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NEWS AND VIEWS

Summaries of and links to online news reports and commentaries.

77% Fear Nuclear, Biological Terrorism 
AMERICANS UNMOVED BY WASHINGTON'S BIG STORIES 
http://www.people-press.org/apr97rpt.htm
http://www.people-press.org/apr97mor.htm
Pew Research Center April 11, 1997 
Top news stories from Washington are not connecting with the 
American people, according to the latest News Interest Index poll.
A summit meeting, the growing campaign finance controversy and
the legislative impasse on Capitol Hill have so far failed to stir the
public. Just 6% of Americans followed very closely news about the 
Helsinki summit. More than three out of four (77%) believe there 
is a chance that terrorists could use nuclear, biological or chemical 
weapons against an American city. In comparison, slightly more 
than half (57%) believe the same about a foreign country launching 
a nuclear strike on the United States. Fully 48% worry a great deal
or somewhat about a terrorist attack with weapons of mass
destruction, while only 29% worry a great deal or somewhat 
about a nuclear attack from a foreign country. 

Deterrence in a New Security Environment
http://198.80.36.91/ndu/inss/strforum/forum109.html
by General Eugene B. Habiger CINC USSTRATCOM
NDU Strategic Forum Number 109, April 1997
One cannot quarrel with those who seek the ultimate elimination 
of nuclear weapons, provided the necessary preconditions are met . . .
those prerequisites do not exist  today. 

Deterring Iranian NBC Use
http://198.80.36.91/ndu/inss/strforum/forum110.html
Paula DeSutter NDU Strategic Forum Number 110, April 1997
Iran is aggressively pursuing nuclear, biological, and chemical 
(NBC) weapons, ballistic missiles and other means of delivery 
and its use of NBC will be particularly difficult to deter. The 
possibility of deterrence failing is significant. Predictions that 
Iran shares the Western perspectives on NBC use or that it
would employ NBC weapons strictly as weapons of last resort 
may be  dangerously misleading. There are few apparent moral 
or religious impediments should Iranian leaders choose to employ 
NBC weapons. NBC use may be Iran's only means of offsetting 
U.S. technically and numerically superior  forces. Threats of 
conventional force or even nuclear retaliation may pay only
minimal returns toward deterrence. 

Laser Defense System Expected In North In 1998
http://204.252.7.8/newsitem.cfm?ID=9
JINSA News & Issues 18-Apr-97
The contract for the development and production of the Nautilus laser
system for shooting down Katyushas will be signed in the coming days
in the U.S. between TRW and the U.S. Army. The cost of the system is
estimated at $90 million and the United States will cover two thirds of
the cost. The first model system is slated for completion by the end of
997 and it is expected that operational sites will be placed on the
Northern border shortly thereafter.