The Republican case for ratifying New START? No, A Republican case

Posted: December 5, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The old Republican guard is put on parade as a part of the New START full court press in this article from the Washington Post.

The old guard is…old.  Kissinger?  87.  Schultz?  89.  Baker?  80.  Eagleburger?  80.  Powell?  73.  Try to imagine those five guys huddled around Powell’s Apple Mac Book Pro, hacking out the article being referenced.  “Colin, put a double dash behind Missile Defense Agency…no, double dash!” Think they really did it?

They may not have written it, but I have no doubt they think it.  As such, is it possible their thinking is stuck in the Cold War and just post-Cold War eras?  When we were first worried about total nuclear annihilation by the USSR and later about securing loose nukes and making the Russians our friends?  Just askin’.

Powell has made it known he voted for President Obama (or maybe against Senator McCain), so one could argue “What’s it take to call yourself a Republican, anyway?”  If the article were penned by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barbara Boxer, would you call that the Democrat case?  Certainly a Democrat case would seem more descriptive.

Their arguments:

First, the agreement emphasizes verification, providing a valuable window into Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Second, New START preserves our ability to deploy effective missile defenses.

Finally, the Obama administration has agreed to provide for modernization of the infrastructure essential to maintaining our nuclear arsenal.

Emphasizes verification?  Don’t we want a treaty that provides for verification?

Preserves our ability to deploy effective missile defenses: the Russians assert missile defenses changes the fairness of the treaty and they’ll withdraw with significant upgrades to our missile defenses.  If we sign the treaty, build missile defense, and the Russians withdraw, what’s the point?  Maybe U.S. missile defense won’t get the funding it’s used to.

Finally, modernization is a check that can’t really be cashed.  It’s all in the out years, just like most austerity and reform programs are.

The best argument for New START is much of our national security community doesn’t think we need as many weapons and delivery systems as we have.  Therefore, we want to reduce the weapons/delivery vehicle count regardless and since we’re going to do it no matter what, let’s ask the Russians to play as well.  It won’t really affect national security much one way or the other.

The disconnect with New START is the verification is far weakened from the previous treaty and that it favors/preserves the Russian’s and their options while limiting ours.  It doesn’t consider the rest of the world, especially China, and it ignores the massive Russian tactical nuclear weapon inventory.

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