ABM Treaty

June 13, 2000

President Clinton's recent summit meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin has put a debate over the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty back in the news. The president and many of his advisors argues that the ABM treaty prevents us from developing and deploying a missile defense system. President Clinton has proposed developing what could be called a "treaty-compliant system" that by definition would be ineffective in defending America from incoming missiles.

One of the ways that the president hopes to circumvent the ABM treaty is by providing information about our missile defense technology to "civilized nations" while restricting it to "rogue nations." At the least that would mean that we would be sharing missile technology with Russia. And we already know that China has access to much of our missile technology due to Chinese espionage. So two of the greatest powers (and I might add, two of the greatest threats to the United States) will have our missile technology. That doesn't comfort me too much.

But the ABM treaty specifically prohibits what the president is proposing. Article IX of the treaty bans the transfer of such technology. Now I would contend that the ABM treaty is null and void simply because it was signed 28 years ago by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union no longer exists.

And that's the issue. If the ABM treaty is in effect, then President Clinton is prohibited from sharing this technology. If the treaty isn't in effect, then there is no roadblock to developing a missile defense.

I believe that latter is true. It's time to develop and deploy a missile defense system that will protect America as well as our allies. The time to act is now.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.