DISADVANTAGE/PLAN CAUSES MISSILE DEFENSE
DEPLOYMENT DECISION WILL BE DRIVEN BY POLITICAL FACTORS
EARLY DEPLOYMENT DECISION WILL BE DRIVEN BY POLITICAL PRESSURE, NOT BY TECHNICAL READINESS
The New York Times, February 17, 2000, SECTION: Section A; Page 28; HEADLINE: Forced Dash to a Missile Defense // acs-ln
Regrettably, the Clinton administration still hopes to make a decision on construction this summer, a timetable it set early last year in response to intense Republican pressure. That schedule is unrealistic. The last two tests of the prototype missile interceptor revealed significant problems. Only one more test remains, in May, before the Pentagon is supposed to decide whether the system is technologically ready. Even if that test fully succeeds, it will not provide enough information to go ahead. Several successful tests, including some against dummy warheads equipped with sophisticated decoys, are needed to determine whether the system is dependable.
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, POLITICS WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TECHNOLOGY IN THE DEPLOYMENT DECISION
USA TODAY, January 21, 2000, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 16A HEADLINE: Why rush missile defense? // acs-ln 1-24-2000
The debate continues to be fueled by hyperbole and fistfuls of campaign contributions.
Should research continue for a technology that might thwart a missile attack? Of course. But talk of opening the Treasury or making a hurry-up deployment decision for a technology that doesn't exist is premature at best.
Sadly, it's difficult for such subtleties to prevail over politics in an election year.
POLITICAL FACTORS WILL DICTATE DEPLOYMENT DECISION, NOT TECHNICAL FACTORS
ELIZABETH BECKER and ERIC SCHMITT, The New York Times, January 20, 2000, SECTION: Section A; Page 17HEADLINE: Delay Sought in Decision on Missile Defense // acs-ln 1-24-2000
Scientists also said that a decision should be postponed so that a schedule could be geared to scientific rather than political milestones.
"The problem is that the milestones for these programs are being driven by politics and not by science," said Stephen Schwartz, publisher of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "The scientists are working very hard to do very difficult things in an extreme schedule and people are expecting them to work miracles."