June 29, 1999

                    The Diane Rehm Show
                    WAMU-Washington, DC
                      Richard L. Garwin

From WAMU in Washington, I'm Jim Angle of Fox News sitting
in for Diane Rehm.  She'll be back from vacation next week.

The Clinton Administration and Congress have decided to move
ahead with testing a National Missile Defense system.  For
two decades scientists have debated the feasibility of
trying to destroy incoming ballistic missiles with other
missiles.  Also up for debate is whether or not it's a good
idea politically.

Joining me to talk about missile defense is Joseph
Cirincione, Senior Associate with the nonproliferation
project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace;
Bill Graham, President of National Security Research; James
Anderson, Defense Policy Analyst for the Heritage
Foundation; and by phone from Yorktown Heights, NY, Richard
Garwin, Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the
Council on Foreign Relations.  Welcome everyone.

First, gentlemen, let me ask what is the threat that we are
worried about today?

Bill Graham: Dr. Garwin and I spent about six months last
year studying that in some detail as members of the Rumsfeld
Commission.  We concluded unanimously, and with a bipartisan
group, that, in fact, the threat is evolving from North
Korea to Iran to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other developing
world countries.  In the ballistic missile area it's doing
it more broadly and more rapidly than the intelligence
community had previously predicted.  Our intelligence
warning time is certainly decreasing and, in fact, in some
circumstances we can expect no warning against a ballistic
missile attack to the United States even today.

James Anderson: I think that is all correct and we're
reminded about the evolving nature of this threat only in
recent weeks with revelations about Chinese espionage--
about advance U.S. nuclear secrets.  And that's important on
its own terms for Chinese emerging capabilities including
mobile long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, and
also because of the fact that China is a known proliferator
of military technology.  They have shared certain
technologies with states like North Korea, Iran, Saudi
Arabia, and so this presents yet another dimension to the
proliferation problem.  So, in a nutshell, it's become
increasingly clear that the threat of missile attack to the
United States and our allies is in fact very grave and it is

Jim Angle: Richard Garwin, are we shifting away from the
concern about obviously the old Soviet Union, now Russia,
and more toward what we consider rogue states today?

Richard Garwin: That's the focus of the discussion but I
don't think that's the real impetus behind the proposed
deployment of a National Missile Defense.  It's like the
Three Bears-- Russia is too hard; the rogue nations are
really too small; and China is just about right.  So what
you see is a system which is sized to have very good kill
capability supposedly, if the other side plays along,
against four or five warheads coming in.  But in fact with
75 interceptors planned to be built under those
circumstances it would do a pretty good workmanlike job
against the less than 20 warheads that China can now throw
against us.  And that's one of the reasons for so much
concern about whether China will multiply its warheads,
which were expected.  Ten years ago we expected the Chinese
to build multiple warheads and the recent revelations really
don't change that.  But the fact is that the proposed
National Missile Defense won't work against the rogue
states, even, because we worry not only about nuclear but
biological agent payloads, and countermeasures with things
that they can feasibly do to counter the system.

Jim Angle: In other words they can overrun the system or
you're suggesting go around it by using other means.

Richard Garwin: Our Rumsfeld Commission Report did emphasize
biological and nuclear payloads and also that the person
deploying ballistic missiles could use bomblets that
separate on ascent-- that is as soon as the missile stops
thrusting.  None of the things that we have in plan would be
able to handle that.  You could, if you really focus on the
rogue states one at a time-- North Korea is the only one in
a position to have an ICBM now within a couple of years, we
believe.  The others if they put their minds to it, Iraq and
Iran, could do it within five years or three years depending
where they are in hiding what they've been doing.  But
anybody who could build an ICBM can certainly separate
hundreds of bomblets on ascent, and the way to catch those
is in boost phase, and in order to do that you have to get
rid of this system that is being proposed and go to work
seriously.  What we have is a rush to failure as it was
characterized by a Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
panel under General Larry Welch.  But colloquially it's, "if
you want it bad enough, you'll get it bad enough," and I
fear that is what is happening.

Jim Angle: Joe Cirincione what is your view of this debate?

Joe Cirincione: I think it's a threat that we face that is
real, but it's been hyped and inflated largely for political
purposes.  I respectfully disagree with both Dr. Graham and
Dr. Garwin on whether we actually might wake up tomorrow
morning and find out that an ICBM had popped into existence
in the Libyan desert.  I think this is just simply not true,
that we face an uncertain and ever increasing danger of
ballistic missile proliferation.  About ten years ago, you
might remember, the thing we feared most was about 5000
Soviet ICBMs screeching over the North Pole and destroying
the United States.  That threat no longer exists.  We're no
longer worried about a thermonuclear war that would destroy
the very planet.  We're down to worrying about North Korea,
Iran, and Iraq, and that's basically it.  These problems are
manageable.  Are they a threat?  Yes.  Is it a grave threat?
Yes, but keep it in perspective.  There are ways to deal
with these threats that are much more reliable than the
kinds of Rube Goldberg missile defense systems that have
been proposed and have cost us so much money over the past
20 years.

