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The weekend before Thanksgiving, as the Taliban fled into the Hindu Kush and America's children flocked to Harry Potter, the nation's opinion formers suddenly discovered that the Bush Administration had hijacked the Constitution with the Patriot Act and the order for military tribunals. Time burst out that "War Is Hell (on Your Civil Liberties)." The New York Times began to run big news stories about John Ashcroft as if he were running an off-the-shelf operation, clandestinely consummating all those dreams of Oliver North back in Reagan time about suspending the Constitution.
In the Washington Post for November 15 Richard Cohen discarded his earlier defenses of Ashcroft and declared the Attorney General to be "the scariest man in government." Five days earlier, a New York Times editorial was particularly incensed about suspension of attorney-client privileges in federal jails, with monitoring of all conversations. For the Hearst papers, Helen Thomas reported on November 17 that Ashcroft "is riding roughshod over individual rights" and cited Ben Franklin to the effect that "if we give up our essential rights for some security, we are in danger of losing both."
In this sudden volley of urgent barks from the dogs of the Fourth Estate, the first yelp came on November 15, from William Safire. In fine fury Safire burst out in his first paragraph that "misadvised by a frustrated and panic-stricken attorney general, a president of the United States has just assumed what amounts to dictatorial power." Safire lashed out at "military kangaroo courts" and flayed Bush as a proto-Julius Caesar.
Even mainstream politicians began to wail about the theft of liberty. Vermont's independent Senator Jim Jeffords proclaimed on November 19 that "I am very concerned about my good friend John Ashcroft. Having 1,000 people locked up with no right to habeas corpus is a deep concern." Jeffords said that he felt his own role in swinging the Senate to Democratic control was vindicated because it had permitted his fellow senator from Vermont, Democrat Patrick Leahy, to battle the White House's increased police powers, as made legal in the terrorism bill.
Speak, memory! It is not as though publication on November 13 of Bush's presidential order on military tribunals for Al Qaeda members and sympathizers launched the onslaught on civil liberties. Recall that the terrorism bill was sent to Congress on September 19. Nor were the contents of that proposed legislation unfamiliar, since in large part they had been offered by the Clinton Administration as portions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Well before the end of September, Ashcroft's proposals to trash the Bill of Rights were available for inspection and debate.
At the time when it counted, when a volley of remonstrance from the watchdogs might have provoked resistance in Congress, amended the Patriot bill and warned Bush not to try his luck with military courts, there was mostly silence from the opinion makers, aside from amiable discussions of the propriety of torture. Taken as a whole, the US press did not raise adequate alarm about legislation designed to give the FBI full snoop powers on the Internet; to deny habeas corpus to noncitizens; to expand even further the warrantless searches unleashed in the Clinton era with new powers given in 1995 to secret courts. These courts operated under the terms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, passed in 1978, in the Carter years.
In the run-up to Bush's signing of the Patriot Act on October 25, the editorial columns of the major papers offered only nugatory comment about the dangers of the bill. While not as bad as the silence of the press over the internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor, the tepid reaction of the media had disastrous consequences.
It would have taken only a few fierce columns or editorials, such as were profuse after November 13, to have given frightened politicians cover to join the only bold soul in the Senate, Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. It was Feingold, remember, whose vote back in the spring let Ashcroft's nomination out of the Judiciary Committee, at a time when most of his Democratic colleagues were roaring to the news cameras about Ashcroft's racism and contempt for due process. The New York Times and the Washington Post both editorialized then against Ashcroft's nomination.
But then, when the rubber met the road and Ashcroft sent up the Patriot bill, which vindicated every dire prediction of the spring, all fell silent except Feingold, who made a magnificent speech in the Senate the day the bill was signed, citing assaults on liberty going back to the Alien and Sedition Acts of John Adams, the suspension of habeas corpus sanctioned by the Supreme Court during the Civil War, the internments of World War II (along with 110,000 Japanese-Americans there were 11,000 German-Americans and 3,000 Italian-Americans put behind barbed wire), the McCarthyite blacklists of the 1950s and the spying on antiwar protesters in the 1960s. Under the terms of the bill, Feingold warned, the Fourth Amendment as it applies to electronic communications would be significantly curtailed. He flayed the measure as an assault on "the basic rights that make us who we are." It represented "a truly breathtaking expansion of police power."
