U.S. dependence on Russian rockets, foreign medicines is risky

August 28, 2011

I read with dismay that the Russian spacecraft that was to supply provisions for the International Space Station, where two American astronauts are housed, burnt up in the atmosphere while our own shuttle program at NASA was recently mothballed. I heard with concern on a news program on WYPR that we don't make crucial medications in this country anymore, and thus depend on China, India and others to do it for us. The same program also mentioned that there are crucial shortages of these lifesaving medications.

Have we gone mad? Have we become so focused on obtaining materials and services from the lowest bidder that we would even sell out our own national security such as ensuring the safety of our astronauts, or ensuring the very health of our citizens? Having other countries supply us necessary products and services that we once were able to supply to ourselves is dangerous. What if the politics of the particular country supplying such services dictated that in the interest of their national security, they disrupted or interrupted the supply of these necessities? We would have only ourselves to blame for putting our own homeland security at risk.

Stuart R. Varon, Lutherville

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