Jim Angle: What other ways, if you all agree at least there
is some vague threat here, what other ways would you

Joe Cirincione: Let me point out one that Ronald Reagan
implemented much more successfully than the Star Wars
scheme.  About the time many of the people were involved in
spending $55 billion in the Star War plan, Ronald Reagan
successfully eliminated an entire class of ballistic missile
threat to the Western alliance.  He and Soviet President
Gorbachev agreed on the INF Treaty eliminating the
intermediate nuclear range weapons that first the Soviets
had deployed in Europe in the 1980s and then we had
responded by deploying our own Pershing II, and cruise
missiles.  But they completely eliminated them.  Very
successful arms control treaty.  George Bush in 1991
completely eliminated thousands of tactical nuclear
missiles.  First from our forces-- the Army and the Navy are
now de-nuclearized of tactical nuclear weapons.  And then
Gorbachev responded in a similar fashion.  There were ways
to actually reduce and prevent the threat they were so
worried about.

Jim Angle: But, if I remember correctly, the prospect of an
American defense system was some of the leverage in those
arms control talks.  That the Soviets were constantly
complaining you can't do that because it is a move toward
superiority and there was some thought at the time that that
actually increased their willingness to proceed on other
negotiations to try to stop our defensive system.

Joe Cirincione: I think you always have to negotiate from
strength.  The United States is in a very strong position.
We are the dominant military power in the world and will be
for the next 20 or 30 years.  Let's use that position to
eliminate some of the threats that we're faced with.  We're
not always going to have this kind of technological
superiority.  Let's level the playing field before it is too

Jim Angle: Let's talk for a moment about what it is that the
U.S. is contemplating.  Bill Graham, I gather what we are
actually testing now is a system that would protect
battlefield forces-- American forces in Asia for instance.
But there is some thought, if that is successful, of making
it a system that would actually protect the United States
itself.  Is that roughly accurate?

Bill Graham: The development program follows a little
different line, Jim.  We are developing the system called
THAAD which is a land-based short-range ballistic missile
interceptor.  We have already tested one called the PAC 3
(the Patriot Advanced Capability-3).  It's the son of the
system that we used in the Gulf which was the PAC-2.  PAC-3
has made successful intercepts of ballistic missiles.  We're
also developing sea-borne interceptors to operate out of the
AEGIS air defense, destroyers and cruisers.  Those are
separate Ballistic Missile Defense systems.  Obviously they
are supposed to work together.  But in addition to that
we're in the early stages of the development of the
long-range ballistic missile interceptor that would be based
somewhere in the United States and used to intercept very
long-range missiles coming at the U.S.  One problem is that
an effort is being made to develop that under the
constraints of the ABM Treaty which are extremely rigorous
constraints.  In fact, Russia tells us that no national
territorial defense can meet the terms of the ABM Treaty,
because it says in its first Article that this is to
prohibit the deployment of a territorial defense system.
Going over that point though, setting that aside for the
moment, we're trying to build one hundred interceptors to go
at one site which can defend everything from the tip of the
Aleutians to Key West.  This an enormous technical challenge
and nothing any rational scientist, engineer, or even
defense analyst would do if he weren't under these arbitrary
constraints which were conceived of in the early 70s and in
an entirely different world-- designed for a different
world, probably not very effective then, and completely
counterproductive today.

Jim Angle: You're talking about the constraints of the ABM

Bill Graham: Absolutely.

Jim Angle: We'll get back to that in a moment.  Let me ask
James Anderson from Heritage.  I gather Heritage supports a
sea-based system.  That it thinks that would be the most
effective way to proceed as we try to decide which of these
systems has the most promise.

James Anderson: We believe that its sea-based efforts have
tremendous potential.  And we believe utilizing that
potential first from sea and then from space, using the
inherent advantages that we have there and the technological
promise, would in fact be far superior to the plan that has
been put forth by the Clinton Administration which as just
mentioned involves ground-based interceptors in one or
perhaps two sites within the United States.  The problem
with that is it is in effect the Maginot Line of missile
defense.  It's the last-ditch effort to intercept incoming
hostile warheads.  The advantage of space and sea-based
defenses is we can eventually get to that Boost-Phase
Intercept capability.  As Dr. Garwin mentioned earlier in
the program, there is a potential for adversaries to put
decoys on missiles, to put bomblets on top of their
missiles, and to try to confuse, overwhelm, or penetrate any
defenses we may have.  So what that leads us to is the
conclusion that we ought to be focusing our efforts on
developing a Boost-Phase Intercept capability, which means
that we can intercept a hostile missile shortly after
takeoff.  And the advantage of that is it has the added
benefit, I would argue, of a deterrent.  Because if you're a
third world tyrant thinking about attacking the United
States, and you know that the United States can intercept
that missile over your territory, you might think twice.
And if you in fact launch it anyway, it will have a good
chance to knock it out.

