No Missile Defense Deal for the Russians

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , ,

The Washington Times reports the President has rejected signing a missile defense deal with the Russians.

President Obama recently rejected a proposed missile-defense agreement with Russia that was developed by the State Department with the hope of coaxing Moscow into cooperation on countering Iranian missile threats.

So has the “coaxing Moscow into cooperation” part given way to reality or was the price of securing Moscow’s cooperation too high?

The White House, however, decided against signing the pact amid concerns that the agreement would limit U.S. missile defenses, something the administration has promised it would not do.

What happened?

According to a senior U.S. national security official close to the issue, the Russians were told in advance of the summit that the deal would be signed during the meeting of world leaders in Deauville, France, in late May.

"The president couldn’t sign it," said the official, who noted that the Russians "felt they had been lied to."

“Couldn’t sign it” is suggestive of both the administration’s promise not to limit U.S. missile defenses (so what guidance had been given the State Department on this issue?) as well as domestic politics, which would require the agreement to be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. 

The four-part “agreement” sounds like a de facto arms control treaty which requires ratification.  Ratification would likely receive a serious (read unpleasant) Congressional wire-brushing based on recent New START revelations.


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