Facing Reality: ‘New’ START Won’t Be Quickly Ratified

Posted: June 10, 2010 in Arms Control, Missile Defense, New START, Nuclear Modernization, Russia, START
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Defense News relays the obvious, which is news because expectation management is being exercised.  The administration doesn’t expect new START to be ratified quickly.

I’d expect U.S. nuclear modernization and perhaps missile defense will become more closely linked to new START ratification. Months ago the administration attempted to sweeten the deal with a proposed plus-up of $5 billion (across five years) largely for the nuclear labs.

The labs are of course essential but it is useful to address the fact they are only a part of the nation’s overall nuclear enterprise.

BTW, just how new START adds to global stability is unclear because the two participating nations, the U.S. and Russia, are…well, pretty stable, at least as far as our nuclear capabilities go.

New START is instead a bilateral team-building exercise and serves as a confirmation of directions that both Russia and the U.S. are intending to take regardless of the actions of the other.  As such, it is perhaps a convenient exercise.

We’re really much less concerned with Russia’s nuclear intentions than those of China and Pakistan (let alone Iran), but those fall into the ‘wicked problem’ category.

If the Senate thought new START would clearly and demonstrably enhance U.S.national security (versus ‘global stability’ per se) wouldn’t they already have taken action on it?


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