeed, the unclassified version of this report was not released until yesterday, when The Washington Times carried a Bill Gertz article on Weldon's response to the Gates Report.