Jim Angle: Richard Garwin, I have about a minute before the
break.  How much faith do you have that we are in fact going
to be able to develop this technology over the near-term?

Richard Garwin: Well, the proposed National Missile Defense,
I think you have four people on this program who agree that
it won't work and yet that's the only thing which is under
consideration, and we ought to get that out of the way.  We
could develop Boost-Phase Intercept capability especially
against North Korea.  But you have to pare it down and not
insist on doing everything with this system.  Get different
systems for different targets.  And we would mount our
interceptors on ships.  They wouldn't even have to have
radars.  We have satellites that for a quarter century have
seen every ballistic missile launch and that's good enough
for Boost-Phase Intercept.  So this would be a system that
would be available quickly.  Let me tell you that THAAD--
that's the rush to failure system-- is not even scheduled to
be available until the year 2008.

Jim Angle: We'll continue that discussion in just a moment.
Coming up we'll continue our discussion of missile defense
systems.  Please stay tuned.

Jim Angle: Welcome back.  I'm Jim Angle sitting in for Diane
Rehm.  We're talking about the return to missile defense
with Joe Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment, Bill Graham
of the National Security Research Incorporated, James
Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, and Richard Garwin who
is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Gentlemen, we were just talking about the feasibility of
this.  Is there a rush to failure, Joe Cirincione?  Why is
the political system headed down one track when there is so
much contrary opinion that that's not the way to go?

Joe Cirincione: You have to realize that we have been trying
to do this for quite a long time.  Over the past 15 years we
have had 16 tests of high altitude intercepts trying to hit
a bullet with a bullet in outer space.  Only two of those
have worked.  In both of those the target was enhanced in
various ways to tell interceptor where the target was.

Jim Angle: That made it a little bit easier.

Joe Cirincione: They artificially heated the target; they
put a transponder on one target to tell the interceptor
"here I am, come this way".  As a sort of a test, it was a
useful demonstration.  But if you're talking about have we
ever done this, has there ever been an unambiguous "hit a
bullet with a bullet" success?  No, we've never done this.
This is a tremendously technologically difficult thing to
do.  It's been spurred on at this point largely by politics.
Some would say the threat is spurring this and I disagree
with that.  It's largely politics.  When the Republicans
gained control of the House in 1994 this was the only
defense plank they had in their contract with America.
Presidential candidate Robert Dole tried to make this a
campaign issue in 1996.  Newt Gingrich tried to make it a
campaign issue.  They're trying to attack the Democrats as
weak on defense, attack Clinton for failing to defend
America.  They think they have an issue again, so they're
running with it.  The Clinton Administration response to
this is basically, "Okay we give up, we'll give you a lot
more money."  They spent $2 billion more this year than they
thought, so they're trying to buy their way out of this
debate.  And that's what is producing this rush to try and
deploy something before it's technologically feasible.

Jim Angle: You mean the White House is trying to buy its way
out of the difficult debate over whether or not it's more
determined to defend the United States than the Republicans

Joe Cirincione: Right.  They don't want this interfering
with the year 2000 presidential election campaign. They want
to say we're just as committed as you are.  A lot of the
Republicans in Congress aren't buying it and that is some of
what you hear in the debate today.

Jim Angle: Bill Graham, how much role is politics playing in
this debate?

Bill Graham: Let me go back to what the problem is first.
It makes a nice soundbite.  But you're really not trying to
hit a bullet with a bullet.  You're trying to hit something
about the size of a trash can with a very smart robot that
is flying through space.  It has a clear view of what is
coming at because it has the background of space and it's
working outside the atmosphere, and it can see it for quite
a long time.  So you have a chance to figure out what its
trajectory is and to figure out where to intercept it.
That's difficult.  There is one more parameter that's
important.  These two objects are moving toward each other
much faster than bullets, so you have to be able to respond
very very quickly to what's going on.  All the simulations
that we run, and the hardware studies we do, indicate that
that's a doable job.  Dick Garwin makes the case that
countermeasures are important, and I think it's part of a
more general point.  You can always invent an offense that
can overwhelm any defense and you can always invent a
defense that can take care of any offense.  When in fact in
the real world nobody gets the last move.  These countries
are having to bet their own technical capabilities against
those of the United States.  That's a sucker bet if the
United States decides to focus on the problem.

Richard Garwin: I wouldn't say that.  In Vietnam, for
instance, we used a lot of technology and we were countered
by very low technology.  And what we've been publishing for
20 years really is the very simple countermeasure that works
perfectly on these hit-to-kill interceptors, and that is
just a large enclosing balloon.  So I give you, although we
haven't demonstrated it, that we can see these things and we
can maneuver toward them, but when you come against a
balloon the size of house that has a warhead the size of a
trash can in it, what are you going to do?  You'll poke a
hole in the balloon.  This is an easy thing to make.  I'll
bring it to the next congressional hearing where I testify.

