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By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 1, 2000
WASHINGTON - This weekend the leader of the world's only superpower will go to Moscow as a supplicant, seeking Russia's permission to defend his people from nuclear attack. Back home, some of those people think President Clinton's mission is entirely appropriate - not just his desire to shield his citizens, but also his deference to a country whose prestige has sharply waned in recent years. But not everybody. Clinton's visit to Russia highlights one of the most enduring, divisive and portentous U.S. national security debates of the past half-century.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 24, 2007
BEIJING -- The Chinese government publicly confirmed yesterday that it had conducted a successful test of a new anti-satellite weapon but said it had no intention of participating in a "space race." The confirmation was made at a regular Foreign Ministry news briefing, 12 days after China used a medium-range ballistic missile to destroy one of its own weather satellites 535 miles above Earth. Several countries, including the United States, Japan, Britain and Australia, pressed Beijing to explain the test, apparently the first successful destruction of a satellite in orbit in more than 20 years.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 7, 2000
A former senior engineer at TRW, a top military contractor, has accused the company of faking tests and evaluations of a key component for the proposed $27 billion anti-missile system and then firing her when she protested. The engineer, Nira Schwartz, was on the company's anti-missile team in 1995 and 1996 helping design computer programs meant to enable interceptors to distinguish between incoming warheads and decoys. In test after test, the interceptors failed, she has alleged, but her superiors insisted that the weapon performed adequately, refused her appeals to tell industrial partners and federal patrons of its shortcomings, and then fired her. Schwartz, 53, has made her allegations in interviews and in recently unsealed documents filed with a federal district court in Los Angeles, where she sued TRW almost four years ago. She seeks to recover for the government more than a half-billion dollars, some fraction of which a judge could award her as compensation.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 29, 2005
In an airplane hangar north of Fort Worth, Texas, technicians are preparing to mount a fire-hydrant-shaped device onto the belly of an American Airlines Boeing 767. It is an effort that could soon turn into a more than $10 billion project to install a high-tech missile defense system on the nation's commercial planes. The Boeing 767 - the same type of plane that hijackers flew into the World Trade Center - is one of three planes that, by the end of this year, will be used to test the infrared laser-based systems designed to find and disable shoulder-fired missiles.
NEWS
By Mark Bomster and Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff | February 13, 1991
Defense planners have seized on the threat of nuclear attack from nations other than the Soviet Union as a way of pumping new life into the "Star Wars" anti-missile program.But critics of the program, formally known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, say SDI supporters are exaggerating a threat that could be dealt with in more conventional ways.The debate comes at a time when another, unrelated anti-missile system, the Patriot, is enjoying marked success against Iraqi "Scud" missiles being fired at Israel and Saudi Arabia.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 19, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Ronald Reagan's dream of shielding the nation with a missile defense system, which critics derisively dubbed "star wars," may be closer to reality.Legislation that promises to put in place a limited anti-missile system passed the House yesterday, 317-105, with bipartisan support. On Wednesday, a similar measure won nearly unanimous approval in the Senate and gained the endorsement of the White House.Differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill are expected to be resolved with little difficulty.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 2, 2000
WASHINGTON-- One day early next month, a 4 1/2 -foot-long "kill vehicle" will hurtle through the Earth's atmosphere and try to destroy a mock enemy warhead more than 60 miles above the Pacific Ocean. The result could determine the future of a 17-year-old quest for a national missile defense system to protect Americans from intercontinental ballistic weapons. The July test is essentially a tie-breaker in the Pentagon's efforts to intercept an incoming enemy missile outside the Earth's atmosphere; one test last fall succeeded, the second in January failed.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | July 12, 1992
WASHINGTON -- In an effort to persuade Russia to agree to a joint deployment of anti-missile defenses, the Bush administration is sending a team of high-ranking officials to Moscow today.The trip, arranged during the summit meeting last month between President Bush and President Boris N. Yeltsin, is being led by Dennis B. Ross, the head of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, and includes officials from the Pentagon, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the National Security Council staff.
NEWS
June 1, 2000
1958: President Eisenhower approves Nike-Zeus anti-missile defense. The program dies for lack of funding. 1969: President Nixon announces Safeguard anti-missile system, later scrapped. 1972: Nixon signs ABM Treaty, banning all but limited U.S. and Russian anti-missile systems. The countries also sign SALT I, freezing levels of offensive missiles. 1979: President Carter signs SALT II with Soviets, limiting offensive missiles to 2,400 on each side. Treaty is never ratified. 1983: President Reagan announces Strategic Defense Initiative, or "star wars," space-based anti-missile system.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | August 2, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The Senate endorsed yesterday President Bush's two top military priorities, the stealth bomber and the "star wars" anti-missile defense system, rejecting arguments that the easing of Cold War tensions and closer U.S.-Soviet ties made the weapons unnecessary.In a series of votes, the Senate approved $4.6 billion for the next fiscal year to test sensors in space and begin fielding an anti-missile defense system by 1996 that would protect the United States against limited nuclear attacks.
