Talk:Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

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Additional link[edit]

Shouldn't the ABM treaty be linked to the "Fall of the USSR" in some fasion since the treaty became unilateral at that point? Being new, I'll watch to see how this gets integrated. MikeEd

No treaty can become "unilateral" when there is a change of government in one of the signatory countries. In response to that comment I would like to quote the article : “The Impact of National Missile Defense on Nonproliferation Regimes” by James Clay Moltz in The NonProliferation Review (Fall/Winter 2000), p.69.

"As Michael O’Hanlon has pointed out, “this is a poor argument; the same reasoning would absolve Russia from the Soviet Union’s other obligations, debts, and responsibilities in areas such as weapons nonproliferation.” (1) Similarly, as George Bunn as noted, the international community has unanimously accepted Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union according to « the UN Charter and its provision giving the Soviet Union a permanent seat and veto on the UN Security Council – as well as bilateral and multilateral arms control treaties. » (2) Thus, even if a case could be made on narrow legal grounds, this decision will be viewed as illegitimate by the rest of the international community."

(1)Michael O’Hanlon, “Star Wars Strikes Back,” Foreign Affairs 78 (November/December 1999), p.71 (2) George Bunn, « Does NMD Stand for ‘No More Disarmamaent’ as Well as ‘National Missile Defense?’” Disarmament Diplomacy, No. 42 (December 1999), p.11. eSSe —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:41, November 13, 2006 (UTC)

Possible false statement[edit]

Can anyone point to where in the ABM treaty they establish a distance (1,300km) that the two ABM systems are supposed to be away from eachother? I looked over it, and I couldn't find where it says that. I don't want to make a correction to the article without further checking (perhaps another treaty established a distance), or perhaps I've gotten confused in the wordings of the treaty. Antwerp42

try reading the text of the treaty, look in paragraph 2:

this should do it unless you feel that the US Department of State is not reproducing the treaty correctly.

POV my ass![edit]

I wrote: "In hindsight, the gaping void between Western perception of USSR military theory and actual military theory is quite chilling."

The West entirely misread Russian nuclear strategy - it was like ships, passing in the night. You're telling me that being chilled by this is POV? is there ANYONE who perceives this differently?

Toby Douglass 15:29, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

It's one thing to state that commentators find it 'chilling' (if you can source it); entirely another to present an opinion as fact. Radix 15:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I assert that the significant likelyhood of nuclear armageddon caused by Western failed to understand Russian policy *is* chilling. I argue it is not an opinion, in the same way that if I commented that chicken tastes of meat, I'm not stating an opinion. Toby Douglass 22:09, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Let's pretend for a moment that there's some objective basis for 'chilling' as opposed to it being a wholly nationalistic POV. Unless you can source it, would still be original research. Radix 06:01, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the sentence is overly emotional. I suggest finding a quote from a notable source who says so, or rewording in more neutral terms. Tom Harrison Talk 23:14, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Soviet Response[edit]

Can anyone cite the following regarding ABM systems: "in fact, the actual Soviet response would have been to develop its own ABM system and so return to strategic parity with the US." Is this a fact? Citation? If this can't be supported, could we change the wording to "alternatively, the Soviet response might have been ..." It seems to me that the Soviet response would have been to pursue the cheapest, easiest policy, which is probably not ABM developement.--Hanuman 15:25, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

yeah, I understood that some of the objections were that the soviets would simply increase the number of missles as the defence would never be 100% effective Murray.booth 19:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

In fact, it was the Soviets who first successfully tested an ABM missile (V-1000) and reached operational deployment. So much for "cheapest, easiest policy".

Seems a bit one-sided[edit]

Seems a bit one-sided stating things about Soviet motives which would seem to be still to be controversial. Roadrunner 21:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I've started some cleanup. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 18:38, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Early History[edit]

This entire paragraph is over-simplified and neglects more important factors that went into the signing of the treaty (eg. US verus Soviet doctrines on both waging and avoiding nuclear war). I would do a full a re-write, but do not have the time. Could someone please look into this? I am correcting the sentence that states the Soviets would unleash nuclear war for the sole purpose of pre-empting the anti-ballistic missile system, an idea that would sound absurd to any contemporary strategists or policy-makers. Also, Sentinel was not the counter to the Soviet threat but rather against a Chinese-scaled attack; Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was pressured into creating the system even though he opposed ABM, the resulting Sentinel was much weaker and never expanded.

Strange Fact, but no details[edit]

There is a section of text here describing the approved ABM sites for both the Soviets and the Americans:

"The 1974 Protocol reduced the number of sites to one per party, largely because neither countny had developped a second site. The sites were Moscow for USSR and Grand Forks, North Dakota for US."