Feingold was trying to win time for challenges in Congress to specific provisions in Ashcroft's bill. Those were the days in which sustained uproar from Safire or Lewis or kindred commentators would have made a difference. Feingold's was the sole vote against the bill in the Senate. Just like Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening in their lonely opposition to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, Feingold will receive his due and be hailed as a hero by the same people who held their tongue in the crucial hours when a vigilant press could have helped save the day. Instead, as Murray Kempton used to say of editorial writers, they waited till after the battle to come down from the hills to shoot the wounded.
The automatic double doors at the Institute for Creative Technologies' seaside headquarters in West Los Angeles neatly snap open just as they do on the Starship Enterprise. And sitting inside ICT's sleek virtual-reality theater, which features a Cinerama screen, a "rumble floor" with ten subsonic "transducers" and a ceiling with twinkling blue lights, you could easily imagine you are on the Star Trek command bridge alongside Captain Kirk.
But this is the Pentagon's little piece of Hollywood. So at my side is Dr. Mike Andrews, chief scientist of the US Army and described as "founder of and inspiration behind" the ICT.
ICT was launched two years ago with a five-year, $45 million Army grant. Its mission, as defined by executive director Richard Lindheim, is to "mix showbiz with science...to combine Hollywood magic with the real world." More concretely, ICT seeks to develop the most advanced modeling and simulation technologies to train US troops for modern warfare through the use of virtual-reality computer games. According to Andrews, the first use of ICT games in training is still "a couple of years away."
ICT is administered by the private University of Southern California, which stands to profit from sales of technology and products. In addition to games made solely for the Army, ICT is also developing, with investment from Sony and another firm called Quicksilver, two combat training games that will be used by the Army and sold commercially.
Hollywood veterans abound at ICT: They include Lindheim, a former executive at NBC, MCA Television Group/Universal Studios and Paramount Television Group; James Korris, the creative director, former COO and founder of MCA TV Entertainment; and Jacquelyn Ford Morie, manager of one of ICT's training development projects and a former lead designer for Disney's feature animation department. All this talent, combined with some of the best and the brightest drafted from the digital design trenches, has allowed ICT to come up with world-class games aimed at teaching US troops what are called command decision skills.
As the lights dim in the VR theater, and the exquisitely rendered scenario unfolds on the wraparound screen, the viewer finds himself in the Bosnian countryside, bumping noisily along a back road in an Army Humvee. The ground rumbles and shakes as a chopper also arrives at the pivotal scene--a collision between a US Army vehicle and a civilian car, leaving a Bosnian child seriously injured. The trainee must now make split-second leadership decisions: Soothe the angry crowd that is gathering around the child and his distraught mother, or move on to quell a military confrontation somewhere up the road? The trainee, wearing a virtual-reality helmet, talks to the lifelike characters onscreen who, armed with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, are able to logically respond to almost any command.
Later, I accompany chief scientist Andrews to an adjacent ICT facility where he cuts the ribbon on the think tank's newest project, "Flatworld"--a room-sized "set" that, when viewed through 3-D glasses, can transform itself from a training site in Bosnia, to one in the desert, to one on an alien planet. At one point, a monarch butterfly flutters outside an artificial window and then, apparently, flies inside the room and hovers at our nose--a technology filched directly from Disneyland.
And that points to a concern: While the technology is impressive, the scripts and scenarios are cooked up by Hollywood writers and video-game masters--not by linguists, historians or political scientists. Some might say that the current conflict in Afghanistan has its roots not in a lack of US technology but rather in a paucity of human intelligence. That thought was impossible to avoid while watching the training scenario set in Bosnia. At the trainee's feet lay the grieving mother of the injured child, the potential catalyst for an explosion by the local villagers. But she conveniently never spoke up. If she had, it would not have been in English, the only language the trainee is likely to understand.
But Dr. Neil Sullivan, vice provost of research at ITC's parent, USC, expresses confidence. "When we started out two years ago, we thought these were very curious communities [academia, the military and the entertainment industry] to be partnering; we thought it would be Mission Impossible. But ITC now has real products that are going to have real effects on Army training. And who can doubt that training isn't helpful?"
