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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 30, 1998
1:27 PM
CONTACT:  Council For A Livable World
Luke Warren - 202.546.0795  ext. 127

New Report Published Criticizing Ballistic Missile Defense
 
WASHINGTON - June 30 - Today, the Council for a Livable World Education Fund released its new Briefing Book on Ballistic Missile Defense, arguing that current plans for developing and deploying such a system is misguided.  The publication examines such issues as diplomatic, threat assessment, cost, technology, testing, proliferation, and international treaties' perspectives. 

The Education Fund makes the case that, given the test failures and technological hurdles facing missile defense, missile defense proponents are "substituting ideology for sound technical judgment."

With Congress and conservative writers calling for enhanced emphasis on missile defense due to the recent South Asian nuclear tests, the Education Fund released its briefing book in order to counteract these calls and encourage broader debate on the issue.

The Education Fund's report opposes the "rush to failure" mentality that currently dominates the missile defense debate.  Instead, the Council calls for an active diplomacy aimed at eliminating the threat of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, as well as programs designed to safeguard and eliminate nuclear weapons in Russia.

Given the numerous test failures, the briefing book finds that the efficacy of ballistic missile defense systems is suspect.  Since 1962, the U.S. has spent over $100 billion on these systems with little or nothing to show for it.  Moreover, the Education Fund is concerned that deployment, even development, of a ballistic missile defense system could threaten Russian approval of the START II and III treaties.  Those treaties, if ratified, would eliminate thousands of deployed Russian missiles, far more than any missile defense system would ever destroy. 

The Education Fund's study also points out that according to the National Intelligence Council, there will be no ballistic missile threat to the U.S. from rogue nations until at least 2010.  Despite this assessment, Congress and the Administration want to be able to begin deployment to a national missile defense system by 2000, and have it completed, if need be, by 2003. But the Education Fund cites the Welch Panel, an independent team of missile defense experts appointed by the Pentagon, as arguing this timetable is "unrealistic." 

Copies of the report can be obtained for $10 by calling the above number.
Portions of the text can be viewed at -
http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/ef/bmdbook/contents.html

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Table of contents follows:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chap.
Introduction..................................................................5
Chap. 2 - Ballistic Missile Defense: a brief history from BMDO. ....................9
Chap. 3 - Ballistic Missile Defense chronology.....................................15
Chap. 4 - Clinton Administration missile defense plans.............................19
Chap. 5 - The costs................................................................25
Chap. 6 - The threat...............................................................27
Chap. 7 - The politics.............................................................30
Chap. 8 - Talking points against National Missile Defense..........................36
Chap. 9 - Pro-missile defense arguments -- And Rebuttals...........................41
Chap. 10 - Legislative proposals in the 105th Congress.............................44
           Talking points on Cochran bill
Chap. 11 - The Front Lines of Defense Against Missile Attack.......................48
The First line: Prevention
Active diplomacy
Reducing and eliminating the threat
Stopping proliferation
Summary of treaty achievements
Nunn-Lugar program
Controls and alert rates of missiles
Reducing the alert levels of the arsenals
Improving controls on weapons
Joint early warning and sensor data exchange
Bans of weapons of mass destruction
Bans on missile technology
The second line: the threat of devastating retaliation.............65
Weakest line: intercepting ballistic missiles......................67
Chap. 12 - Senate History on missile defense.......................................71
Chap. 13 - Public opinion on missile defense.......................................76
Chap. 14 - 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty......................................81
Chap. 15 - U.S.-Russian 1997 agreements to modify ABM and START ...................85
Chap. 16 - A cautionary tale from 1970's: Safeguard deployed, dismantled...........91
Chap. 17 - Glossary................................................................93
Chap. 18 - Useful web sites........................................................94
Chap. 19 - Contacts & Sources......................................................96

Appendix I: Quotations from Welch panel report - February 28, 1998 ................98
Appendix II: Quotations from November 5, 1997 Hearing.............................102
Appendix III: GAO report on National Missile Defense - December 12, 1997..........105
Appendix IV: National Intelligence Estimate of the threat - February 1996 ........112
Appendix V: Gates report on National Intelligence Estimate- December 1996........117
Appendix VI: National Defense Panel report - Dec. 1997............................126
Appendix VII: Pentagon letters in opposition to Cochran bill - April1998.........128

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