Next round of nuclear cuts? Call Russia back in a decade or so…

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , ,

It isn’t anything serious people hadn’t already pondered, but here’s a restated dose of reality regarding a world without nuclear weapons as brought to you by Space Daily:


…a top Russian official made clear last week that the president’s insistence for another round of negotiations later this year was not being received well in Moscow.

“I am convinced that before talking about any further steps in the sphere of nuclear disarmament … it is necessary to fulfill the new START agreement,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

Only “then will be it be clear what additional steps should be taken to strengthen global security,” he added.

Lavrov is already on the record as saying future nuclear arms treaties should be approached multi-laterally,

effectively code for ‘it ain’t gonna happen.’  And what’s the count?

The US Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that Russia has 2,050 deployed tactical warheads that could be deployed in small nuclear campaigns in its periphery. The United States has just 500.

Actually, open source conventional wisdom says 150 to 200 U.S. nuclear weapons in and around Europe (where their presence might have some effect).

Lavrov said Russia’s commitment under the new START treaty will not be “fulfilled” for another seven years, and some analysts interpreted the comments as a flat-out rejection of Obama’s latest overture.

Throw in Russian red-lines on topics like missile defense, conventional ICBM, preserving their existing tactical nuclear advantage, and the likes what do you get?

“It seems Lavrov meant that these talks will not start for another seven years,” said independent military commentator Alexander Golts.

The Russians seem to be going for Eisenhower’s New Look: defense capabilities on the cheap starting with a foundation based on nuclear weapons.

“Most Russian experts see nuclear weapons as an equalizer,” said Moscow’s Centre for Disarmament Director Anatoly Dyakov.

“They believe that the removal of nuclear weapons must be accompanied by a full transformation of international relations that ensures that no country can suddenly decide to use force.”

Military analysts estimate that it will take Russia another decade to develop a conventional weapons programme capable of re-establishing some semblance of parity with the West.

Think about this from a Russian point of view: they have an agreement they’re happy with and they’re disinclined to move out of their nuclear comfort zone.

A world without nuclear weapons will happen when other weapons, to include defensive systems, have made them obsolete.  It could be a while…


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