More training can never hurt. But even after all the gee-whiz razzmatazz of the virtual-reality immersion experience, one doubt still nags: Wouldn't American soldiers be better off getting trained in the language, history and culture of the countries to which they are dispatched than spending hours talking to people who look like them on a computer screen?
The Taliban may have met its match: the American Dream Machine.
Finally, the Bush Administration is getting serious about the fight for public opinion in the war on terrorism. To combat the Taliban's daily denunciations of the US bombing campaign in Afghanistan, the White House has set up a twenty-four-hour news bureau in Pakistan to issue a "message of the day." Top officials, after attempting to pressure Al Jazeera to tone down its anti-American programming, are now making themselves available to the news channel. Karl Rove, a senior political adviser to George W. Bush, has met with Hollywood executives to discuss how they can promote the US war effort. And most significant of all, the White House has hired Charlotte Beers, a former advertising executive who in the past helped market Uncle Ben's rice, to craft a multipronged PR campaign that, Administration officials feel confident, will help win the hearts and minds of the Islamic world.
The Administration's belated recognition of the importance of public opinion in its war effort is certainly commendable. Yet its new campaign seems likely to fall short. For in selling a product, the packaging can get you only so far; ultimately, it's the quality of the product that counts. And in this case the product, US policy, seems defective in several key respects.
For a sense of them, one need only consult the daily fare on Al Jazeera. First, the channel features much criticism of Washington's role in the Middle East, especially its support for repressive governments. Then there's the nightly footage of the US bombing raids over Afghanistan, with frequent images of civilians who've been injured or killed in them. Finally, there's the ongoing coverage of Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza, full of clips of Palestinian civilians--including many children--shot by Israeli soldiers.
The impact of the Palestinian issue, in particular, cannot be emphasized enough. Earlier this year, Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland, commissioned a survey of public opinion in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Lebanon. Most of those polled ranked the Palestinian issue as the most important one for them personally. Of course, some argue that to take up that issue would be to reward terrorism, but that's not a reason to avoid what we should have been doing anyway.
If the White House really wants to make headway in its battle for public opinion, it would appoint not Charlotte Beers but a new special envoy to the Middle East whose main task would be to press the two sides to resume negotiations. To fully capitalize, the Administration would assign a camera crew to shadow the envoy on his trips to the region, and it would make the resulting footage immediately available to Al Jazeera and other Arab outlets. To help out, Bush would make frequent statements about the need for both sides in the conflict to put aside their differences and work toward an agreement. And, while he was at it, the President would make clear America's determination to develop a plan to help the nations of the Middle East overcome the political stultification and economic backwardness that have made life so wretched for so many.
Bush actually had a prime opportunity to do that on November 10, when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly. With dozens of world leaders present, the President spent most of his twenty-two-minute speech reiterating his familiar message about the evils of terrorism and the urgent need to fight it. Only briefly did he refer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and while he committed his Administration to "working toward the day when two states--Israel and Palestine--live peacefully together within secure and recognized borders," he also warned against those "trying to pick and choose...terrorist friends"--a clear reference, as Karen DeYoung noted in the Washington Post, to "his calls for a Palestinian rejection of anti-Israel militants."
As DeYoung further reported, some delegates questioned Bush's decision to focus almost entirely on the fight against terrorism, "largely ignoring the issues of poverty and underdevelopment that are their biggest concern." While all the other leaders who addressed the assembly condemned the September 11 attacks, most "spent major portions of their speeches calling for action on other world problems." Several times during the President's speech, DeYoung added, he appeared to pause for a reaction, but there was none; only when he finished did the delegates applaud, and then only "politely."
Isn't it comforting to know that Charlotte Beers is hard at work on the case?
I so distrust the use of the word zeitgeist, with all its vague implications of Teutonic meta-theory. But on Veterans Day I had to work full time on myself in order to combat the feeling of an epochal shift, in which my own poor molecules were being realigned in some bizarre Hegelian synthesis. I should perhaps confess that on September 11 last, once I had experienced all the usual mammalian gamut of emotions, from rage to nausea, I also discovered that another sensation was contending for mastery. On examination, and to my own surprise and pleasure, it turned out be exhilaration.
Once again, we're being sold on the devil theory of history.
