Joseph Cirincione deconstructs Bush’s recent attempts to start a new arms race:
President Bush is rushing to deploy a technology that does not work against a threat that does not exist. Iran is at least 5 to 10 years away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon and at least that far from having a missile that could hit Europe let alone the US. And anti-missile systems are still nowhere near working despite $150 billion spent since the 1983 Star Wars program started and years of phony tests staged to demonstrate ‘progress’ and ‘success.
As in the past when Bush has gone after non-existing threats — those missing WMD in Iraq — we are once again being told one thing and sold another. In Iraq, the purpose all along was to get rid of Saddam and install a permanent US presence in the region to control Iraq’s oil. Reviving Star Wars has less to do with keeping America safe than with keeping weapons manufacturers busy and prospering. And, rhetoric aside, it has nothing to do with helping the Europeans or anyone else.
The fact is the Czechs don’t want the radar, the Europeans don’t trust his explanations and deplore his unilateralism, the Congress has already cut the funds on purely programmatic grounds. This was a dumb idea before, now it is yet another foreign policy disaster.
But a potential golden feather in the cap of Bush and his corporate cronies, a policy that will go on paying huge dividends long after he’s out of office.