Bill Graham: In fact it's been made before in some of our
countermeasure studies.  It's not quite as easy as you
think, but it's a doable problem.  But it's also possible to
figure out where that heavy trash can is inside that light
balloon, and it's possible to strip away the light balloon.
This debate goes on and on.  But this is the give and take
that we deal with.

Jim Angle: Bill Graham, let me ask you this.  There have
been quite a few tests, as Joe was saying, and there have
been a lot of failures.  Why are you convinced at this point
that we will be any more successful in the near future than
we have been in the past?

Bill Graham: Well, for two reasons.  One is that when we run
our simulation models of what's going on, it appears that if
our systems operate correctly they will in fact be able to
intercept these targets.  Then we have to go to Dick
Garwin's countermeasures debate.  That's another subject.
It's an important one.  We're probably not putting enough
emphasis on it, but if we do, we can deal with that by a
whole range of methods tuned to the countermeasures.  The
second point is that we've had a number of failures.  I tie,
let's say, the last five years or so of those, to the fact
that we've been creating a very rapid downsizing of the U.S.
defense industry.  Retired or otherwise let go some of our
most senior and capable people.  People with titles like
Lead Engineer, Senior Technician, and so on.  Those people
earned their stripes the hard way--  decades of making
rocket systems work.  They are all on the golf course now,
and we're educating a new generation of those people and
that's an expensive process.

Jim Angle: Do you think the money that is now being
dedicated will be enough to bring those people back, or are
you saying that the younger generations will just have to
learn the hard way as well.

Bill Graham: I think the younger generation is learning the
hard way right now, but they are learning, and within the
next few years they'll understand what an unforgiving
business rocket science is.

Jim Angle: Let's talk if we can about some of the political
dilemmas before we open the phone here and go to some of our
listeners.  We talked about the ABM Treaty which limits
defense.  Someone explain for me what the ABM Treaty allows
and does not allow.

Richard Garwin: Let me try.  But maybe you could jump in
Joe.  The ABM Treaty allows you do as much testing as you
want to do; it has not in any way inhibited the testing of
these systems.  That is not the reason that these tests have
failed.  We're spending $5 billion a year on these tests.
This is the largest single defense program, we're allowed to
do whatever we want in testing.  What it does limit is
actual deployment.  Richard Nixon signed this Treaty in 1972
with Henry Kissinger's stewardship and he said that we
should limit the deployment of a National Missile Defense
system to one site.  We just choose to defend an ICBM field
in Grand Forks; we deployed the system.  Donald Rumsfeld,
Secretary of Defense, with President Ford shut it down six
months later as militarily ineffective.  So we were allowed
to do something like ..

Jim Angle: Or you could protect your capitol if you decide.

Richard Garwin: And the Russians decided to protect Moscow.
And they still have a system of some antique 100
interceptors formerly tipped with nuclear warheads around
their capitol.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff have never doubted
for a minute that we could fail to penetrate that system.
The history of this is that the ABM Treaty has served to
sort of limit the futile race in defensive arms without at
all inhibiting research efforts to try and protect a weapon
that maybe could work.

Jim Angle: Now the idea behind this was that if one power
develops a defense that he would be interpreted by the other
as an effort to gain superiority and unleash a huge arms
race on both defensive and offensive.

Joe Cirincione: Exactly.  You have to remember in 1972 there
was the SALT Treaty which capped each side's offensive arms;
it was coupled with the ABM Treaty, and the logic still
holds today.  If one side builds a defensive system the
logical response is the other side will increase their
offensive forces to overwhelm it.  That's exactly the way it
has worked throughout history.  If you build a castle, I'll
build a catapult.  That's when you hear Bill Graham talking
about this, you have to be worried about what kind of race
are we getting into.  It's a never ending fools game
thinking that we can somehow develop a shield that will
protect us once and for all.  It just hasn't ever happened.

Richard Garwin: On the political side, I would not be so
sanguine about Russia, which has, after all, 6000 or so
ballistic missile warheads that they could launch at us.  I
want to get those down to a really low number.  Whether or
not Russia intends to launch them, they are the only threat
to the actual survival of the American people.  Now these
rogue nations, if you really believe that they are going to
step up against the United States, it's not their
technology.  We have hundreds of warheads, thousands of
warheads, we could use against them.  They would be choosing
instant destruction if they launched anything against the
United States.  They should be deterred.  We want to make
that clear to them.  But the ABM Treaty doesn't keep you
from defending against the real threat even from those
countries; and those are short-range ballistic missiles or
cruise missiles launched from ships near our shores.  Since
they can't destroy the whole country they could choose the
most important parts-- the most valuable parts on the
Pacific or the Atlantic coast.  And we have nothing in plan
for countering these cruise missiles or the short-range
ballistic missiles.  But we could.  The ABM Treaty doesn't
in any way prevent our building any kind of defense that we
want against these non-strategic, that is, short-range,

Jim Angle: You're suggesting that the cause of the political
concerns in Russia, there might be a trade-off between
getting the Russians to proceed on further arms control by
dropping, or cutting in half as START II would do, their
6000 nuclear warheads.  Are you saying there is a trade-off
between that and proceeding with a missile defense?