Warfare American-style has in recent years produced a familiar pas de deux. The United States bombs, the enemy declares that civilians and nonmilitary targets were struck and the Pentagon challenges the account. Occasionally, reporters can trek to the site and try to construct an accurate picture. But in remote locations, that's not always possible. One tool exists that could be useful in resolving these disputes: high-resolution satellite photography. For almost two years, Space Imaging, a commercial US firm, has been selling photos from its Ikonos satellite, which circles the globe at a height of 423 miles and snaps shots of 1-meter resolution. In certain instances, a media outfit, a human rights group or another party could examine an Ikonos image and determine what damage occurred at a particular place. But there's little chance of that happening during the war in Afghanistan, because the Pentagon's National Imagery and Mapping Agency has signed an exclusive deal with Space Imaging that gives the Defense Department control of all the commercially available, high-quality overhead images of Afghanistan.
Under the NIMA contract, the Pentagon, for at least $2 million a month (and perhaps more), has purchased all time that the satellite is over Afghanistan, which means no one else can hire Space Imaging to take pictures of the war zone. And unlike most images obtained by Space Imaging, the photos of Afghanistan captured by Ikonos cannot be sold to any other parties. It's a government takeover of an information source.
Overhead imagery would not necessarily provide quick and easy answers to conflicting accounts about wartime action. "It takes a lot of training and skill to read satellite imagery," says Patrick Eddington, a former analyst at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center. And the 1-meter-resolution shots--which can show car-sized objects--require skilled interpretation, not widely available outside government. But Ikonos photos could assist nongovernment analysts looking to conduct bomb-damage assessments independent of the Pentagon. "If the Taliban claimed a village was hit, and the Pentagon said no such thing happened, commercial imagery conceivably could provide verification one way or another," says John Pike, director of the nonprofit GlobalSecurity.org. This sort of imagery could offer indications of how successful the United States has been in hitting Taliban facilities.
Refugee and humanitarian groups could use satellite photos in their efforts to assist displaced Afghans. "One of our big issues is how to get food to Afghans and find the people who need it," says Ken Bacon, president of Refugees International and a Pentagon spokesman during the Clinton years. "I just saw a report from the United Nations that there are 229 pockets of displaced people within Afghanistan. If we knew where they were--and we don't--that would make it much easier to arrange ways to get them food. Presumably satellite imagery could help us if the groups of people are big enough. But we would also have to be able to figure out what the images mean." Several humanitarian aid groups have been talking to NIMA about obtaining maps, images and analytic assistance. (At press time, no agreement had been reached.)
The Pentagon does possess several satellites of its own, some of higher resolution. So why buy up the Ikonos images? Though the Pentagon has not officially spelled it out, there are obvious reasons. By training Space Imaging's satellite on lower priority targets, the Pentagon frees its satellites for high-priority shots. The Administration also can use commercial images, which are unclassified, in public or in semiprivate--say, when it shares information with coalition partners--without having to reveal the capabilities of its advanced imaging systems. As for the need for exclusivity, the Pentagon could argue that were it to release images, the enemy would get helpful information and leads on the military's areas of interest. An unidentified NIMA spokesman told Satellite Week, "We didn't do it primarily to censor.... We get that as an additional benefit."
This censorship-by-contract saved the Bush Administration the trouble of invoking what's known as "shutter control." Under the government license that allows Space Imaging to operate the satellite, the government has the power to restrict the images in times of national emergency. If the government had taken this course, it would surely end up in court, challenged by news outlets and others for violating the First Amendment. "With this deal, the government is imposing shutter control without giving me or the newsmedia a legal basis for suing," says Pike.
The NIMA-Space Imaging deal--renewed in early November--has not provoked many howls from the media. Reporters Sans Frontieres did complain that the contract was "a way of disguised censorship aimed at preventing the media from doing their monitoring jobs." But mainstream media executives have been more focused on other Pentagon press restrictions, like the Defense Department's refusal to position reporters with ground troops in Central Asia. "To get images of this resolution is very new," says Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which has protested the contract. "So they are not missed so much.... And defense reporters may be reluctant to ask about it at briefings, because they don't want to come across as self-serving." Adam Clayton Powell III, outgoing vice president for technology programs at the Freedom Forum, notes that "there's not been a lot of grumbling because not many editors realize what's at stake.... People don't want to take on the Pentagon, and they do not yet understand the value of this resource."
