Peaced Off

National Missile Defense rankles OC peaceniks

"Politics will never play out in favor of NMD," he continued. "The rogue threat doesn't exist. I think the fallout from NMD is far worse than many acknowledge. In Washington, people have not thought it through."

Russia considers NMD a violation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, which forbids either side to build missile defenses. By violating the ABM treaty, the U.S. would give up its right to inspect Russian weapons and conventional forces. That would surely drive America so crazy that billions would have to be spent on intelligence, Blair reasoned.

Clinton recently ducked the issue: he's leaving NMD's future to his successor. Vice President Al Gore and GOP nominee George W. Bush both say they'd continue NMD. The Green Party's Ralph Nader is the only presidential candidate opposed—and strongly opposed—to NMD.

Someone in the audience asked if the NMD issue can be raised in the presidential debates.

"Possibly," Blair answered, "but I haven't cracked the code to pull it off."

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