As your June 1 “Nukes of Hazard” cover story makes clear, informed opinion from multiple sources speaks for the unreliability of the $40 billion Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD). Its main defenders are those who have a vested interest in the program — Raytheon and other missile contractors, and the Pentagon.

One key item is missing from your article. That is North Korea’s repeated proposals to freeze its nuclear weapons and missiles systems if the U.S. would stop its threatening military maneuvers on North Korea’s borders (see Noam Chomsky’s interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. Why are we not discussing this offer?

You quote a spokesman from the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance as saying that the GMD program, while imperfect, is “better than nothing.” I would argue that it is considerably worse than nothing. It wastes $40 billion of taxpayer money (that could be better used for social programs), provokes North Korea into beefing up its own defenses, lulls us into thinking this failed system might protect us, and — most dangerous of all — discourages a diplomatic solution.


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