A generation later the United States is still fighting the cold war, drawing Europe into a dangerous new arms race. The National Missile Defense Program is quietly making its way through Congress generating funding, research and development dollars in order to ensure that Ronald Reagan's vision of the ultimate deterrent remains a fixed goal of national defense objectives. The NMD is a pork barrel project for defense contractors who just can't seem to find anything useful to do with their research facilities and our billions of taxpayer dollars. It seems the old axiom is true, cold warriors never die, they just fade away into the background and keep on making policy.
The NMD, otherwise known as Star Wars, involves the production of a new generation of weapons designed to shoot down nuclear weapons in outer space. As the thinking goes, this ‘defense shield’ would provide a deterrent to nuclear weapons and thus give the United States a strategic advantage against any enemy. There are several problems with the NMD, and the US Senate should not allocate one dollar in research and development for Star Wars. As a candidate for federal office I will vigorously fight any attempt to bring weapons into space or develop a Strategic Defense Initiative.
My reasons for opposing the NMD are as follows: First of all, the program violates international law. A key component of NMD involves deploying weapons in space in violation of international treaties signed by the United States and ratified by the United Nations banning weapons of mass destruction in space, the development of space for military purposes and the promotion of space for strategic national objectives. My second reason for objecting to military funding for NMD is that the project will further erode relationships between the United States and Europe and will force Russia and China to respond in kind with counter development and spark a new global arms race.
The gift of peace was ours for the taking.
At the end of the cold war the it seemed like United States had won the peace. In spite of the extreme costs of detente and weapons development and massive military budgets, there was a possibility for a new vision for US foreign policy.
Unfortunately our leaders have betrayed us and after eighteen years the pressure is building. The reality is that we won the war but lost the peace as our cold warrior administrators continued to push the buttons of foreign policy throughout successive presidential administrations.
It has been a long time coming, but it is still possible to win the peace we could have claimed nearly a generation ago. Defunding the National Missile Defense project would send a clear message to Eastern Europe, Russia and China that the United States does not intend to draw the world into another nuclear arms race. Instead of investing in war, let us invest in peace. We do not have any more nuclear superpowers threatening our imminent destruction. After eighteen years we are the only threat remaining to global security.
It is time to take a step away from the nuclear precipice and toward real steps for peace by dismantling our weapons of mass destruction and honor our obligations as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.