U.S. Begins Deployment of Ballistic Missile Program

January 6, 2003

On December 17, President Bush announced that the United States will soon begin deploying its Ballistic Missile Program (BMD).

He said the United States will begin operating these missiles in 2004 and 2005, "and they will include ground-based interceptors, sea-based interceptors, additional Patriot (PAC-3) units, and sensors based on land, at sea, and in space." The Pentagon is already spending $9 billion/year on this missile program and the eventual cost is expected to run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

On the same day, Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said the missile program "should be seen as a signal to North Korea." In the past, he and other U.S. officials have stated that 16 missiles will be deployed by 2005 at a base in Alaska and four in California to "counter the threat of terrorist groups and rogue states such as Iran, Iraq and North Korea."

Even though the U.S. government advertises its ballistic missile program as a "defensive" program aimed at "shielding the U.S. from nuclear attack," it is, in reality, an offensive weapons system and a key component in Bush's program of further militarizing the world. The ballistic missile program is designed:

1) to be deployed in various "regional military theaters" including the Middle East and the Korean peninsula in order to insure U.S. military superiority. The U.S. and Israeli governments are already planing to deploy short-range ballistic missiles in order to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military dominance.

2) as a first-strike weapon which can wipe out the strategic or short-range missiles of an adversary, thus destroying its deterrent force and leaving it defenseless. This greatly increases the threat and reality of a first-strike nuclear attack by the U.S..

The development of the BMD program reflects the extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism in the present period. The Bush administration flaunts its lawlessness, repeatedly insisting that it will not be bound by arms treaties or put peace negotiations ahead of its militarist ambitions. Trying to create a "unipolar" world, with itself as the sole superpower, U.S. imperialism wants to strengthen its nuclear superiority and nuclear blackmail over the whole world.