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Topics in the News: SDI Missile Defense


Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
Special Forces instead of M1 tanks

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. The military says, we need a smaller, leaner Army. We need more special forces. We don't need more M1 tanks. What we need is more UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called "drones"]. That was the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to us and agreed to by the president.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Paul Ryan on Homeland Security : Oct 11, 2012
We shouldn't cut 80,000 soldiers; it invites weakness

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness. Look, do we believe in peace through strength? You bet we do. And that means you don't impose these devastating cuts on our military. So we're saying don't cut the military by a trillion dollars, not increase it by a trillion, don't cut it by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. This "sequester," this automatic cut--that was part of a debt deal that they asked for. [Ryan] said, announcing his support of the deal, "we've been looking for this moment for a long time."

RYAN: That meant we've been looking for bipartisanship for a long time.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Aug 30, 2012
A free world is a more peaceful world

Every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, Obama said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

We will honor America's democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 25, 2011
New START treaty: more secure & fewer nuclear weapons

American leadership can be seen in the effort to secure the worst weapons of war. Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New START treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed. Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

With our European allies, we revitalized NATO and increased our cooperation on everything from counterterrorism to missile defense.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2011 State of the Union speech

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 1, 2010
Called for space weapons ban, but with wiggle room

A crucial question is what Obama's position will be on "missile defense"--understood on all sides to be, in effect, a first-strike weapon--and militarization of space. On the latter, he was called for "a world-wide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites," which would mean that the US project of the weaponization of space--so far in isolation and over global objections, spearheaded at the UN by China--would remain undisturbed, while there would be a ban on any interference with satellites, including those essential for the militarization of space. He also called for a space weapons ban, a very welcome step, but presented in a way that leaves "a lot of wiggle room."

Obama's approach may be an improvement ove Bush, and offers prospects for popular movements that seek to rid the earth of these threats to survival of the species. But a lot of work will be needed.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p. 65-66

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Feb 20, 2010
No Miranda rights for suicide bombers

Before we move away from this "No" epithet that the Democrats are fond of trying to apply to us, let's ask the Obama folks why they say no: no to a balanced budget, no to reforming entitlements, no to malpractice reform, no to missile defense in eastern Europe, no to prosecuting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal.

Conservatism has had from its inception vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda and thinking. That agenda should have, mind you, three pillars: strength in the economy, strength in our security and strength in our families.

We will strengthen our security by building missile defense, restoring our military might and standing by and strengthening our intelligence officers. Conservatives believe in providing constitutional rights to our citizens, not to enemy combatants like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Not on our watch. A conversation with a would-be suicide bomber will not begin with the words, "You have the right to remain silent."

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Feb 6, 2010
Reaching out to hostile regimes has not worked

Misguided thinking is seen throughout the administration's foreign policy decisions. Our president spent a year reaching out to hostile regimes, writing personal letters to dangerous dictators and apologizing for America, and what do we have to show for that? Here's what we have to show. North Korea tested nuclear weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles. Israel, a friend and critical ally, now questions the strength of our support. Plans for a missile defense system in Europe, they've been scrapped. Relations with China and Russia are no better. and relations with Japan, that key Asian ally, they are in the worst shape in years.

The administration cut support for democracy programs. And where the president has not been clear, I ask where is his clear and where his strong voice of support for the Iranians who are risking all in their opposition to Ahmedinijad? We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America's friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2010 Tea Party Convention speeches

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Aug 1, 2008
Goal is a world without nuclear weapons

Without any introduction, Obama begins, "I am the only major candidate to oppose this war from the beginning and, as president, I will end it.