Richard Garwin: Right, absolutely.  Russia says that they
will not ratify START II or go further if we do not obey the
ABM Treaty.  And some people are resentful.  Over here they
say "Russia is weak, they can't tell us what to do."  Of
course, the Russians can't tell us what to do, but we can
see what is in our own interest.  And what is greatly in our
interest is getting Russian nuclear forces (and that's all
nuclear weapons not just those on ballistic missiles) down
below 1000 and maybe down to a few hundred.  That would be a
much better world.

Jim Angle: James Anderson, what is more valuable if it comes
down to that.  Cutting the Russian nuclear arsenal in half
or having a missile defense?

James Anderson: I would agree with Dr. Garwin to the extent
that I would certainly love to see Russia's nuclear arsenal
reduced as well.  The fact of the matter is that this will
happen in any event with or without START II for financial
reasons; Russia is going to have to scale back.  The real
important question here is why are we giving Moscow or
Beijing any veto power over our ability to defend ourselves
against the most likely emerging threats, and those are the
rogue nations.  North Korea is not party to the defunct ABM
Treaty.  Why on Earth should we continue to handcuff
ourselves, to shackle ourselves, to this Cold War fossil
when in fact we have a very different world now.  I think
Joe mentioned earlier Henry Kissinger was an architect of
the ABM Treaty.  I think it is significant to note that now
Dr. Kissinger believes we need to get beyond the ABM Treaty.
That was formed in a very different context during the Cold
War when the Soviet Union and the United States were the two
major nuclear powers.  Now we have a very different world
and we have to get serious about not simply researching and
developing but actually deploying, moving ahead, with a
robust missile defense.

Richard Garwin: Before you go to a lawyer or a treaty
negotiator you want to have your goals clearly in mind.  I
wouldn't mind renegotiating the ABM Treaty with the
Russians.  They've shown a good deal of flexibility on the
demarcation between Theater Missile Defense and National
Missile Defense.  When we testified to the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, May 4, Bill Graham and I, we heard
Senator Biden say, "you know, if that's the job that is to
get the Russians to agree to a Boost-Phase Intercept system
against North Korea, I bet you that I, as a negotiator,
could achieve that."  So if that's what we want, that's what
we ought to try to do instead of abandoning the whole

Jim Angle:  Bill Graham, what about Dr. Garwin's other point
which is that a potential enemy such as North Korea could
use cruise missiles and other means of delivering whatever
threat it wanted to deliver to the United States, and that
if we had a missile defense and they thought it was in fact
effective that they would simply go to these other things
for which we have no defense?

Bill Graham: The world was a dangerous place during the Cold
War.  In spite of optimism about a new world order, the
world is still a dangerous place and it's going to be a
dangerous place for a long time.  The shorter range missile
threats are the most likely today.  Scud missiles shot off
steamers off our shore-- tramp steamers that can still land
in our coastal cities.  I disagree with Dr. Garwin that
those (defenses) are allowed under the ABM Treaty, but I'd
be pleased to put it to a test to see if we can actually
build and deploy such short range defenses under the ABM
Treaty.  But I think we should look at some depth in our
defenses.  Not only the short-range, certainly the boost
phase, but also long-range missiles because one of the
things we should be able to do is to sway many of these
countries from even building long-range ballistic missile
systems.  We don't know when some nut may take over one of
these countries; hold his own population hostage; not care
whether we shoot back at them with nuclear weapons; and try
to intimidate us with a nuclear attack.  That would be dumb
thing for him to do, but it is certainly within the range of
some of the people leading countries today.

Jim Angle: I'm Jim Angle.  You're listening to the Diane
Rehm Show.  If you would like to join our discussion, please
call us at 1-800-433-8850.  There was a point that
Dr. Garwin mentioned a moment ago.  We have an enormous
deterrent.  What sense would it make even if you have, as
you say, a nut in charge, what sense would it make for
someone to launch a missile at the U.S. knowing that the
response would be complete annihilation?

