President Bush's plans to deploy a missile defense system in eastern Europe has unnerved Russia, causing President Putin to warn today that Moscow could take retaliatory steps. Is a new arms race likely? What effect will public opposition in Poland and the Czech Republic have on Bush’s deployment plans? What about complaints that the defensive shield is still an unproven technology? Also, Islamist militants in Iraq say they'll release a video of three missing American soldiers, and the first-ever international war-crimes trial of an African head of state. Sara Terry guest hosts.
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the Middle East, an Islamic militant website said today that it will release video clips of the ambush of three American soldiers who disappeared in Iraq in mid-May. While on the ground in Baghdad, the renewed push to secure the city is falling short of US goals. David Cloud is military correspondent for the New York Times.
George Bush is en route to this week's G8 Summit in Germany. The
President is stopping in the Czech Republic
today to talk about his proposed missile-defense shield, to be deployed outside
Prague and in neighboring Poland. Bush
says the plan is needed to protect America
and its allies from possible future strikes by Iran. However, more than sixty
percent of Czechs oppose the installation and European critics call the
proposal proof that the US
takes its eastern European allies for granted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is almost literally up in arms over the
proposal, warning today that Moscow could take
retaliatory steps if the plan is put into place, including targeting sites in Europe. Is a new arms race in the offing? How necessary
is the proposed system? How reliable is it? Should politics trump technology in
finding a solution to the problem?
Jiri Pehe, Chief Political Advisor to then-Czech President Havel
Radek Sikorski, Former Polish Defense Minister
Pavel Felgenhauer, Independent defense analyst
Peter Brookes, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor faces a long list of war crimes before the UN's Special Court for Sierra Leone. His gruesome list of crimes includes terrorism, murder, rape, sexual slavery, the use of child soldiers, abductions and forced labor, and looting. Taylor, once one of the most feared men in West Africa, is accused with fomenting civil war in his own country and in neighboring Sierra Leone. He is the first African head of state to face justice at an international tribunal and, today at The Hague, he boycotted the first day of his trial. Elyse Keppler of Human Rights Watch the day’s proceedings.
Elyse Keppler, Counsel with Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program