NEWS
By John Hendren and John Hendren,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 16, 2004
WASHINGTON - The first test of a national missile defense system in two years failed yesterday, making it nearly impossible for President Bush to achieve his goal of having a basic anti-missile system in place before the end of this year. In the test of what the administration envisions as a shield over U.S. soil, the so-called kill vehicle was shut down by an automatic safety system at the last minute and could not be launched toward the target missile it was supposed to intercept. Officials of the anti-missile program said failure to complete the test did not represent a failure of the system, but only a technical mishap that could be remedied.
NEWS
By Robert Little and Robert Little,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 21, 2003
WASHINGTON - Twelve years after television broadcasts made it a wartime celebrity, the once-vaunted Patriot missile returned to the limelight yesterday to defend allied troops in the Kuwaiti desert and perhaps restore its shattered good name. Pentagon officials say the anti-missile missile apparently knocked out two Iraqi rockets fired at American troops along the Iraq-Kuwait border yesterday. Soldiers donned masks and protective suits in fear that the short-range missiles might carry chemical or biological warheads, but the scare passed quickly and no injuries were reported.
NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 21, 2001
KODIAK, Alaska - Forty-five miles down an unpaved road that winds past lakes, rivers and mountain vistas, past forests of Sitka spruce, past grazing bison, horses and cows, and fishermen wading knee-deep in pursuit of silver salmon, a handful of beige buildings overlook the Pacific. A trailer is marked "NASA." Otherwise, it might be hard to imagine that rockets are launched here. About 300 bison roam the rugged terrain, often gathering on the helicopter pad and occasionally straying so close that launch operators have to shoo them away.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 10, 2001
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is preparing to ask Congress for funds to build a missile defense test site in Alaska that could also become the command center for a working anti-missile system as early as 2004, military officials said. If it becomes operational, the site would be a clear violation of the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which allows some testing of anti-missile technology but forbids deployment of a shield against long-range missiles in any state except North Dakota. Despite that, the proposal has won qualified support from some influential arms control advocates and missile defense skeptics, suggesting that it could blunt Democratic opposition in Congress to President Bush's missile defense plans.
TOPIC
By CARROLL PURSELL | May 13, 2001
IN ONE SMALL scene in Charlie Chaplin's classic film "The Great Dictator" (1940), an inventor who says he has perfected a bullet-proof vest asks Hitler (Charlie, of course) to shoot him in the chest with a revolver. When he does so, the inventor collapses to the floor, and Charlie turns away with the wonderfully understated judgment, "Far from perfect." The imperfect vest is one sort of failed defense; France's Maginot line was another. This string of fortifications built after World War I to block another German attempt at invasion might well have worked had the Germans, in 1940, attacked it head-on as so often happened in the first war. This time, however, the Germans simply went around it, turned the French flanks and carried the day with their infamous blitzkrieg.
BUSINESS
By Robert Little and Robert Little,SUN STAFF | February 24, 2001
The Baltimore-area divisions of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are at the center of a lawsuit that is challenging the way post-Cold War defense contracts are awarded. In its suit, Northrop Grumman says it has been unfairly denied a share of a $4 billion Army contract for a new missile defense system. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the system, but Northrop Grumman's electronics unit in Linthicum was initially enlisted to build the tubes from which the anti-missile rockets are launched.
NEWS
December 12, 1994
In 1983, President Reagan delivered his famous "Star Wars" speech pledging the nation to develop a space-based defense against nuclear attack that would make enemy missiles "impotent and obsolete." The high-tech shield would be based on a system of orbiting satellites and mirrors armed with powerful laser beams capable of zapping incoming warheads before they reached the U.S.Now, after a decade of political ups and downs, 15 years of development and more than $1 billion in research, the first space-based laser is nearly ready to fly. With newly empowered Republicans pledged to beef up the nation's defenses, the futuristic weapon once derided as a "Star Wars" fantasy almost certainly will become an issue for ideological combat in the next Congress.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 5, 2001
WASHINGTON - Inside his Pentagon offices, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has begun poring over the briefing books for one of his greatest and most controversial challenges: a national missile defense system. In the next two months, he is expected to sketch the outlines of the expansive missile shield promised by President Bush. The plan is likely to include a $60 billion land-based system of 100 interceptor missiles in Alaska, augmented by Navy ships, many predict. Rumsfeld has done perhaps more than any other person to highlight the threat of ballistic missiles being fired from North Korea, Iran or other so-called rogue states.
NEWS
July 12, 2000
THE MISSILE killer didn't really fail its test over the Pacific early Saturday. Because two aspects of proven technology faltered, the targeting, sensors and communications that were to be tested were not. This was the third of 19 scheduled tests. The program is delayed, not derailed. That delay should put the ball in the next president's court. President Clinton wanted to get this irrevocably started, but cannot. The next step is for Secretary of Defense William Cohen to report to the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
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