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Church leaders in Canada say no to US sponsored ballistic missile defence project

.- Canadian church leaders are trying to convince the Canadian government not to participate in a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system, which the United States plans to launch this fall.

BMD systems “fail to counter the nuclear threat and [they] precipitate further insecurities,” said church leaders in a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin last month.

They added that BMD systems “only intensify nuclear threat” and create “a dangerous and cyclical defense-versus-offence dynamic”, reported Canadian Catholic News. Church leaders warned that Russia and China would move to counter any capabilities that the proposed BMD system might one day deliver.

The Canadian Council of Churches issued the letter March 15. It has 20 signatories, including the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Brendan O’Brien.

Canada is currently involved in talks with the U.S. about participating in BMD. The U.S. announced in 2002 that it intends to deploy an initial BMD system this fall. The Canadian government will only make its decision once talks are complete.

Church leaders also pointed out that the Pentagon lacks confidence that the BMD system, which Canada may support, could actually work, reported CCN.

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