START Treaty … what’s at stake

There’s more at stake here with the passing of the new START treaty than our relationship with Russia and nuclear proliferation. As Fox New analyst Peter Brooks pointed out yesterday, it’s critical to our defense from attacks from emerging powers like Iran and North Korea. But last night I happened across a post over at Black Five I thought you might find interesting.

Remember, at stake for the Republicans are three key issues. How the treaty affects our modernization of our nuclear arsenal. It’s not so much numbers but effectiveness, which in turn leads to deterrence, the affect of the treaty of mobile launching systems, where the Russians have a distinct advantage … and most importantly, the affect the treaty has on missile defense.

Senator John Kerry has pointed out repetedly that the Preamble to the treaty seems to establish an understanding that furthe development would be prohibited, at a time when the world is becoming more dangerous. Thus, as Brooks noted yesterday, it’s not protecting the US from Russia, but from other emerging powers, that’s at stake as well.

Here’s where Black Five raises some interesting points:

One way to make nuclear weapons obsolete or less desirable is to make them undeliverable.  That’s the purpose of the missile defense technology we’ve been developing over the years.  Then, when you negotiate a treaty like START you negotiate from a position of strength.

Instead, we’ve seen a unilateral decision to throw missile defense under the bus, even while rogue nations like Iran and North Korea develop bigger and more powerful missiles every year.   Not to mention the fact that both countries are supplying the technology to others and, according to news reports, providing missiles to proxies and planning on basing missiles in Venezuela.

The cuts to these programs is short-sighted and ignores a very real and growing problem.  The Airborne Laser boost-phase program, for instance, has successfully intercepted ICBMs in the boost phase in tests and is able to quickly kill and engage multiple targets as they boost out toward their targets (a time when the missiles are at their most vulnerable).    It is the first layer in a multilayered missile killing system which would provide this country and its allies a virtually impenetrable shield against rocket launched nuclear weapons.

Instead, we have an administration going around killing off the systems that will protect us all the while telling us that START will do the job and we should just trust the Russians (and Iranians and North Koreans one supposes).

In short, it would seem, even if the Preamble does not preclude development of missile defense, this President seems to be on a course to do that unilaterally.

16 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    And this is what our government is telling us about nuclear attacks:
    By cutting our programs we will not convince rogue nations like No. Korea & Iran to do the same.  While we "build down" they will continue to "build up" until the balance of power is tipped in the favor of terrorist states.  This doesn't just worry me, I find it to be terrifying, incredibly stupid and must definitely short-sighted.

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Can you possibly ask yourselves when the last nuclear attack took place? And who would be sufficiently insane to launch one, and survive??

  3. David R
    David R says:

    What a country! What are Liberals to do when Kissinger, Powell, Baker and other Republicans are calling for ratification of the Start Treaty? Damn hard to paint the GOP as a bunch of do-nothings with all the wind coming from that bunch for lame duck action from the Senate. Clever Republicans I'd say.

  4. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Sammy:  Would you want No. Korea or Iran to gain first strike capability?  If we kiss goodbye our technology while they keep enhancing theirs (no matter how many years that may take), would we even have the opportunity for the second strike guaranteeing mutually assured destruction?  "Sufficiently insane to launch one"?  Do you REALLY think that the so-called leaders of No. Korea & Iran are sufficiently SANE?

  5. djt
    djt says:

    Unfortunately the example of "throwing missile defense under the bus" cited by "Black Five" is not a good one. The Airborne-Laser program is one that even Sec of Defense Robert Gates doesn't want.

    It is probably a safe bet that our technology is still far ahead of our enemies, if the last at least 50 years is any indication. We will not be abandoning our efforts at technology as long as there are voting districts and therefore politicians that would benefit from the spending on it.

  6. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Winnie888, at least get real. No. Korea and Iran may threaten their neighbors, but to send THE bomb to the US takes a bit of additional effort. And this treaty has to do w/ Russia, not some country that does not even have THE bomb.

  7. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Winnie888, read the treaty, see who signed it (no No. Koreans, no Iranians). Paras 2 and 3 above are opinions of people w/ a different agenda who like to see conspiracy/deception under every rock.

  8. David R
    David R says:

    It should have dawned on us by now that bashing anything the Obama Administration does is good for ratings for those who've staked their careers on it. The problem as I see it is that Obama, like Bush and every other president before them isn't always wrong. The overwhelming opinion of people I respect on both sides of the political coin is that START is what we need now, and that putting off its ratification is ill advised. Only the zealots continue to argue against it, and in so doing demonstrate bias beyond reason. On my daily trip around the radion dial, I found the professional Obama haters at it at to the point of ridiculousness. How can they criticize START when the most respected minds such as Baker and Colin Powell are for it?  We need unbiased, critical evaluation of everything the government/corporate partnership does, but this is carrying it to an extreme that undermines the role of talk radio.

  9. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    The only reason this is being discussed is because Obama decided to make a nuclear-free world one of his, uh, number one priorities.  I seriously think the liberals in this country would be soooooooo happy if we just opened the borders, laid down our arms, totally killed defense and let the rest of the world walk all over us. This is a typical liberal administration…I'm hoping that, as in the past, this is just another passing phase until we can get a Republican into the white house who believes in a strong defense of our country.

    & Lynn, A and MEN!

  10. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,500 each for the US and Russia is hardly making world nuclear-free. BTW, I recall that Pres. Reagan signed the first START Treaty, then known as SALT. Didn't Pres. Reagan believe "in a strong defense of our country"?

  11. David R
    David R says:

    Strong or weak on defense? It's all BS. The Pentagon has the largest budget since WWll. Too much of our defense spending is about corporate welfare and jobs for the home district. The "strong vs weak debate" is pretty much political posturing that has made the defense budget a sacred cow that can't be criticized or even discussed objectively.  Only recently, because of the debt crisis, have main stream politicians begun to acknowledge it's a problem.  Google "world defense spending", for an eye opener.

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