More New START Full Court Press

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I try to not get in the middle of the arms control debates largely because it goes zero to theological in no time.

Still, I will because I get the sense the full court press advocating for ratification of New START is beginning to feel like a panicky cram-down.  More than anything it’s the strident tone that wants to win the argument and the assertion this must happen now…or else which is bothersome (along with lots of flawed logic and bias errors).  Are the pro New STARTers looking out and seeing what they think must be a limited window for ratification? If so, why?

If you want an example of the panic, try reading It’s time for the Senate to vote on New START.

The article is authored by…hmm: a bipartisan mix of one each former Secretary of State under both Republican and Democrat administrations and one each former Republican and Democrat senator.   Such people must be true national security experts, right?

The article begins with the assertion that New START “increases U.S. national security.”  Ok, what level was it before and what level will it be with New START.  Did the security scorecard go from 7 to 8?  9887 to 9942?  From five minutes to midnight to six?

The article also has a massive appeal to authority given the authors and the article’s assertion that New START “has the unanimous support of America’s military leadership.” Might one think said leadership is under career duress should they voice non-concurrence?

Next, there is the assertion New START “opens the door to progress on further critical nonproliferation efforts such as reducing Russian tactical nuclear weapons.”  Please.  New START does no such thing.  It’s a treaty designed to address strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems and has nothing to do with tactical nuclear weapons or nonproliferation.  At this point, the Russians have zero interest in getting rid of their tactical nukes—in fact, those tactical nukes will be what give them global street cred as an international player with a defense capability to be honored.

As might be expected, there is the declaration that there’s “overwhelming bipartisan support for the treaty among national security experts,” which glosses over the fact the Foreign Relations Committee might tend to create a testimony schedule which favors those who are supportive of New START.

Then the article comes to a full dead stop when it mentions Sandy Berger as a credentialed security expert based on his past position and ignoring the gruesome national security violations Berger committed when out of office.

I’m not done yet.  There’s “The Senate had done its due diligence” statement.  This is of course, code to cut off the debate.  “The time for talk is over” and all that.

The New START may well be ratified but personally, I’m not sure it will make much of a security difference whether it is or not.  What would make a difference?

Well, getting Iran’s nuclear program turned off would be great.  Nuts with nukes is a lousy security position.  And speaking of nuts with nukes, how about getting China to man-up as a global actor regarding North Korea?  And speaking of China, how about they get engaged in the nuclear arms control process as well?

These are likely to enhance our security position from…say 78 to 96 on the hundred-point scale, although my rating and methodology is held-close by…me.

Smile my friends.  At least it’s not a panicky cram-down!

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Comments
  1. […] the state-of-play of New START, James Jay Carafano makes many of the same points you’ll read here regarding the tone of the debate and the false sense of urgency being generated.  Since I’ve […]

  2. […] article and speaking for myself, I’m new START agnostic.  However, it’s the sense of a new START cram-down that bothers me, the artificial time lines and sense of unnecessary urgency.  I feel the Senate […]

  3. […] nuclear non sequitur, a New York Times editorial called What the G.O.P. Missed which is a part of the New START full-court press. This particular non sequitur tries to link the European missile defense, aka the U.S.-provided […]

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