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ABM Project Lacking Funds

17.07.2008 15:40

The US Congress House of Representatives and White House are involved in a real struggle for funding the global ABM defense system and first of all the construction of the third ABM defense site in Eastern Europe.

9.3 billion Dollars requested by the US Missile Defense Agency for implementation of the ABM Defense project have been trimmed again by 700 million Dollars on the initiative of the Democratic party faction in the US Congress Lower House. The Congressmen demanded from the Pentagon to provide more detailed data on actuality of missile threats to the USA decreasing the funds for the third site construction by more than 50 per cent.

The American Congressmen do not want to waste money of their taxpayers.

The point is that in these latter days a number of respectful ABM defense expects (former US Assistant Secretary of Defense F. Coyle, Professor T. Postol of the Massachusetts University, and other experts) use facts and figures to prove inconsistency of Pentagon?s statements about the need and expediency to deploy the ABM defense system including its East-European components.

Their key arguments are the following:

Firstly, the Iranian and North Korean threats are evidently exaggerated. For example, respectful non-governmental organization (NGO) Ploughshares Fund at the request of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security prepared a report on the current status and development prospects of the states possessing missile technologies and capable of inflicting damage to the USA and its allies. The document stresses that as distinct from the Pentagon?s statements the number of such countries actually radically decreased during the last two decades. The number of ground-launched and submarine-launched strategic and medium-range ballistic missiles also decreased. In 1987, the total number of Soviet and Chinese ground-based and submarine-base ICBMs was 2,400, while in 2007, this figure (Russia plus China) decreased by 71 per cent and was equal to 689 items only. During the same time the number of medium-range ballistic missiles decreased by 80 per cent (from 915 down to 180).

Currently 30 countries possess own missile capabilities or develop missile technologies. Of them 17 states have Scad-B Type obsolete missiles with a range of fire less than 300 km. Besides, Argentine, Brazil, Egypt, Libya and South Africa abandoned nuclear arms researches at all. The threat of Iraq in this sphere has been practically neutralized.

The report emphasizes that the life confirms inconsistency of judgments contained in the Report of the Commission to Assess the ballistic Missile Threat to the United States prepared in 1998 that Iran and North Korea will be able to develop ballistic missiles with a range of 5,000 km. These countries as of today failed to reach the forecasted level of missile technologies and performed no one test-fire of such missiles. Tehran was in position only to upgrade MRBM Shahab-3, while Pyongyang was able to fire missile Taepo Dong-3 allegedly capable of reaching the US territory in future.

Secondly, the technological component of the Global ABM Defense project fails to meet the designed characteristics and within the nearest 10-15 years will be unable to provide for ABM defense of the US continental part let alone Europe. Besides, the legislators are concerned over operability and reliability of the two-staged interceptors (and the Poles are not for some reason?) to be deployed in Poland.

Respectful NGO Center of Defense Information succeeded in receiving an ABM section of the Pentagon Test and Evaluation Agency Annual Status Report on development, test and deployment of the global ABM system elements. The report notes that the interceptors have certain problems. Last year only one live test-fire of the ground-based interceptors was performed even than not as scheduled. According to Pentagon experts, one of the reasons of the delay is that the Missile Defense Agency still fails to upgrade the fleet of target missiles. They just cannot fly to the preset point of intercept, and militaries had to cancel the GBI test-fire. The conclusion: there is no enough statistics to objectively evaluate operability, much less efficiency of the strategic GBIs.

Thirdly, the relations with Russia and China leave much to be desired due to implementation of the ABM projects. Moreover, the steps of the Administration initiate countermeasures of other states; such situation provokes the arms race and deterioration of the strategic stability worldwide.

Thus, the analysis of the situation relating to the American ABM plans shows that the population both of America and Europe understands meaninglessness of this project that undermines the fundamentals of the strategic stability. However George Bush et al do not want to hear the voice of reason and push the world community to the abyss of overall madness.