Summaries of and links to online news reports and commentaries.

Jane's: Soviets secretly developed space-based weapons
"LONDON (AP) - While the former Soviet Union was
publicly denouncing the U.S. "Star Wars" initiative in the
1980s, it was secretly developing its own space-based
weapon systems, including a space battle station,
according to "Jane's Intelligence Review". ..."These
Soviet designs were dogs - real losers," said John
Pike, an expert on Soviet missile defenses with the
Federation of American Scientists in Washington. 
"It really helps to understand why the Soviets were so
concerned about `Star Wars' because when they looked 
at the American program and compared it with their 
own pathetic designs, I think they just realized this 
was something they could not match," Pike said." 

Key U.S. military base on security alert
The U.S. military has tightened security at the Cheyenne Mountain,
Colo., headquarters of its North American Aerospace Defense Command
and canceled public tours of the facility. The decision came days
before the second anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. A
spokeswoman for NORAD and the U.S. Space Command in Colorado would not
say why the precautions, which included installing more barricades,
were carried out Tuesday. A Pentagon official said "information of
possible security concerns" had been received and resulted in the

The Ballistic Missile Defense Debate
John Pike Current History 04/01/97
"National missile defense remains an unworkable
solution to a problem that does not exist. And every 
moment devoted to the missile defense debate is a
moment stolen from addressing real solutions to
real problems facing America and the world today." 

Small comets bring big trouble -- U.S. scientists 
A small comet slamming into earth would cause tidal waves as high as
New York's World Trade Center and climate changes that could wipe out
world agriculture, according to a computer simulation unveiled
Wednesday. Under the model, developed by scientists at Sandia National
Laboratories in New Mexico, a half-mile wide comet, smaller than the
Hale-Bopp comet now passing Earth, would destroy anything within 60 to
120 miles of impact and could bring on a nuclear winter. "Something of
this size could potentially kill a billion people," said Mark
Boslough, a scientist who worked on the simulation.

Not-so-secret nuclear info available on Net
By Robert Burns ASSOCIATED PRESS April 10, 1997
" ...two private experts on nuclear weapons are publishing an
online guide to more than 500 nuclear-related Web sites....
Robert S. Norris, senior analyst at the Natural Resources
Defense Council ... William Arkin spent several months 
compiling the guide, which they call ``The Internet and the Bomb.''
They published paper copies of the guide last week; the online
version, with direct links to each Web site, is to be available soon on
the home page of the Natural Resources Defense Council's nuclear
program ( )." 

EDITORIAL The Real Chemical Treaty Issue
Thursday, April 17 1997; Page   A22 The Washington Post 
"THE ISSUE underlying the debate on the chemical weapons
treaty has only now been accurately identified. ... As stated
precisely in an op-ed piece April 13 by David Kay, Ronald 
Lehman and James Woolsey, it is first about the political
psychology of post-Cold War arms control. Do treaties 
lull us into ignoring threats? Do governments hesitate to
enforce treaty obligations in a world disposed not to rock
the boat?"

Clinton Works Phones to Push Chemical Treaty
John F. Harris and Helen Dewar 
April 17 1997; Page   A04 The Washington Post 
"President Clinton worked the phones yesterday urging senators to
approve a treaty banning chemical weapons, while the White
House announced agreement with congressional leaders on some
two dozen accords designed to make the treaty more palatable to


Critics Question Policy on Supercomputers
By ERIC ROSENBERG c.1997 Hearst Newspapers (4/16) 
"Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms
Control at the University of Wisconsin, told a House panel that the
administration was seeking ``to please exporters and especially Silicon
Valley'' in 1996 when it ``abruptly slashed export controls on strategic
technology to a tenth of what they were in 1992.'' Another witness,
Stephen D. Bryen, a deputy undersecretary of defense for technology
security during the Reagan and Bush  administrations, said the
loosening of export rules poses serious problems for the U.S. military."