1 History Department, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University
Det demokratiske parti og forbudet imod landsdækkende missilforsvarThe Democratic Party and the Ban on Nationwide ABM-defense
The ban on nationwide ABM-defense was the central meaning of the ABM Treaty. The article poses the question: why did the ABM Treaty stay in place for 30 years despite incessant Republican attempts to prevent it, to reinterpret it, to renegotiate it, and to cancel it. There are many answers to this question, but a very important one can be found by analyzing the political struggle over the ban, which took place in the United States from the Sixties until George W. Bush withdrew from the treaty in 2001. The Democratic Party essentially played the role as the treaty's guardian. Every Democratic President including Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton did everything within their power to prevent deployment of nationwide ABM-defense. And the voting patterns of the party reveals that it consistently constituted the core of the opposition in Congress. The article concludes that the fate of the ABM Treaty was closely tied to the Democratic Party's strength, and that it is no coincidence that the Treaty was dissolved soon after the Democratic Party's political power declined to a forty-year low in 2001.
Jyske Historiker, 2006, Vol 2006, Issue 113-114, p. 130-159