Skip to comments.1985: Kerry Asks to Postpone Anti-satellite Weapons Test until After Reagan-Gorbachev Summit
Posted on 06/11/2004 2:45:46 PM PDT by nwrep
In 1985, according to the article below, Sen. John Kerry attempted to deny President Reagan a chief bargaining chip in his upcoming summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
September 13, 1985
A federal judge, after listening to 30 minutes of oral argument yesterday, refused to block the Defense Department's first test of a new antisatellite weapon against a target in space, now scheduled for noon today.
The test, like the problem-plagued, antisatellite system itself, has provoked controversy in the United States and threats from the Soviet Union.
U.S. critics have argued that the proposed system will trigger a new type of arms race in space.
In the Senate, John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) attempted unsuccessfully to attach onto a major immigration bill an amendment to postpone the test until after the summit. The amendment, which would have been meaningless without House approval subsequent signature by the president, was tabled 62 to 34.
In 1978, the Carter administration funded the initial development of the F15 system as a bargaining chip for negotiations it hoped would lead to an overall ban on all antisatellite weapons. After talks began with the Soviets in 1979, they quickly bogged down when Moscow's negotiators demanded that the U.S. space shuttle be included as an antisatellite weapon.
The Reagan administration, however, pushed the project, citing the existing Soviet orbiting system as a threat to U.S. security.
The Soviets also sought to upgrade their system since the United States possessed measures that easily jammed the radar guidance of the Soviet weapon. Between the late 1970s and 1982, the Soviets tested a new, infrared-guided version of their orbiting antisatellite weapon six times, and each time it failed.
Oh, and it's even written by Walter Pincus. A perfect find.
The ABM site in Greeley is close to operational. Hope it isn't needed, but if it is I hope it works real well.
It works like a Kindergartener playing t-ball. A lot of swinging, not too much hitting. It needs many more years of development.
At least we have an ABM in our playground.
I'd prefer to spend billions on something that worked.
While his Oath of Office obligated him (at least one would hope so) to look after the security interests of this country, for questionable reasons he was looking after security interests of USSR. And then the umbrage if his patriotism is questioned.
While we would hope it doesn't have to be tried in real life, if it does and fails, we'll be sure to credit your account with one I-told-you-so for each nuke that gets through and debit the account for each nuke stopped. How's the fallout shelter coming? Ready yet?
I'd really like the ABM system to work, and I wish that the current one was worth deploying. But I don't think that it's terribly conservative to spend billions and billions on a weapon that doesn't work.
The only towns N Kor can reach are Anchorage and Fairbanks, so it doesn't matter if the ABM actually works, but if it does work can you imagine the embarrassment they would feel in Pyongyang?
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