Machinists Union Lauds President's Speech on National Missile Defense

Tue. May 1, 2001 12:00 AM by XPresspress

Washington, DC - President George W. Bush got it exactly right. Now is the right time to press for a workable national missile defense. Now, while rogue nations seek to extend their missiles and terrorists try to buy weapons of mass destruction, is the time to prepare America s defenses, said IAM International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger.

More work must be done before we can deploy NMD, Buffenbarger added. We must press forward with a robust and realistic schedule of testing, one tied to the realities of engineering not the vagaries of international politics.

While America tests these complex systems, diplomats can wrestle with the all too obvious (and occasionally hidden) agendas of other nations. There will be time to revive and revise the ABM treaty. There will be time to negotiate reductions in the nuclear arsenals by the United States, the Russian Federation and the Peoples Republic of China, explained Buffenbarger.

But time is finite. Missile defense tests -- the unsuccessful ones and the successful ones -- cannot be held hostage to diplomacy or domestic politics. Those NMD tests must proceed with one unshakeable idea in mind: America can and will protect its cities most at risk, the cities on an arc from Anchorage to Los Angeles.

For more information about the why the IAM supports the National Missile Defense program click on That link will take you to Bombs Bursting in Air an in-depth look at NMD in the Spring 2001 IAM Journal.

The IAM is the second largest industrial union in North America, representing more than 730,000 active and retired members in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Panama Canal Zone. The IAM is heavily concentrated in the aerospace, manufacturing, shipbuilding and airline industries. For more information about the IAM please click on