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Sunday, December 19, 2010

So, how did that lame duck session turn out? 


Really quite well. I agree with all of these assessments. I support START ratification, though -- at least until you guys talk me out of it, which has not happened yet -- and am worried about that in the next Congress.


9 Comments:

By Blogger Diane Wilson, at Sun Dec 19, 04:46:00 PM:

I can think of several reasons for not ratifying START at this point.

1. This is a treaty negotiated with a former enemy, while new enemies are arming up with nukes. We also have no arms treaties with China, who is much more likely to be a future adversary than Russia.

2. The Russians have never been good about abiding by treaties, or about allowing verification. There is no verification agreement in this START treaty, which by itself makes it a bad treaty.

3. Once again, the administration and Democrats running Congress are ramming through legislation without allowing time to read and discuss. If START is in fact worth ratifying, that will still be true in 2011. There is no rush. (What's that clause about "advice and consent of the Senate"?)  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Dec 19, 05:52:00 PM:

From the Heritage Foundation analysis:
(1) Paragraph 9 of the Preamble explicitly links missile defense and offensive nuclear weapons; (2) Paragraph 3 of Article V prohibits conversion of offensive strategic missile launchers to launchers of defensive interceptors and vice versa; (3) an array of provisions limit and restrict certain types of missiles and missile launchers that are used as targets in missile defense tests; (4) Article XII and Part Six of the Protocol create an implementing body, called the Bilateral Consultative Commission, that could impose additional restrictions on the U.S. missile defense program; and (5) Article IX, Part Seven of the Protocol, and the Annex on Telemetric Information to the Protocol could be interpreted in a way that could lead the U.S. to share telemetric information from missile defense tests. This information could be used to undermine the effectiveness of our missile defenses


Clearly our own anti-missile development is impaired by the treaty...not only in regard to Russia, but for ANY aggressor.

IMHO, that's a deal breaker.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sun Dec 19, 07:48:00 PM:

I agree with Diane Wilson and JPMct. As hard as it is for me to take a cynical view, I can't help but think that START is all about laying the ground work for US defense cutbacks. Why else would Obama be so enthused? It after all only compels the US to reduce arms. It is also so full of loopholes it is nothing but Christmas for the Russians. They can load bombers with multiple nuclear tipped cruise missiles, count them as one weapon, and no we won't seek a similar advantage. They know the verification amounts to little more than "take our word for it."

In addition the argument that if we do not sign the Russians will go on some kind of arms build up is pure nonsense. That is a bluff. The only reason it is accepted by the Obama Administration is because it supports their disarmament agenda. The inescapable truth about the Russians is that they do not have the money to run an arms race. Just this week they admitted that the five carriers they were going to build (last year's bluff) are not going to be built because they lack the money (and functional shipyards).

And yes, before we going trying to please the Russians with our arms reductions, we should say to the Chinese, "We're still here, baby. Call us if you want an arms race."

M.E.  

By Blogger PatD, at Mon Dec 20, 02:46:00 PM:

Palin wrote:

"The proposed New START agreement should be evaluated by the only criteria that matters for a treaty: Is it in America’s interest? I am convinced this treaty is not. It should not be rammed through in the lame duck session using behind the scenes deal-making reminiscent of the tactics used in the health care debate.

New START actually requires the U.S. to reduce our nuclear weapons and allows the Russians to increase theirs. This is one-sided and makes no strategic sense. New START’s verification regime is weaker than the treaty it replaces, making it harder for us to detect Russian cheating. Since we now know Russia has not complied with many arms control agreements currently in force, this is a serious matter.

New START recognizes a link between offensive and defensive weapons – a position the Russians have sought for years. Russia claims the treaty constrains U.S. missile defenses and that they will withdraw from the treaty if we pursue missile defenses. This linkage virtually guarantees that either we limit our missile defenses or the Russians will withdraw from the treaty. The Obama administration claims that this is not the case; but if that is true, why agree to linking offensive and defensive weapons in the treaty? At the height of the Cold War, President Reagan pursued missile defense while also pursuing verifiable arms control with the then-Soviet Union. That position was right in the 1980’s, and it is still right today. We cannot and must not give up the right to missile defense to protect our population – whether the missiles that threaten us come from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, or anywhere else. I fought the Obama administration’s plans to cut funds for missile defense in Alaska while I was Governor, and I will continue to speak out for missile defenses that will protect our people and our allies.

There are many other problems with the treaty, including the limitation on the U.S. ability to convert nuclear systems to conventional systems and the lack of restriction on Russian sea launched cruise missiles. In addition, the recent reports that Russia moved tactical nuclear weapons (which are not covered by New START) closer to our NATO allies, demonstrate that the Obama administration has failed to convince Russia to act in a manner that does not threaten our allies.

If I had a vote, I would oppose this deeply flawed treaty submitted to the Senate. Just because we were out-negotiated by the Russians that doesn’t mean we have to say yes to this. New START’s flaws have to be addressed in the form of changes to the treaty language that, at a minimum, completely de-link missile defense from offensive arms reductions. Other issues would have to be addressed in the ratification process. If this does not happen either now or next year, Senate Republicans, vote no! "

I think she has it right.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Mon Dec 20, 03:48:00 PM:

In short, a strong president with a firm commitment to missile defense would be able to deal with this flawed treaty, reduce our admittedly large nuclear force while modernizing it, and still expand our rapidly-improving missile defenses to cover ourselves and our allies from attacks by rogue nations with nukes and missiles. Like Iran.

Too bad we don’t have one of those strong presidents. Oh well, maybe next time.

As for the flaws in the treaty pointed out so far, they all seem to be in the “could be interpreted” category. But we would only have to worry about that if we had some horribly incompetent administration who holds a firm belief that the US has too much power in the world anyway. Oh, wait…  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Tue Dec 21, 08:09:00 AM:

...Heh, Heh...the Russians came out yesterday with a public statement that they would tolerate ZERO changes to the treaty by the US Senate.

So much for "Advise and Consent"

Do you think a tiny little WARNING BELL is going off between those big floppy Obama ears???

I fear not!  

By Blogger Diane Wilson, at Tue Dec 21, 03:39:00 PM:

Warning bells don't make any sound in a vaccuum.  

By Anonymous 996GT3cup, at Wed Dec 22, 07:57:00 AM:

The administration has claimed that part of the rationale for this treaty is to gain Russian support for increasing pressure on Iran. Seems to me this is a point in its favor. Putin may not be a very savory character, but he does not strike me as a nutcase. Ahmadinejab, on the other hand...  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Dec 22, 06:31:00 PM:

So..let me get this straight.

We are, according to your point of view, effectively GIVING UP our anti-missile technology against ALL terrorist states...that would include North Korea and Cuba and Venezuela....in order to gain the support of Russia in "pressuring" Iran from acquiring nuclear technology that they already have?

Gee, what a great idea.

Why didn't I think of this?  

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