'Rogue states cannot hope to
blackmail America or her allies'
"Iran is buying and developing ballistic missiles. It has
flight- tested an intermediate range Shahab-3 missile and within the
decade it could test a missile capable of reaching all of Europe's
major cities. Iran has chemical weapons and is seeking nuclear and
Before the Gulf War, Iraq had loaded chemical and biological weapons
into missile warheads, according to United Nations arms inspectors,
and it was close to achieving a nuclear capability. UN sanctions
have slowed, but probably not stopped, Baghdad's determination to
produce weapons of mass destruction.
Traditional deterrence rests on our ability to launch a devastating
counter-strike against any country that uses weapons of mass
destruction against America, its allies or deployed forces. Such
measures worked against the Soviet Union, whose leaders were
rational and risk-averse, but they may not deter rogue states whose
leaders are indifferent to their people's welfare. Iraq, Iran and
North Korea do not need long-range missiles to intimidate their
neighbors; they want long-range missiles to coerce and threaten more
distant countries in North America and Europe.
The United States has adopted a multi-faceted approach to counter
this threat so that rogue state leaders cannot hope to blackmail
America from protecting its interests, including commitments to its
allies. Our first line of defense is to maintain a robust
conventional and nuclear deterrent. The US is also pursuing an
aggressive approach to non-proliferation and arms control. And we
are developing a limited missile defense system that would provide
protection for all 50 states against small attacks of perhaps two
dozen warheads, once the full system became operational.
The proposed system is not aimed at Russia. The Cold War is over.
Today American and Russian soldiers serve as peacekeepers in Bosnia
and Kosovo, and the two countries are working together to reduce
further our arsenals. Now the United States worries about programmes
in Iraq, Iran, North Korea and other rogue countries that seek to
build or buy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the
missiles to deliver them."