The Washington Times and the Washington Post both report on Russian ‘compliance issues,’ regarding the 1991 version of START, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the international convention banning biological weapons.

Compliance issues is of course code for both purposeful cheating and inadvertent non-compliance.

Are these compliance issues serious?  Well, the headline in the Post says this could sink new START.

I expect the script from the arms control industry to be something like  “I’m shocked, shocked to find that non-compliance is being accused of the Russians!  People need to get out of their Cold War mentality.  These are minor and easily explained issues.”

Hmm.  Didn’t we just catch, trade, and release a dozen Russian spies?

At what point is non-compliance considered cheating and based on outcomes, how much more serious is the later?

The way ahead for new START should be to perform due diligence, and to have full understanding and knowledge of the capabilities, limitations, and vulnerabilities associated with the treaty.  As it is, the tension in the political theater includes the significant treaty issues both of pace and content.

The Times article goes w-a-y further into nuclear proliferation issues regarding North Korea, Iran, Syria, China, Russia, and Myanmar AKA Burma.

Anti-nuclear proliferation versus arms control appears to be where the real security issue–right now–most seriously lies.

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