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``Alaska To Be Used As MD Base``

Posted July. 10, 2001 19:26,   


As the U.S. decided to place the ballistic missiles in a missile defense (MD) test site in Alaska, which will be built by 2004, the deployment of the MD was de facto decided. The Pentagon is preparing to ask Congress for money to build a MD test site at Fort Greely, 160 km to the southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska.

This MD test site will be used as a testing place in where the ground-launched ballistic missiles shoot down the air-launched ballistic missiles coming toward Alaska. However, the U.S. plans to use the MD test site as the MD base by deploying 10 ballistic missiles to defend the U.S. from the enemy missiles. For this, hangar and missile storage facilities will be built.

Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, a spokesperson for the Pentagon`s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization said, ``If development of MD technology proceeded on schedule and if an emergency occurs, then Fort Greely could be used as an emergency MD base.``

The U.S. national defense experts anticipate that this test site will play the role of the headquarters of the U.S. MD system.

The former Clinton administration considered the plan to deploy the MD system in 2004 through 2008. However, the George W. Bush administration has considered the `preliminary` level of the MD system by 2004 when Bush’s office is completed. Therefore, Boeing suggested in its special briefing to the Pentagon in April that the U.S. should deploy 5 ballistic missiles in Alaska by March 2004 as the first step and to increase the ballistic missiles up to 50 by 2007 as the second step.

Pentagon has not announced the exact amount of budget necessary for building of the MD test site. However, according to New York Times, the Defense Department might ask Congress for permission to begin work soon, to take advantage of the final weeks of Alaska`s short construction season.

The fact that despite the international opposition to the MD system, the U.S. decided to build a MD test site, which will be used as MD base, indicates that the U.S. will establish the MD system without considering Russia’s position on either revision of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty or the denunciation of the treaty.

The 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty forbids not only the deployment of the MD system but also the construction of the MD test site. As it was reported that the MD test site in Alaska will be used as MD base, Russia’s opposition to the U.S. MD plan is anticipated to become stronger.

Shin Chi-Young higgledy@donga.com