Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tying Our Hands

The world has changed dramatically since the original START treatise.

A generation was dominated by the prospect of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new fear was of soviet nuclear material flowing into the hands of terrorists.

The possibility of a US/Soviet war stopped being the primary nuclear threat to the world when the Soviet Union stopped existing.

At this moment in time the Middle East, China and rogue nations are more likely to prove major nuclear threats than the former Soviet Union.

I am thrilled that President Obama is seeking ways to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the world. Yet I wonder why we rushed to sign a bi-lateral treatise based on a resolved conflict when the world is experiencing nuclear proliferation among rogue nations.

The smarter approach to nuclear disarmament would have the United States and Russia working together to stop worldwide nuclear disarmament.

A bilateral treaty that ties the hands of the United States effectively lessens the ability of the United States to engage rogue nations in disarmament talks.

I am left wondering why we just witnessed an unprecedented effort to rush a major treatise through a lame duck Congress.

The START Treatise of 2010 looks more like a desperate drive by a narcissist to earn peacenik stripes than a serious contemplative step to make the world a safer place.


RD said...

After this treaty goes into full effect we will still have 1700~ ICBM's ready for launch at a moments notice, more then enough to deal with North Korea, Iran, and any other crack pot stupid enough to start a nuclear fight.

Also it sets the precedent that we are reducing our own inventory, gives us the moral high ground and a lot of leverage otherwise when telling other nations they don't need this stuff.

y-intercept said...


Your reply makes it sound like I want to see a nuclear war.

The problem is that a bad nuclear arms negotiation increases the likelihood of such a war.

A second rate negotiation followed by a rushed treatise does not buy any moral authority. It simply shows the US as a chump.

Tying our hands in bilateral negotiates weakens global efforts like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treatises.

Imagine there coming a moment when we could negotiate with Iran. The fact that our arms policy is dictated by a treatise with the Former Soviet Union reduces our ability to act.

It is possible that a unilateral build down made in context of global politics (not a bilateral treatise) would buy moral authority. A bilateral treaty simply announces that the rapidly dwindling United States is a chump; soon to be replaced by the new Super Power China.

Even worse. Rushing a treatise through a Lame Duck Congress shows that our president has an extreme contempt for the newly elected representatives, and that our foreign policy is driven by partisan politics.

BTW, why didn't you list China among the likely nuclear threats?

The biggest nuclear threat on the table right now would involve China asserting its territorial claim to Taiwan.