James Anderson: If I could jump in on that, Jim.  I think
that if you look at history, history is strewn with examples
of irrational, unpredictable leaders.  Leaders who had,
obviously, no chance of winning on the battlefield and yet
you continue to fight on.  Why, for example, did Saddam
Hussein take on the Gulf War coalition when he knew he could
not possibly withstand that military force?  Everybody
thought it would be rational for him to withdraw from
Kuwait, and yet he continued.  The problem here with
missiles is that we cannot predict the future here and we
don't know when some crazed leader is going to have an
exceptionally bad day or is going to decide, for whatever
reason, to launch missiles at the United States or allies.
And that leader may not be deterred by the threat of
retaliation.  That is why moving forward with National
Missile Defense should be considered a prudent form of

Richard Garwin: But because there is no absolute security,
you have to make the investments that will do you the most
good.  If we go back to the technical aspects and read a
letter of April 23 from the Defense Department's Director of
Defense, Research and Engineering, Hans Mark, he says, "If
we keep on the present course in the THAAD program, it is
certain that nothing that really works will ever be
deployed.  Part of THAAD's problems stem from the poor
technical legacy of the Strategic Defense Initiative in the
1980s".  He said, "In the view of the technical people, SDI
was essentially a bluff; and I have to confess some of the
political people at that time felt the same way.  The sloppy
work did not matter and the contractor, Lockheed Martin, for
THAAD, put the third team on the project to assemble the
THAAD system.  It certainly shows."  Now that's back in the
1980s when we had all that money, and he (Hans Mark) was
talking about the sloppy work and the legacy from the SDI

Jim Angle: Bill Graham, I have just a minute before the

Bill Graham: Just come back to the point about what kind of
third world leader might want to launch a missile at the
U.S.  A third world leader who wants to exercise his
military in his own region of the world has an enormous
problem.  And that is that the U.S. may project itself into
that area.  And suddenly he is not fighting his neighbor,
he's fighting the U.S.  That happened in the Gulf War; it's
happening in the Balkans; and it could happen in the Taiwan
Straits and other places.  It's a loser to try to take on
the U.S. head on conventional warfare.  So what does a
rational leader do?  He better have some capability to try
to keep the U.S. from coming in, and keep the U.S. from
forming an alliance that come in.  Long-range ballistic
missiles are a bad idea for that threat.

Jim Angle: Okay.  Coming up we'll be talking about missile
defense systems. Please stay with us.

  **Commercial break.**

Jim Angle: And welcome back.  I'm Jim Angle sitting in for
Diane Rehm.  Let's go right to our callers.  First Marie in
Comstock Park, Michigan.  Marie, you are on the air.

Marie: Thank you.  My question is, what dominant power have
you ever heard of that had to take nuclear parts out of its
bombs, in order to bomb a small country like Serbia?

Jim Angle: Obviously, a question about the war in the
Balkans I gather?

Marie: Yes.

Richard Garwin: It's really a question about the number of
cruise missiles that we had with non-nuclear warheads.  And
we had a whole bunch with nuclear warheads which we really
don't need. So it's a hard way.  Very costly cruise
missiles.  The non-nuclear ones are cheaper, but you do what
you can with what you have.  I would like to make the point,
though, that if some rogue leader wants to launch a
ballistic missile at the United States, we're very likely to
know about that tactically in advance.  That is, we may see
the fueling preparations; we may get the communications.
And we will very probably know where that missile is.  So
that is just inviting a preemptive destructive strike by the
United States.  Not necessarily with nuclear weapons--
probably with precision guided cruise missiles or bombs.  So
there is still another line of defense after they are
deterred from building these things, deterred from using
these things, and that is they will be subject to
destruction of the weapons before they can be used.

Jim Angle:  Thanks for your call Marie.  Let's go to Michael
in San Antonio.  Michael you're on the air.

Michael: If Milosevic has a few ballistic missiles, or just
regular bombs on  Minuteman, he would be able to shoot at
our White House, or whatever.  How much would a ballistic
missile like that cost?  Where could he buy ...  It looks
like every little country needs some of those to keep from
getting bombed.

Bill Graham: There is enormous traffic in ballistic missile
technology throughout the developing world today.  That was
one of the things that we learned on the Rumsfeld
Commission.  It's almost becoming a self-sustaining
ballistic missile economy itself.  He could look around to
places like North Korea which is developing longer and
longer range missiles.  It has a missile in design now
called the Taepo Dong II which will be able to go
essentially from any point to any point on the Earth with a
sizable payload.  And I wouldn't be surprised if that is
tested within the next couple of years.

Michael: That sounds really good.  Then that will have
helped them out a lot then.  That will end this kind of
bombing that we do where we don't get hit back.

Richard Garwin: It would be wildly inaccurate in the first
generation and be much more effective for those people to
bring in ordinary explosives, or biological weapons, or
whatever, in order to have pinpoint accuracy.  It's really
something that you need to worry about.  But the ballistic
missile with conventional explosives is not something to
worry about in the intercontinental regime.

Jim Angle: Let's go to Bob in Rochester, NY.  Bob, you're on
the air.

