Posted by: Curt @ 4:57 pm, December 23, 2010
Ariel Cohen, a Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies at The Heritage Foundation, notes that the Russians have repeatedly stated they have to right to back out of the treaty if the U.S. missile defense systems is deemed a threat to them.
When has it not been a threat?
This constraint on our missile defense system was the main reason this treaty should never have happened:
Washington has agreed to limitations on its ballistic-missile-defense options (something the administration’s representatives vehemently deny); ambiguous language on rail-mobile ballistic missiles; vague limitations on conventional global-strike systems and a significant degradation of the START verification regime from 1991. All these measures limit U.S. defense options not vis-à-vis Russia, but North Korea, China, and in the future, Iran; and provide the Russian Federation’s Strategic Rocket Forces with unfair advantages.
Furthermore, the treaty’s preamble, the Russian unilateral statement on missile defense and remarks by senior Russian officials suggest an attempt by Russia to limit or constrain current and future U.S. missile-defense capabilities by threatening to withdraw from the treaty should the U.S. expand its missile defenses “qualitatively” or “quantitatively.” Apparently, it will be up to Russia to define these quantitative and/or qualitative criteria, forcing U.S. decision-makers to look to Moscow every time a significant missile defense decision has to be made.
And they all fell for it hook line and sinker.
Some background on the naive thinking of Obama and company:
Though President Obama has announced that Russia is no longer the enemy, Russia still considers the U.S. its “principal adversary,” despite the Administration’s attempts to “reset” bilateral relations. U.S. policymakers need to examine Russia’s views on nuclear weapons and understand Russian nuclear doctrine as it is—not as U.S. arms control advocates wish it to be.
The Russian Approach to Nuclear Arms Control
At the signing of the START follow-on treaty, Medvedev reiterated the Russian position that “the treaty can only be viable” if does not “jeopardize the strategic offensive weapons on the Russian side.”Medvedev essentially created a caveat that makes the Russian commitment to the treaty questionable at best, illustrating that Russia and the U.S. perceive nuclear arms control and doctrine very differently.
Though the Soviet Union collapsed 20 years ago, Russian national leaders, generals, and experts are still captive to a deeply suspicious worldview that hearkens back to hundreds of years of Russian imperial policy.
Announcing the modernization of Russian nuclear forces in 2007, then-President Putin illustrated the Russian worldview by linking nuclear modernization to the U.S. war in Iraq: “Russia, thank God, isn’t Iraq [and] has enough strength and power to defend itself and its interests, both on its territory and in other parts of the world.” For many in Russia, the U.S. is still glavny protivnik (principal adversary), and nuclear arms control does not mean any limits on its ability to maintain modern nuclear weapons. Yet Moscow strives to limit U.S. missile defense and strategic conventional capabilities.
As the Russian military doctrine published this spring illustrates, Russian elites view nuclear weapons not only as a way to protect Russia but as strategic tools used to escalate and end local and regional wars. Nor is Russia interested in President Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons. In 2006, Putin emphasized the importance of Russia’s nuclear arsenal: “When looking at today’s international situation … Russia is compelled to realize that nuclear deterrence is a key element in guaranteeing the country’s security.” The product of Soviet and post-Soviet strategy, current Russian policy is aimed at maximizing deterrence and offensive capability at minimal cost.~~~
The Obama Administration’s arms control strategy to date has been rooted in an outdated 1970s arms control model and the idealism of the 1960s, both of which embrace a “getting to zero” approach of full nuclear disarmament while weakening missile defense in Eastern Europe.
In a world of global proliferation, and in the context of a Russian nuclear strategy premised on nuclear parity and mutually assured destruction, coupled with scaling down of U.S. defensive systems, this approach to arms control is doomed to fail.
While a conflict with Russia is not likely, and hasn’t been likely in decades…a conflict with Iran, China or North Korea is not out of the question. With our missile defense ability greatly diminished, if not completely destroyed, there is now a greater chance of a nuclear war occurring:
The world, meanwhile, will become a more dangerous place. By simultaneously pursuing a strategy of minimalist missile defense and allowing the U.S. nuclear deterrent to atrophy, the president is lowering the bar for other states to become significant actors. As that trend accelerates, there could well be fewer nuclear weapons in the world — because they’ll have been used in nuclear war. “Pursuing a policy of nuclear disarmament in a proliferated setting actually leads to instability,” our research finds. “When confronted with a crisis, countries rely on nuclear weapons more, not less.”
To make matters worse, the White House will likely follow up New START with an even more ambitious arms-control agenda — one that will likely accelerate our journey down this troubling path.
And to make my point, what happened today?
Leader Kim Jong-il and his ministers say they are fully prepared to launch a “sacred war”.
They warn that even the smallest intrusion on its territory would bring a devastating response.
Defence chief Kim Yong Chun said the South’s show of strength with tanks and fighter jets near the border was a “grave military provocation” indicating it was planning to invade.
Kim told a national meeting in Pyongyang that the North would not hesitate to push the button.
He said: “To counter the enemy’s intentional drive to push the situation to the brink of war, our revolutionary forces are making preparations to begin a sacred war at any moment necessary based on nuclear deterrent.” North Korea has threatened nuclear attack before but many analysts say it does not have the technology to launch a nuclear weapon.
Many analysts say? The same analysts that said both North Korea and Iran were nowhere close to gaining a nuclear weapon? Those analysts?
Whether they have the ability to launch one yet matters not. They will. Iran will.
Thanks to Obama and some weak kneed cowardly Republicans we are up sh*t creek without a paddle.