Will Obama sell out disarmament like he did bank reform and healthcare?

THE DEPROLIFERATOR — Most who champion nuclear disarmament were heartened by the election of Barack Obama. His apparent abhorrence of nuclear weapons seemed forged in The Day After eighties. Hopes soared after he delivered his celebrated Prague speech in April outlining his vision for a nuclear-free world.

The first step — negotiations on a treaty to continue the work of the recently expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) — may not have met the December deadline, but the treaty’s conclusion is seen as imminent. The new, improved model of START, the New York Times reports, “would require each side to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to roughly 1,600 [and] strategic bombers [and] missiles to below 800.” Still, “Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia said on Thursday that there had been ‘some slowing down’ in negotiations by the other side.”

According to the Moscow Times, he had urged U.S. officials to accept even deeper cuts. Hmm, says the United States as it looks a gift horse in the mouth. Turns out where teeth should be are the dreaded “less intrusive verification measures.”

Resolving those differences, though, could lead to subsequent negotiations for an even more ambitious treaty. This one, reports the New York Times, “would reduce the number of deployed [as well as stored] strategic warheads even further, perhaps to about 1,000 for each country.” Oddly enough, lowering the number of the smaller nuclear warheads, known as tactical (ostensibly for battlefield use) poses a stumbling block.

In fact, as the Arms Control Association’s Daryl Kimball told the Times, agreeing on their reduction would make the START follow-up “look like a walk in the park.” Seconding him, the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center’s Henry Sokolski said, “The idea that [the Russians] would give these things up lightly is a fool’s errand.” (Never mind that an idea can’t be an errand.)

For starters, Russia views tactical nuclear weapons as a way for it to compensate for conventional supremacy on the part of the United States. Neither is the NATO alliance, which sees tactical nukes as a token of U.S. affection, in any rush to wave them bye-bye. For its part, Russia also just conducted a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ominously code-named “Satan” by NATO). This was on the heels of a failed launch earlier this month that left a plume of light over Norway earlier this month.

Furthermore, according to Global Security Newswire, “Russia intends to deploy a new nuclear-capable strategic bomber between 2025 and 2030.” As if all that weren’t enough, Russia’s new nuclear weapons doctrine might “permit Moscow to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear attack” (also known as first use).

Between Russia’s new bomber, first use, disagreements over verification procedures, and its tactical nukes (as well as Europe’s reliance on those), we can be excused our skepticism about a follow-up to the START agreement, not to mention a follow-up to the follow-up.

At least as troubling, from the point of view of the United States, what’s to keep the START treaty from winding up as watered down as President Obama’s feeble attempts at bank and healthcare reform?

First posted at the Faster Times.

6 replies »

  1. Supporting nuclear nonproliferation is he ? Let me know when you have evidence to support that contention. So far he has done the exact opposite.
    I’ve been outraged over the treatment of countries complying with the NPT for years. Power plant tech isn’t even – mostly – compatible with weapons tech. You can imagine the difficulties providing safety if it were prone to explode. Yet countries dedicated to reassuring the world of peaceful intent are…wait for it…the Axis of Evil.
    Here’s the poop. http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/12/20-dec-mission-in-afghanistanetc.html http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/12/4-dec-following-trail-climate-fraud-and.html Read the Larouche article first. It ties everything else together. That it blows Global Warming out of its niche is almost as startling as the way the thing keeps going downhill.

    • opit – “‘Global Warming’ is, and always was, a policy for genocidal reduction of the world’s population?” Seriously? So thousands or tens of thousands of scientists, every single national science academy in the world I know of, and every nation that stands to be depopulated under the conspiracy is involved in the conspiracy? I didn’t realize that the governments of India and China would be so complicit in the mass murder of their own citizens.

      I don’t know what’s scarier – that someone thought that people would be stupid enough to buy into this obviously false conspiracy theory, or that supposedly smart people actually do.

  2. Whoa ! I didn’t write it. But context is another matter altogether.
    That was the introduction to a subject which by this time has involved taxation to be paid to the UN,third world nations banding together against what they say are unfair proposals…and the U.S. acting as if none of what it is representing is to be taken seriously. ‘Do As I Say, Not As I Do’ is pretty basic.
    So is lively and heated rebuttal to assumptions that the AGW model is even applicable as a usable model.
    But I started with the NPT. Here’s where I went with it.

  3. Dr. Slammy
    Thanks for the Lyndon LaRouche note. He looks as interesting as Ron Paul. Nor do I have any problem with someone unconventional not fitting into comfortable shoes. Mavericks attract vituperation and any label is better than none for slinging it. Interesting overview : certainly populist and likely progressive. One thing about bright people : they tend to have the social skills of a skunk.That and they are made fun of incessantly: Poisoning the Well tactics.
    As for conspiracy theory : when you live in it, you don’t notice the water so much. It’s just there.Have fun with these – and since I didn’t write them I give you to understand that they are there to develop perspective…not establish Gospel.

  4. Larouche is a mental case and convicted criminal who was sent to prison for hijacking money from the elderly and tax evasion. Many of the cult’s fundraisers also went to the big house.

    Larouche has been running a cult for 4 decades which needs money and fresh bodies. to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week for ever in a never ending parade of economic collapse, nuclear war and a New Dark Age.

    It never changes and this cult circus has been going on for decades. Check out sites like these to see how this charade works so you don’t become suckers for the cult.




    factnet.org look under social orgs