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DATE=3/17/99 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT NUMBER=5-42878 TITLE=TOWARD A MISSILE DEFENSE BYLINE=ED WARNER DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRODUCTION: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE U-S CONGRESS HAVE AGREED ON LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH A DEFENSE AGAINST BALLISTIC MISSILES AS SOON AS TECHNOLOGICALLY POSSIBLE. HOW SOON THAT CAN HAPPEN WAS DISCUSSED BY SPEAKERS AT A RECENT MEETING IN WASHINGTON (TUE., MAR. 15), AND ONE OF THEM SAID HE DOUBTS IT CAN EVER HAPPEN. VOA'S ED WARNER REPORTS ON THE DISCUSSION AT THE CATO INSTITUTE. TEXT: THE UNITED STATES HAS LITTLE CHOICE, SAID STEVE CAMBONE OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY IN A MEETING AT WASHINGTON'S CATO INSTITUTE. HE INSISTED THE COUNTRY MUST BUILD A MISSILE DEFENSE TO GUARD AGAINST A FUTURE ATTACK BY A ROGUE STATE LIKE NORTH KOREA, LIBYA OR IRAQ: // CAMBONE ACT // THE DESIGN FOR DEFENSE NEEDS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT WHAT (THE MISSILE SYSTEM) WE SEE TODAY IS NOT THE ONE WE ARE GOING TO SEE IN 2005. THESE COUNTRIES ARE BUSILY IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE AND THE CAPABILITY OF THEIR SYSTEMS. AND WHETHER WE DEPLOY OR WE DO NOT, THOSE SYSTEMS WILL BE MUCH BETTER IN 2005 THAN THEY ARE TODAY. // END ACT // BUT SUCH A MISSILE DEFENSE WILL NOT WORK, SAID JOHN ISAACS, PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL FOR A LIVABLE WORLD, AN ORGANIZATION DEALING WITH ARMS CONTROL: // ISAACS ACT // I DOUBT VERY MUCH IF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE ABLE TO DEVELOP A TRULY EFFECTIVE, RELIABLE DEFENSE IN WHICH WE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE. AFTER MORE THAN FORTY YEARS OF TRYING, INTERCEPTING WARHEADS STILL REMAINS A MAJOR TECHNOLOGICAL HURDLE. AS JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN (GENERAL HENRY) SHELTON SAID RECENTLY, "TODAY WE DO NOT TECHNOLOGICALLY HAVE A BULLET THAT CAN HIT A BULLET." // END ACT // MR. ISAACS SAID IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE TO DISPOSE OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN RUSSIA, WHICH POSE A FAR GREATER THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES THAN A SPECULATIVE ATTACK BY A ROGUE STATE. VARIOUS CONCERNS MUST BE BALANCED, SAID STEVE ANDREASEN OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, SPEAKING FOR THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. WHILE THE UNITED STATES MOVES AHEAD WITH A MISSILE DEFENSE, IT MUST ALSO REASSURE RUSSIA BY MAINTAINING THE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY AND THE SO-CALLED START PROCESS WHICH REDUCES NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN BOTH RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: // ANDREASON ACT // TO DRAMATICALLY TILT IN THE DIRECTION OF ANY ONE OF THESE THREE OBJECTIVES - START, THE ABM TREATY OR NMD (NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE) -- AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OTHER TWO IS AT THIS POINT IN TIME BOTH UNNECESSARY AND UNWISE. THAT IS NOT TO SAY WE DO NOT PERCEIVE AN URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS THE THREAT POSED BY ROGUE STATES, BUT IN DOING SO, WE MUST NOT ABANDON PROGRAMS AND POLICIES THAT ARE ELIMINATING THOUSANDS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE STATES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, INCLUDING RUSSIA. // END ACT // CHARLES PENA (PENYA), A CONSULTANT ON MISSILE DEFENSE FOR CATO AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, SAID A MISSILE DEFENSE SHOULD NOT BE RUSHED OR BE OVER-AMBITIOUS. IT SHOULD BE DIRECTED AT THE ROGUE STATE THREAT, WHICH HE SAYS IS FAR SMALLER THAN THE PREVIOUS SOVIET ONE: // PENA ACT // NO MATTER WHAT WE PROJECT FOR ROGUE STATES, I DO NOT IMAGINE THAT ANY OF THEM WILL END UP WITH ARSENALS IN THE THOUSANDS OF WARHEADS. I WOULD CHARACTERIZE THE EMERGING THREAT AS RELATIVELY LIMITED AND SIMPLE, AND THEREFORE, THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE OUGHT TO BE MEASURED AND LIMITED AND SIMPLE. // END ACT // MR. PENA WARNED NOT TO EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM A MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM. IT MAY GUARD AGAINST LONG RANGE MISSILES, BUT NOT AGAINST CRUISE MISSILES OR THE KIND OF TERRORIST ATTACK THAT OCCURRED AT THE NEW YORK TRADE CENTER. MR. PENA AND OTHER SPEAKERS EMPHASIZED THAT DETERRENCE, DIPLOMACY AND NEGOTIATION REMAIN KEY INGREDIENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL MISSILE DEFENSE. (SIGNED) NEB/EW/KL 17-Mar-99 11:33 AM EST (1633 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .