Regarding Brad Glosserman’s March 24 article, “Baseless threats of cold war“: In advocating Japan’s participation in the U.S. missile defense system (MDS), Glosserman glosses over Russia and China’s legitimate concerns, repeats U.S.-made myths and neglects genuine Japanese concerns.

Russia is indeed concerned that its neighbors will be integrated into a security system that could be used against it both politically and strategically. If the roles were reversed, the United States would be equally concerned. The U.S. withdrew from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty in part because it did not want to be constrained in developing new specialized nuclear weapons.

The development and deployment of MDS in Japan is a hedge against China. A possible North Korean nuclear missile threat is a convenient cover. If MDS is not being created with China in mind, why doesn’t the U.S. share the technology (with China)?

Finally, Glosserman and the Japanese ignore the critical question of what happens to the nuclear-tipped missiles that will be shot down to, or possibly over, Japan. Unless the incoming missile is destroyed on or just off its launch pad, the fallout may be a very unpleasant surprise for the Japanese population. (The same may be true for the Russian situation as well). I agree that Japan should not be “intimidated” — either to participate or not to participate in the U.S. MDS.

mark valencia

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