Portuguese press reports on president Putin’s view of antimissile shield
The Portuguese Press has reported on President Vladimir Putin’s view on the USA’s Strategic Defence Initiative, to launch a shield against missile attack over the USA (and possibly its “allies”), as a threat to world peace. He was quoted by “Diario de Noticias” newspaper as stating that this system would be “fatal for world peace”, a statement made during the President’s speech in the Parliament of South Korea. It is mentioned that he reaffirmed Russia’s firm opposition to any intention from the Americans to revise the anti-ballistic missile treaties, which they signed in 1972. “The violation of the treaty would lead to a collapse of global strategic stability”, President Putin is reported to have added. The initial SDI plan was an idea launched during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. It was dropped by President Clinton because initial simulations proved the system to be as porous as a sieve and therefore totally unreliable. The system is comprised of anti-missile missiles and particle beam accelerators dotted in space over the USA, in a grid-like form to provide total coverage, destroying incoming ballistic missiles while outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Exactly how such a system would deal with a multiple attack involving hundreds of warheads, flying at different altitudes, some variable and coming from several directions, continues to be a mystery, since the scheme is reported to be only in its conception phase. The irony would be for the USA to spend trillions of dollars on this initiative, and then suffer a nuclear terrorist incident from a crude, home-made nuclear device. Such possibilities are no longer confined to the pages of Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. However, the notion of going ahead with such a scheme does not allay suspicions as to why – and quite frankly, what for?
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON