Still a Non-Starter

December 13, 2010 17:18

New START is inherently unbalanced — and detrimental to American security.

By on 12.13.10 at American Spectator


In coming days, the U.S. Senate will begin its deliberations over New START, the major new arms control pact finalized by Moscow and Washington earlier this year. The outcome of that vote will have enormous ramifications for the safety and security of the United States in the years ahead. Here’s why.

But the agreement is silent on a number of key issues that cumulatively serve to undermine the parity of the agreement.

One is Russia’s own, increasingly robust effort to modernize its nuclear weapons, which is not constrained qualitatively by the agreement in any way. Another is New START’s failure to address the issue of lower-yield, “tactical” nuclear weapons, of which Russia possesses far more than the United States. As a result, an arrangement that seems balanced on paper in practice will be anything but — leaving Russia unfettered in its nuclear development and America more vulnerable than before.

New START effectively stops America’s development of missile defenses. Last year, the Obama administration laid out a substantial plan to expand and augment the existing capabilities of the United States and its allies to defend against ballistic missile threats from abroad. Yet the text of New START undermines this commitment, explicitly limiting U.S. missile defense development under certain conditions. Worse yet, Russian officials have made clear that U.S. negotiators offered guarantees that the Obama administration will not make qualitative or quantitative improvements to its existing missile defense systems — and have threatened to walk away from New START if Washington does. This means that, as a practical matter, America’s ability to protect the U.S. homeland and its allies from ballistic missile attack has become a hostage of arms control negotiations with Russia.

[It gets worse. Read the full article and the following

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