Does anyone know why Grand Forks was selected as the American site? Claiming light 03:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

The Safeguard system was already under construction in 1974 to protect Grand Forks and the USSR's Moscow facility (probably) was also under construction. See also Vice President Agnew broke the Senate tie in August 1969 to begin Safeguard construction, phase I, which, included the North Dakota site that was eventually completed. It may have also authorized the Montana site near Malmstrom. It was partially constructed, then demolished after the ABM treaty with the North Dakota site left as the only US ABM site.[1] There was supposed to be a 3rd site in Missouri for Whiteman AFB, but it was never constructed even though site selection was completed in the early 70s. --Dual Freq 04:06, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

40% of Soviet GDP?[edit]

"The competitive pressure of SDI added considerable additional strains to the already creaking Soviet economy. The Soviet economy was essentially still a war economy after World War II, with increase of civilian production disproportionally small compared to growth of defense industry. It was already slowly becoming clear that the Soviet economy could not continue as it was, with military spending absorbing 40% of GDP

Where does that data come from. I've read in some articles that it was somewhere between 12..16% of soviet GDP, 40% is quite much more and it doesn't have any reference. Can someone please find reference for it, or find article in JSTOR that states differently and remove above statement or change it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

I think it should be removed too. There isn't any proof that the USSR was a "war economy" after the war, or that its military spending was 40%. The USA spent more in terms of actual money AND GDP percentage. If anything, the USA should be listed as the one that continued to have a war economy (if relevant). It can also be argued that SDI and other ABM projects have added to the US debt, of which military spending is seen as a large contributor. XXVII (talk) 03:31, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Mild reaction[edit]

The 'mild reaction' statement in the 'US withdrawal' section can't be right. After all, it led to Russian abandoning START II, and the resulting SORT (which is praised in that sentence!) was a mere shadow of that START III would have been, had co-operation between the two powers been better! --Mtu (talk) 20:33, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I've now read this business about the USSR not knowing about/understanding MAD in several articles. None have given me a citation--and please don't let this information be from some dubious post-Soviet Russian source. Please either provide a solid citation--two would be best--or remove the reference and the conclusions you draw from it in all articles in which it has been inserted. I realize my language is strong, but this is history--not knitting. If you get the pattern wrong here...Jodye (talk) 08:28, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I think its fine as is, and the tag could be removed. Its reasonable as it is phrased now. Ottawakismet (talk) 00:09, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Question regarding termination date[edit]

The termination dates in this article conflict with that in Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. Here, I read, "On December 13, 2001, George W. Bush gave Russia notice of the United States' withdrawal from the treaty". The "Foreign Policy" article claims, "On December 14, 2001, Bush withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty". I see two problems with this: First, there's the difference between December 13 and December 14. At least one of those dates is wrong or misleading. Second, there's a difference between "giving notice of withdrawal" and "withdrawing".

Could someone more knowledgeable than I about this fix both these articles? It's a small thing, but we don't need this kinds of discrepancies challenging the credibility of Wikipedia. DavidMCEddy (talk) 22:26, 14 July 2013 (UTC)


NPOV tag[edit]

User:NPguy added a NPOV tag to the section 'US withdrawal' with the comment 'missing views of treaty supporters'. We already have a comment from treaty supporter John Rhinelander. Adding the tag without explaining what you believe needs to be modified is not constructive. As the NPOV notice says, 'Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.' - but it isn't. What is it you want to see User:NPguy? - Crosbie 05:29, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

My NPOV tag was only about the claimed controversy over the status of the ABM treaty after 1991. I found that surprising as I do not recall any question raised at the time over its status. Maybe i didn't travel in the right circles. Furthermore, despite the stated controversy, the only views cited are those who raised such questions. I had hoped to understand their claims, but the citation links are all dead. Perhaps someone could look at contemporaneous discussions in Arms Control Today. NPguy (talk) 02:48, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
That looked like 'undue weight' to me, rather than NPOV. Anyway, I have removed the material on controversy over the status of the ABM treaty, removed the NPOV tag, and replaced it with the State Department's unambiguous statement from 1997 that 'the ABM Treaty continues in force' - Crosbie 19:05, 21 March 2014 (UTC)


Is a treaty "terminated"? Can it be terminated by the withdrawal of one party? Did all parties agree that with the withdrawal of the USA the treaty was at an end?Royalcourtier (talk) 03:58, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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Daryal Radar a treaty violation?[edit]

I'd like to see some mention of radar and why was considered a violation of the treaty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Large phased-array radars were required to be located on the periphery of the country and facing outward. U.S. officials claimed that one of these radars (in Krasnoyarsk) didn't meet this requirement. NPguy (talk) 03:24, 31 January 2017 (UTC)