Britain doesn't want Star Wars

The growing acceptance of US missile defence plans referred to by John Lloyd does not extend to the British public at large ("Trust no one, fear everything", 16 July). A MORI poll conducted in early July showed that 70 per cent of the British public think the proposed system will spark a new arms race, while more than 60 per cent believe it will make multilateral nuclear disarmament harder to achieve.

The Bush administration is currently engaged in an ideologically driven assault on the fragile network of multilateral arms control agreements. From the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, the US is intent on undermining this matrix of international accords at every turn, viewing it as an irritating check on US strategic interests.

World leaders continue to express their concern over Washington's exit from the international arms control regime. With the Democrats in control of the US Senate, European governments have an ideal opportunity to convey their opposition to these actions effectively, and give voice to the strong public mistrust of the Bush administration's policies.

Mark Bromley
Analyst, British American Security Information Council (Basic)
London SE1

This article first appeared in the 30 July 2001 issue of the New Statesman, So what tribe do you belong to?