"Second," he continues, "I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

"Third," he says, without pausing, "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a ban on the production of fissile materials. And I will negotiate with Russia to take ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p. 1-2

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Dec 13, 2007
Cut $350B in military programs, from Star Wars to F-22ís

[We should] cut somewhere in the order of $20 billion a year out of the military for special programs, from Star Wars, to a new atomic weapon, to the F-22, to the Nimitz-Class Destroyer. You can save $350 billion. That would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

John Bolton on Homeland Security : Nov 6, 2007
Mutual Assured Destruction: MAD is upside-down logic

A Bad Deal--the ABM Treaty--Travels to the Ash Heap: The arms control crowd believed that scrapping the ABM Treaty was heresy. Preventing Russia and the US from having national missile defenses was at the heart of "Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD), Robert McNamara's 1960s strategy, and intended to dissuade the Soviets from initiating a nuclear exchange that would prove terminally destructive to both sides. In MAD's upside-down logic, defense was provocative: national missile defense would upset the strategic "balance of terror" and actually make nuclear war more likely. This arms control canon was reflected in the benediction that the ABM Treaty was "the cornerstone of international strategic stability."

Breaking out of this formulaic approach was necessary because it was both flawed in theory and no longer reflected strategic reality, if it ever had. I suggested that we replace the ABM Treaty with one barring Russia and the US from building missile defenses against first strikes.

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton, p. 54-56

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Jul 31, 2007
Missile defense is perfect metaphor for neo-isolationism

In 2001, Bushís new foreign affairs team were so intent on going ahead with Reaganís Star Wars missile defense shield that they were willing to pull out of earlier arms control treaties to get there, inviting, in my view, another arms race. The missile defense system seemed to be the perfect metaphor for the neoisolationist policy. Letís arm the heavens, they were saying, and protect the US, the rest of the world be damned.

The administration had said they were willing to walk away from the decades-old ABM Treaty in order to unilaterally develop and deploy the missile defense system, and now they were putting real money behind it. They were willing to put tens of billions of dollars into the Maginot line in the sky that could quite likely set off another arms race, while cutting funding for a program to help Russia destroy its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons before they got into the hands of terrorists.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Promises to Keep, by Joe Biden, p.291-292&298

Condoleezza Rice on Homeland Security : Oct 25, 2005
Speech scheduled for 9/11/01 focused on missile defense

During the transition, Sandy Berger (Clinton's national security adviser) told Condi Rice that she would spend more time on bin Laden and al Qaeda than on anything else. But despite these warnings, or maybe because of them, the Bush team decided to shift its focus to missile defense.

In fact, Condi Rice was scheduled to give a speech on this very topic on September 11, 2001, at Johns Hopkins University. As the Washington Post reported on April 1, 2004, Rice's speech was intended to address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday." But the text of the speech, which was never delivered, contained not one word about the actual threat of "today," which, as became clear that day, was al Qaeda. Here's the Post: "The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former US officials who have seen the text."

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 40-41

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Oct 20, 2000
Supports funding research on missile defense

Hillary Clinton said she would vote for a nuclear test ban treaty and to fund research for a missile defense system, she said.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Dean Murphy, NY Times

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Jul 2, 2000
Missile defense is inappropriate; focus on terrorism

We definitely must find funding for defense, which means somebody is going to come up with less money for their own project. I think the best place to start is by diverting money from the planned missile defense system. I know this sounds almost counterintuitive because a missile defense system is supposed to help us defend against attack by rogue states.

To begin with, Iím not laughing at missile defense, and I never have. The question isnít whether or not such a defense can be built. The question is whether it is the right defense for our times. And I believe the answer is, largely, no. In this age of miniaturization, our real threat is not going to be flying in on a missile. Itís going to be delivered in a van, or a suitcase, or a fire-hydrant-sized canister.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.150

Newt Gingrich on Technology : Jun 1, 1995
Co-founded Congressional Space Caucus

When Gingrich went to Congress in 1979, he focused on national defense, foreign policy, and the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars"). Ever the futurist, Gingrich co-founded the Congressional Space Caucus, leading critics to dub him "the congressman from outer space."

In "Window of Opportunity," Gingrich wrote: "Imagine that the National Security Council had understood that an America which aggressively moved ahead in space would overawe the Russians. Imagine that business and individual leaders had been far-sighted enough to understand that a space industry would spin off earth-based jobs, using satellite antennas, new medicines, large surfaces and zero-gravity alloys. Finally, imagine a generation of educators who understood that young people need inspiration to motivate them to learn math and science, and that space was the adventure most likely to produce young Americans anxious to master these technical fields so essential to our survival."

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 40-41

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