The United States has plans for several anti-missile devices, including airborne lasers, and even space based lasers, all to be tested by 2008.
On Thursday July 12, 2001, the U.S. State Department sent a memo to world embassies explaining that the Presidents missile defense proposals would come into effect in "months not years".
With other nations, such as Russia, condemning this decision, I am not sure it is such a good one. Especially considering how close we are geographically. Although the White House says that it will come to an understanding with Russia over the disagreement, I still think it is a very bad idea. Are we promoting peace or nuclear war?
If the United States goes ahead and installs this system, what effect will it have on Canadians? The effects do have a chance of being catastrophic. Installing such a system may give other countries the impression that the U.S. is not willing to participate in any attempt to downsize the world arsenal of nuclear weapons.
A member of the Russian Security Council was quoted saying "Russia, as well as many other countries, believes that a unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty would lead to the destruction of strategic stability."
The Pentagon has said that the defense system would not provide protection against the vast nuclear arsenal of Russia. Of course it can protect the U.S. from other countries, but there is no immediate threat from any country. Installing a system sure is not going to do the U.S. relations with other countries any good, remembering that the United States relations with China have recently been affected by the spy plane incident.
The missile defense tests are said to begin construction in April next year, and if all this goes ahead, who knows what the system will start. A missile defense system is not what the world needs to be safe, a treaty to disarm and disable the growing global nuclear arsenal is. In my opinion the only effect a missile defense system will have is to irritate other nations and cause a new nuclear arms race. Ask yourself, do you really want a new cold war?