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Topics in the News: SDI Missile Defense


Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Feb 5, 2019
Withdraw from INF and develop Missile Defense System

We have begun to fully rebuild the military--with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the US was being treated very unfairly by NATO--but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the US is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't--in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Apr 27, 2014
Grow NATO stronger; Poland & Czech missile shield

Q: During a recent trade mission to Germany, recently you criticized the way President Obama has been handling Ukraine. You said, "With Putin's aggression in Ukraine, I believe we must take immediate steps to strengthen our mutual security by deploying a robust missile defense in all of Europe." Does that mean a missile defense in the Czech Republic or Poland? How does missile defense help?

PENCE: I think we need less talk and more deeds. And by deploying a robust missile shield throughout Europe including in Poland and the Czech Republic that was off-lined in 2009, I think would send a very strong message to Putin and to Russia that NATO countries and the United States are going to respond by growing stronger economically and strategically. And I believe that's going to have a lot more influence in the long haul than more sanctions and more talk. Let's allow Poland and the Czech Republic to have that missile shield that they were entitled to by joining NATO.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview by Chris Wallace

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

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

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

Mike Gravel on Homeland Security : May 2, 2008
Bushís ABMs donít work well but do enrich insiders

At the SALT talks an agreement was reached on an ABM Treaty that was ratified in 1972. It proved that if you built an ABM system that could knock down 1,000 missiles, just build 1,001. The military-industrialists won this round. People everywhere, drugged with false fears, lost.

They are still losing. ABM systems are at the heart of the military-industrial complex. Thatís why Reagan later tried to build Star Wars and the Patriot missiles and why George W. Bush pulled out of th ABM Treaty. It was just two months after 9/11 and Bush was already exploiting the new fear to resurrect the cash cow of ABMs.

The new threat was a godsend for a military-industrial complex threatened by the end of the Cold War. Bush ludicrously wants to install new ABM defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic to ďprotectĒ against Iranian missiles. ABM systems donít shoot down incoming missiles very well, but they work wonders to enrich those in on the game.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.167-168

Mike Gravel on Homeland Security : Apr 22, 2008
No additional homeland security funding; no missile defense

Q: Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?

A: No.

Q: Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to US national security?

A: No.

Q: Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?

A: No.

Q: Should the US expand its missile defense shield?

A: No.

Gravel adds, ďWe should be decreasing our military, not increasing it.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: Presidential Election 2008 Political Courage Test

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

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

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

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Jun 17, 1997
End nuclear weapons and B-2 bomber production

And these are only SOME of the savings that I, and other members of the Progressive Caucus, came up with. There was no question that we could move this country forward to a balanced budget without decimating the safety net on which tens of millions of Americans depend.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 207-10

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Page last updated: Apr 15, 2019