Professor Ted Postol
"Missile Defense & the Rising Danger of Nuclear War with Russia"
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
1575 I Street NW
Marriott Conference Center
(parking available in building)
Missile defense is aggressively promoted by an unholy alliance of government, industry, and academia: Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, MIT, National Academy of Sciences and both the Democratic and Republican parties. The program has taken on a life of its own. Postol's appearance is an opportunity to explore the confluence of political competition, the private sector opportunity to make large profits without product performance standards, and academic opportunism to gain favor with large government and industrial funders.
In 2009, after initially expressing skepticism, President Obama reversed himself by announcing what he claimed is a new and radical approach to missile defense. Postol will explain why the radars in this system cannot properly track warheads and the interceptors cannot knock them down. Postol points out that the Missile Defense Agency agency has repeatedly misrepresented to Congress that long-range missile defenses can tell the difference between warheads and simple decoys. He will review the case that the agency has been rigging experiments and lying to Congress, allies, and Russia.
Postol will show that Obama has abandoned his long-standing commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons by committing the nation to an ambitious trillion-dollar nuclear modernization program. Obama’s nuclear modernization seeks to create the capability to fight and win a nuclear war with Russia. Postol argues that the US missile defense program is destabilizing nuclear deterrence in ways that raise the risk of nuclear war and has contributed to the downward spiral in the US-Russian relationship. He will show that this failure of leadership started with the Clinton Administration and was eagerly carried forward by the Bush and Obama Administrations. The nuclear arms race is back. Most Americans imagined it had ended with the Cold War.
Postol is far from alone in his concern about these developments. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes to midnight, indicating a level of danger exceeded only in 1953 after the US and Russia exploded their first hydrogen bombs. It notes that "the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads—thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties."
The Committee for the Republic is a citizen-based, non-partisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2003. The Committee sponsors speakers monthly on challenges to the American Republic, including the military-industrial complex, too-big-to-fail banks, campaign finance, and U.S. competitiveness.
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