Bob: I'd like to talk about this idea of rogue nations,
rogue leaders, attacking the United States.  One of your
guests used an analogy of Saddam Hussein which I find to be,
frankly, with all due respect to the gentleman, quite
ludicrous.  We know that Suddam Hussein has limited
objectives, and that was to occupy a very tiny nation on its
borders, whether we agree or disagree with the geopolitical
and other reasons that he gave.  It had nothing to do with
attacking the United States.  To assume that a rogue leader
from, let's say, North Korea would attack the United States
for no reason other than to just show that I'm a big guy is
absolutely ludicrous.  And if they know that they are going
to be annihilated as a result of that, then there is no
reason why they would do that.  So this whole idea seems to
be an exercise in, I don't know.  Maybe it's so these
gentlemen can earn a living.  I don't know why they would
discuss an idea of a rogue nation attacking the United

Jim Angle: Okay, thanks for your question Bob.  James

James Anderson: Let me pick up on Bob's question.  With
respect to Saddam Hussein, we now know that Iraq was in fact
within a year or two of actually having a nuclear weapon
around the time of the Gulf War.  We also now know because
of the inspections that Iraq had a very significant
biological and chemical weapons program.  We also know that
Iraq had a strong missile program.  Not only with its Scuds
but it also had plans to develop much longer range missiles.
So this is why the rogue threat is very important.  Also
with respect to North Korea, even if they are not attacking
the United States with a missile they still have their
ambitions in Asia.  We are a partner to South Korea.  We
have other allies in the region.  And it's important for the
United States' shield to give credibility to its treaty
obligations and its security commitments.  As long as we
continue to remain vulnerable here at home, that is going to
hurt us abroad in terms of our credibility.  That's why the
rogue nation threat matters.

Jim Angle: Let's go to Patrick in Springfield, VA.  Patrick,
you're on the air.

Patrick: I have a question particularly about how blackmail
would figure into this equation.  Back in the 1996/1997
crisis with China, it was stated by a General at that time
that the United States would not be willing to trade Los
Angeles for Taipei.  I was wondering how this National
Missile Defense would be able to play into that, be able to
nullify that sort of blackmail.  The second question is what
can we do, either as the panel or as the public as a whole,
to be able to do to get the Administration or Congress to
adopt the policies that you are talking about.  It does seem
actually kind of ludicrous in a sense to adopt a one size
fits all policy instead of a flexible policy which is being
advocated by the panel.

Jim Angle: Thanks for your question.  Joe.

Joe Cirincione: Let me take a first crack at that.  I don't
think missile defense would affect us at all for two
reasons.  One, the U.S. hasn't been deterred by such bluster
from the Chinese during the 1996 crisis over Taiwan, for
example.  When China launched some test missiles bracketing
the waters off the shores of Taiwan, the U.S. wasn't
deterred by that.  Our response was to send two carrier
battle groups into the Taiwan Strait.  We didn't back down
one instant.  Would a Ballistic Missile Defense system help
us?  I doubt that very much.  I doubt very much that a
military commander would have the confidence that a
Ballistic Missile Defense system would have a 100%
effectiveness in intercepting an enemy's ballistic missile.
You can turn to the President and say, go ahead Mr.
President, you could intervene but we have neutralized this
enemy's nuclear response.  There is no way that a Ballistic
Missile Defense is going to change the deterrent
calculations of situations like this.

Jim Angle: Let's go to Jack in Baltimore, MD.  Jack, you're
on the air.

Jack: I have a comment.  Your panel has been talking about
"it's the politics in Washington that are driving this."  It
seems to me that they are kind of glossing over the fact
that what it really is is the money.  I think the people
that are proposing this system are determined to reinvent
the Cold War and continue the arms race.  There is just so
many reasons why this is a bad idea.  They said themselves,
an offense can always be overwhelmed by a defense; a defense
can always be built to respond to an offense.  I just think
this is basically the culture of death.  These people have
nothing better to do than sit around and talk about throw
weights, and whose going to threaten who, and blustering
about China having veto power over the United States.  If we
spent one-tenth of the money and the time and the effort on
trying to develop peace in this world that we do on weapons,
we would be much better off.  It's a culture of death.  And
these poor people on your panel proposing this just simply
don't know a way out.

Jim Angle: Thanks Jack.  Thanks for your question.  Anybody
want to make ...

James Anderson or Bill Graham:  In fact we spent a lot more
than ten times as much on the culture of peace-- trying to
help the economies and political structures of countries,
involved in a way that is peaceful.  But nonetheless I would
disagree with his characterization that if we just be nice
the whole world would be nice.  That is, unfortunately, a
view too optimistic to correspond to history.  And I would
disagree with Joe, too, on his earlier comment.  In fact, if
we had a National Missile Defense System that could handle
the range of threats, we wouldn't have to have to worry when
leaders say "stay out of our part of the world", no matter
what our military aspirations are, say against Taiwan, or
we're likely to have you face a nuclear confrontation with
our nuclear forces.

