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26 Mar, 2009 09:44

Ballistic missiles – “a thing of the past?”

Resetting ties with Russia is apparently among the top priorities for the Barack Obama administration, but on the road to recovery, there lies a huge stumbling block.

It is Washington's anti-missile defence plans for Eastern Europe.

'New man – new policies' certainly seems to be the mantra for U.S. President Obama, who's keen to distance himself from many of the positions held by the Bush administration.

Now it does look as though Obama and his team are ready to step back on this issue and they have a great excuse. All the technicians and people working closely on this project are saying that the technology simply is not there.

At the 7th annual missile defence conference in Washington earlier this week, it was announced that the way the system’s testing is conducted is to be restructured.

There no longer will be $10 billion a year pouring into this programme as was done under the Bush administration. Obama is now saying some serious cuts are going to be made.

Technicians are concerned about how they are going to conduct the testing now. Probably the most shocking thing about the anti-ballistic missile shield voiced at the conference was said by the top U.S. military official, General James E. Cartwright, who simply called ballistic missiles “a thing of the past.”

Cartwright told RT that “ballistic missiles are about as passé as sea mail, nobody does it anymore,” which raises questions about the justification of pouring so much money into the entire ABM system.

Today there is going to be hearing in Washington directly discussing the ABM shield. A representative from California, Ellen Tauscher, whom Hillary Clinton has picked to be the new Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, is going to attend this hearing. So far she has been very critical of all ABM shield spending calling endless tests of the system insanity.

If she does indeed get picked for this position she will have a lot of control over the project.