As if bowing to the emperor's use of the force around their necks, the UK government has announced its intention to make British radar facilities available for the US National Missile Defence System or 'Son of Star Wars'.
Greenpeace action against the US Star Wars project.
Showing continued support for the Bush administration's war
plan, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told Members of the British
Parliament the government is minded to accede to a US request to
use UK facilities, including Fylingdales radar station on the North
Yorkshire Moors. Fylingdales has advanced radar, which could track
missiles launched by rogue states or terrorists in, for example,
the Middle East. They would then in theory be shot down as they
neared the US coast.
The current US missile defense plan is for a multilayered set of
land, sea, air and space based systems that has been estimated to
cost anywhere between $60 and $200 billion.
The US government justifies the expense and risks of Star Wars
as a defence from missile attack by so-called 'rogue states',
usually interpreted to be Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
Any threat from these small nations is eclipsed by the dangers
of a new arms race based on missile defense. China has already made
indications that the Star Wars programme is of deep concern, and
will only spur them to further arms development and research.
The US decision to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and
not to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty are direct
violations of US committments to nuclear disarmement under the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Erosion of US committments to
that treaty could lead to an erosion in committments from
non-nuclear weapons states not to pursue nuclear weapons. The new
Brazilian President Lula de Silva recently summed up the growing
apprehension of non-nuclear states: 'If someone asks me to disarm
and keep a slingshot and he comes at me with a cannon, what good
does that do? All of us developing countries are left holding a
slingshot while they have atomic bombs."
It's always been clear that the Blair government would succumb
to the dark forces and let Bush do what he wants, but this is still
a disgraceful decision
Even if it worked, Star Wars would only defend against one,
pretty unlikely, form of attack. It would be of no use against a
suitcase bomb, a test tube of toxins or a hijacked plane. And the
cost of NMD, beyond the financial billions, is the undermining of
the global arms control system and the danger of a new arms