U.S. wants to set up permanent nuke alert center with Russia

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U.S. wants to set up permanent nuke alert center with Russia

By LISA HOFFMAN Scripps Howard News Service February 28, 2000

WASHINGTON - The United States hopes to establish a round-the-clock missile alert center with Russia to forestall an accidental Armageddon between the two powers, Clinton administration officials said Monday.

Such a joint venture would essentially make permanent the mutual monitoring project that brought Russian and U.S. military officers together at the U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., as the new year dawned.

Then, the purpose was to ensure that any Y2K computer glitches weren't misinterpreted by either side as a ballistic missile strike in progress.

The new operation would do the same but on a 24-hour, year-round basis, administration officials said.

Although nothing has been formally announced, Russia and the United States have been discussing the idea privately since the New Year's Y2K effort ended successfully, with neither serious problems nor miscommunication.

While the Clinton administration is solidly behind the idea, the Russians have yet to make a commitment, the officials said. The Americans are particularly concerned about the continued deterioration of Russia's defense infrastructure. Such a decline makes the Pentagon nervous about the Russians accidentally triggering a nuclear attack or misapprehending a benign U.S. act.

According to tentative plans, the permanent operation would be set up in Moscow, with the United States supplying the monitoring and communications equipment at a cost of about $5 million.

The Clinton administration is considering whether to suggest a summit with Russia soon after its March 26 presidential election, which acting President Vladimir Putin is expected to win handily.

If a summit takes place, the joint monitoring venture would likely be high on the agenda, the officials said.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), February 28, 2000


LOL! and we are keeping the bunkers too. ...show of hands, how many folks saw this coming? and they thought I had nothing better to do with my tax dollars, heh.

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), February 28, 2000.

$5 million is lunch money for our feds. I'd like to know the total operational cost. I am concerned about the Russian deteriorating military defense infastructure, and their deteriorating economy, their multibillion debt while they ask for more. I worry about the balckmarket sale of their nuclears to folks such as North Korea and Pakistan.

If they can keep the operational cost reasonable, its a bargain.

-- John (littmannj@aol.com), February 28, 2000.

Hokie, LOL was my first reaction(still laughing). By the way, just who is responsible for the pressure to keep Chernobyl up?

-- another government hack (keepwatching_2000@yahoo.com), February 28, 2000.

What say they uproot the high dollar bunker command center they built to monitor you know what, and transport it over to Moscow and plug it back up? Think of the savings! I mean, all that high tech monitoring equipment ready to go!

-- Jay Urban (jayho99@aol.com), February 28, 2000.

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