Obama Eyeing Non-Nuclear Missile Defense

CBS News
April 23, 2010

The New Start treaty signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev two weeks ago, aimed at cutting each country’s nuclear arsenal, contains a provision demanding the United States decommission one nuclear missile for every missile it deploys under a new program called Prompt Global Strike.

These Minuteman missiles would be armed with 1,000-lb. conventional warheads, but would be designed to strike targets anywhere in the world within an hour of launch with incredible accuracy — ideal, perhaps, for striking a cave if intelligence hears that a certain terrorist is momentarily hiding there, or destroying a North Korean missile before it is fired.

But the weapons’ capabilities are enough to raise fears in other nations of a nuclear strike. …

Maintaining such a weapon in the American arsenal would require reassuring Russia, China or other nations that a U.S. missile being fired does not represent the beginning of a nuclear attack upon them, sparking a nuclear retaliatory launch against us. …