Speech on Missile Defense
On 1 May, President George W. Bush outlined US
missile defense plans in a speech at the National Defense University
in Washington, D.C. Bush outlined the need for missile defenses
based on current nuclear and missile technology proliferation
trends. Below are some of the responses from high ranking Democrats
to Bush's speech.
"Many in the administration . . . argue that
deploying an ineffective defense can still be an effective system
simply because it would cause uncertainty in the minds of our
adversaries. That position is based on the flawed assumption that
a president would be willing to gamble our nation's security on
a bluff, and that no adversary would be willing or able to call
such a bluff. Instead of increasing our security, pursuing a strategy
that cannot achieve its goal could leave our nation less secure
and our world less stable."
-Senator Tom Dashle, Democrat,
South Dakota, May 2, 2001
"To abandon the ABM with the hope to get that
[missile defense] capacity somewhere down the line would damage
the security interests of the United States."
-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.,
Democrat, Delaware, May 2, 2001
"The whole principle of fly before you buy
is one we should adhere to. This is placing the political cart
before the technical horse."
-Representative John F. Tierney,
Democrat, Massachusetts, May 2, 2001
"If you can't shoot down 100 percent of them
[missiles], you haven't gotten rid of mutually assured destruction.
And if you can, you set off an arms race to develop a capacity
that can't be touched by a missile defense system."
-Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat,
Massachusetts, May 2, 2001
Some of the systems under consideration are "more
appropriate to Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg than to actual
-Representative Neil Abercrombie,
Democrat, Hawai'I, May 2, 2001