The Pentagon has succeeded in keeping overhead imagery out of the story. (Instead, the public can absorb jittery videophone reports, blurry green night-vision shots and Pentagon-controlled gun-camera video footage that details explosions more than targets.) But the national security establishment may not be able to sustain its position for long. Overseas and domestic competitors are moving to catch up to Space Imaging, and Space Imaging itself is planning to launch two 0.5-meter-resolution satellites in the coming years. These more accurate satellites will grab shots that can be read more easily by nongovernment analysts looking to judge "collateral damage" or evaluate refugee situations. With all these birds in the sky--including several beyond the licensing powers of the US government--the Pentagon will find it tough to control how war is seen from the heavens. For now, though, the sky is indeed the limit, as the Pentagon seeks to wage war free (literally) of oversight.
Open the November 5 edition of Newsweek and here's Jonathan Alter, munching on the week's hot topic, namely the propriety of the FBI torturing obdurate September 11 suspects in the bureau's custody here in the United States. Alter says no to cattle prods, but continues the sentence with the observation that something is needed to "jump-start the stalled investigation." The tone is lightly facetious: "Couldn't we at least subject them to psychological torture, like tapes of dying rabbits or high-decibel rap?" There are respectful references to Alan Dershowitz (who's running around the country promoting the idea of "torture warrants" issued by judges) and to Israel, where "until 1999 an interrogation technique called 'shaking' was legal. It entailed holding a smelly bag over a suspect's head in a dark room, then applying scary psychological torment.... Even now, Israeli law leaves a little room for 'moderate physical pressure' in what are called 'ticking time bomb' cases."
As so often with unappealing labor, Alter arrives at the usual American solution: outsource the job. "We'll have to think about transferring some suspects to our less squeamish allies," he says.
What's striking about Alter's commentary and others in the same idiom is the abstraction from reality, as if torture is so indisputably a dirty business that all painful data had best be avoided. One would have thought it hard to be frivolous about the subject of torture, but Alter managed it.
Would one know from his commentary that under international covenants--signed and ratified by the United States--torture is illegal? One would not, and one assumes that as with the war against the Taliban's Afghanistan, Alter regards issues of legality as entirely immaterial. Would one know that in recent years the United States has been charged by the UN and also by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International with tolerating torture in prisons, by methods ranging from solitary, twenty-three-hour-a-day confinement in concrete boxes for years on end, to activating 50,000-volt shocks through a mandatory belt worn by prisoners?
Would one know that one of the darkest threads in postwar US imperial history has been the CIA's involvement with torture, as instructor, practitioner or contractor?
Remember Dan Mitrione, kidnapped and killed by Uruguay's Tupamaros and portrayed by Yves Montand in Costa-Gavras's film State of Siege? In the late 1960s Mitrione worked for the US Office of Public Safety, part of the Agency for International Development. In Brazil, so A.J. Langguth (a former New York Times bureau chief in Saigon) related in his book Hidden Terrors, Mitrione was among the US advisers teaching Brazilian police how much electric shock to apply to prisoners without killing them. In Uruguay, according to the former chief of police intelligence, Mitrione helped "professionalize" torture as a routine measure and advised on psychological techniques such as playing tapes of women and children screaming that the prisoner's family was being tortured.
Alter expresses a partiality for "truth drugs," an enthusiasm shared by the US Navy after the war against Hitler, when its intelligence officers got on the trail of Dr. Kurt Plotner's research into "truth serums" at Dachau. Plotner gave Jewish and Russian prisoners high doses of mescaline and then observed their behavior, in which they expressed hatred for their guards and made confessional statements about their own psychological makeup.
As part of its larger MK-ULTRA project the CIA gave money to Dr. Ewen Cameron, at McGill University. Cameron was a pioneer in the sensory-deprivation techniques for which Jonathan Alter has issued his approval. Cameron once locked up a woman in a small white box for thirty-five days, deprived of light, smell and sound. The CIA doctors were amazed at this dose, knowing that their own experiments with a sensory-deprivation tank in 1955 had induced severe psychological reactions in less than forty hours.