Joe Cirincione:  I would love to have an effective ballistic
missile defense; I would love to have a system that really
worked; I'd like to have cure for cancer; I'd love to have a
really good light beer.  But some things are just beyond our
technological capability.  You have to face reality here.
We have been trying to do this.  And the caller points up
this money factor.  You have to come to grips with the
politics of military procurement when you deal with weapon
systems like this.  Five billion dollars a year-- the
largest single weapons program in the defense budget-- is
Ballistic Missile Defense.  Bill, you talked about
downsizing.  We're not downsizing in Ballistic Missile
Defense.  This is a growth industry as far as the defense
contractors are concerned.  We're talking about even a
limited system of ground-based interceptors-- $28 billion
for that system.  That's a very large system, but that's
just the beginning.  If we do what the Heritage Foundation
advocates, we're talking about a multi-tiered space, sea,
land-based system that the Congressional Budget Office
estimated would cost about $110 billion dollars.

Richard Garwin: And in fact, our military are very reluctant
to move in this direction because they see greater military
needs.  I agree with the caller.  It's not just being nice.
It's actually putting our emphasis and our money where our
interests are.  And as one of the Senators said on May 4,
"You know, when I go home my constituents say you can buy
the North Korean nuclear weapons, if they ever have them,
for a lot less."  Let's talk about this "leverage."  If we
wait until we are invulnerable at home before we do anything
in the world, we're going to wait a very long time.  Because
even if we could make ourselves invulnerable to the
long-range missiles, we'll be vulnerable to terrorist
weapons, to the short-range cruise and ballistic missiles.
The Chinese General in 1995 actually said "In the 1950s when
you threatened nuclear strikes on us because you were able
to do that, we could not hit back.  But if you hit us now,
we can hit back.  So you will not make those threats.  In
the end you care more about Los Angeles than you do about
Taipei."  He was talking about the U.S. making nuclear
strikes on China and that we would not do that because they
would strike back.  He wasn't threatening (although he may
mean it without saying it) to bomb Los Angeles because we
intervene conventionally to resist action in Taiwan.

Joe Cirincione: That's exactly right Richard.

Bill Graham: We've had a couple of false dichotomies here
that we should look at for a moment.  One is Dick Garwin
said we shouldn't try to get a perfect defense, or a very
good defense, and do nothing in these other areas before we
have it.  And Joe mentioned the prospects of the
once-and-for-all shield over the U.S.  We're not going to
get a once-and-for-all shield.  This is a dynamic balance
that's going to continue not because we want it to continue
but because other countries have aspirations beyond things
they can do today, and they often involve keeping the U.S.
out of their part of the world.  We're not doing nothing
while we are trying to build a Ballistic Missile Defense.
We're doing an enormous amount in trade and industry and
education and cooperation.  Probably too much in some of
those areas.  But we are trying to help these countries
involved while at the same time protect ourselves.

Jim Angle: Let's take another call.  This time from George
in Ft. Worth, TX.  George, you're on the air.

George: I wanted to object to this fable that you all
arranged to get on.  What you're talking about is getting
rid of nuclear weapons by building more of them.  Like these
same people that talk about getting rid of disarmament, and
what they are really talking about is building more guns.
This whole thing started back in 1946 with Enrico Fermi and
J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Jim Angle: Let me get a response.  Thanks for your call.
James Anderson.

James Anderson: What George said raises an important issue
because a lot of people are not quite clear about what these
defensive technologies look like.  Now it's true back in the
60's the United States had some anti-missile technologies
that actually had nuclear warheads.  But the fact of the
matter is today we have the technological promise to develop
non-nuclear anti-missile defenses.  In other words the type
of National Missile Defense that we believe is both
practical and affordable and costful would not require the
building of one additional nuclear warhead.  We're talking
about non-nuclear defenses.

Joe Cirincione:  But the caller is right that our answer to
other country's weapons is to build more weapons of our own.

James Anderson: Defensive weapons.  There is a world of
difference between a defensive anti-interceptor and an
offensive ballistic missile.

Joe Cirincione:  But as Dr. Graham points out this is a game
that never ends.  It's a cycle that we enter into.  That's
why I think missile defense is a fool's game.  It offers the
illusion of protection without actually protecting the
United States.

Jim Angle: I have just a few seconds left.  Final comment
from you Richard Garwin.

Richard Garwin: I just want to talk about the foreign aid
budget.  It's half of 1% of the federal budget.  It's tiny
in comparison with the defense budget.  But we get out of
this dilemma by not building this proposed National Missile
Defense System.  And putting our priorities in order; asking
what our problems are.  If we're interested in boost-phase
intercept and modifications of the ABM Treaty, that's what
we ought to do.  But we will injure our security if we go
ahead with this proposed defense system.

Jim Angle: Last comment from you Bill Graham.

Bill Graham: The one thing I try to remember-- the lesson of
history I've learned over the last 30 or 40 years-- is that
weakness is provocative.

Jim Angle: Thank you very much.  Thanks to our guests Joe
Cirincione, Bill Graham, James Anderson, and Richard Garwin.