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Key Issues Missile Defense Issues Democrats Respond to Bush Speech

Democrats Respond to Bush Speech on Missile Defense

On 1 May, President George W. Bush outlined US missile defense plans in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Bush outlined the need for missile defenses based on current nuclear and missile technology proliferation trends. Below are some of the responses from high ranking Democrats to Bush's speech.

"Many in the administration . . . argue that deploying an ineffective defense can still be an effective

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system simply because it would cause uncertainty in the minds of our adversaries. That position is based on the flawed assumption that a president would be willing to gamble our nation's security on a bluff, and that no adversary would be willing or able to call such a bluff. Instead of increasing our security, pursuing a strategy that cannot achieve its goal could leave our nation less secure and our world less stable."
-Senator Tom Dashle
Democrat, South Dakota
May 2, 2001

"To abandon the ABM with the hope to get that [missile defense] capacity somewhere down the line would damage the security interests of the United States."
-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Democrat, Delaware
May 2, 2001

"The whole principle of fly before you buy is one we should adhere to. This is placing the political cart before the technical horse."
-Representative John F. Tierney
Democrat, Massachusetts
May 2, 2001

"If you can't shoot down 100 percent of them [missiles], you haven't gotten rid of mutually assured destruction. And if you can, you set off an arms race to develop a capacity that can't be touched by a missile defense system."
-Senator John F. Kerry
Democrat, Massachusetts
May 2, 2001

"Some of the systems under consideration are "more appropriate to Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg than to actual implementation."
-Representative Neil Abercrombie
Democrat, Hawaii
May 2, 2001