Start torturing, and it's easy to get carried away. Torture destroys the tortured and corrupts the society that sanctions it. Just like the FBI today, the CIA in 1968 got frustrated by its inability to break suspected leaders of Vietnam's National Liberation Front by its usual methods of interrogation and torture. So the agency began more advanced experiments, in one of which it anesthetized three prisoners, opened their skulls and planted electrodes in their brains. They were revived, put in a room and given knives. The CIA psychologists then activated the electrodes, hoping the prisoners would attack one another. They didn't. The electrodes were removed, the prisoners shot and their bodies burned. Alter can read about it in Gordon Thomas's book Journey into Madness.
The Israelis? They're still torturing. In July, AP and the Baltimore Sun relayed charges from the Israeli human rights group B'tselem of "severe torture" by police: Palestinian youths as young as 14 being badly beaten, their heads shoved into toilet bowls and so forth. But Israel outsourced too. After Israel finally retreated from its "security strip" in southern Lebanon, run by its puppet South Lebanese Army, the journalist Robert Fisk visited Khiam prison. His report for The Independent, May 25, 2000, began thus: "The torturers had just left but the horror remained. There was the whipping pole and the window grilles where prisoners were tied naked for days, freezing water thrown over them at night. Then there were the electric leads for the little dynamo--the machine mercifully taken off to Israel by the interrogators--which had the inmates shrieking with pain when the electrodes touched their fingers or penises. And there were the handcuffs which an ex-prisoner handed to me yesterday afternoon. Engraved into the steel were the words: 'The Peerless Handcuff Co. Springfield, Mass. Made in USA.' And I wondered, in Israel's most shameful prison, if the executives over in Springfield knew what they were doing when they sold these manacles."
If handcuffs are sold these days to the FBI's subcontractor of choice, at least the executives will know they have Jonathan Alter to explain the patriotic morality of their bottom line.
The upcoming Bush-Putin mini-summit in Crawford, Texas, is expected to produce the outlines of a new nuclear bargain that combines sharp reductions in US and Russian arsenals with greater freedom for Washington to expand its program of missile defense testing and development without walking away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. While this outcome would be far preferable to a unilateral US withdrawal from the ABM treaty, it still represents a deeply flawed response to the ongoing threat posed by nuclear weapons.
In the dangerous and unpredictable security environment that has followed in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, the safest course is to seek the deepest possible reductions in US and Russian nuclear forces as a first step toward multilateral nuclear disarmament. Major reductions would also set the stage for a concerted effort to get other nuclear weapons states like France, Britain, China, India and Pakistan to scale back their own arsenals, on the way to the ultimate goal of abolishing these deadly weapons once and for all.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration's fatal attraction to missile defense stands in the way of any such historic breakthrough. As long as the United States has as its stated goal the deployment of a multitiered missile defense system, Russia will be hard pressed to reduce its nuclear arsenal much below 1,500 to 2,000 warheads (the level that will be discussed in Crawford). And China, which currently has only twenty single-warhead missiles that can reach the United States, will be far more inclined to build its number of long-range warheads up to several hundred, if not 1,000 or more. That in turn will spur India and Pakistan to augment their nuclear arsenals, hardly a stabilizing development as they continue to battle over Kashmir and the United States is engaged in a war of uncertain duration in Afghanistan.
This is no way to build a more secure world. Moreover, the Administration is willing to risk provoking a new round of nuclear proliferation in pursuit of a missile defense system that has little prospect of working in the near term, if ever. In the latest in a long line of technical glitches that have plagued the program, tests of both the land- and sea-based elements of the system were recently postponed as a result of equipment and software failures. Yet the system's major contractors were rewarded with a 57 percent funding increase, making the $8.3 billion missile defense allotment the most expensive weapons-program item in the Pentagon budget.
Both Bush and Putin have their own reasons, rooted in domestic and international politics, for cutting some kind of deal now. But the international community has a right to demand that they go beyond a tepid bargain that could institutionalize large nuclear arsenals for years to come and instead seek radical reductions in their current arsenals. We also have an opportunity to pressure Bush and Putin to include de-alerting as part of the new strategic framework. If the United States and Russia are now partners, then preparing for a quick-launch of nuclear missiles at each other makes no sense. To accomplish these ends, the Bush Administration will have to abandon its vain hope of finding a technical fix that will defend against the destructive power of nuclear weapons.