Robert Reich on Homeland Security

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor


Building missile defense will start a new Frigid War

Russian hard-liners are aghast at W.’s missile-shield plan, which they believe not only violates the bilateral Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty but would, when completed, allow the US to strike at Russia without fear of retaliation. They’re urging President Vladimir Putin to strengthen Russia’s ties with rogue states and with China, to counterbalance this new American threat.

Chinese hard-liners also worry about the shield, which they fear may embolden pro-independence forces in Taiwan and destabilize the entire region. China possesses about two dozen long-range nuclear missiles based in silos, but it has the economic power to escalate its arms buildup dramatically to include movable and more accurate missiles with multiple warheads. China may also be moved to supply missiles to the very rogue states that the shield was intended to defend against.

America is about to begin a Frigid War, at our peril. It’s happening under our noses, while we look in the other direction.

Source: The American Prospect, vol.12, no.4, “Clear & Present” , Feb 26, 2001

Shift spending from defense to social investment

Our future living standard depends on competing for global capital by building our skills. That should be a central issue: how to reallocate public spending away from today’s expenditures on defense and on wealthy beneficiaries of all sorts of government largesse (Social Security, Medicare, farm price supports, etc.) and toward investments in our future productivity. And how to shift private spending that way too: how best to encourage companies to invest in the skills of their workers.
Source: Locked in the Cabinet, p. 30 , Dec 7, 1992

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021