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  • Morning Bell: This New START Is A Bad Deal At Any Time

    Speaking to the French Minister of Defense this February, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates purportedly said that “Russian democracy has disappeared” and that “the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.” Fast forward to a CNN broadcast scheduled to air tonight, where the Batman of Russia’s oligarchy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, threatened the U.S. with a new arms race unless Senators acquiesce to President Barack Obama’s New START treaty. Putin tells CNN it would take “a very dumb nature” for the Senate not to pass the treaty and that if they don’t give in, “then we’ll have to react somehow,” including the deployment of new nuclear missile technology.

    Putin’s statements come on the back of news that, in defiance of pledges made to the U.S. in the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of the 1990s, Russia moved short-range tactical nuclear warheads to facilities near NATO borders earlier this spring. And according to U.S. intelligence, Iran recently received 19 BM-25 missiles from North Korea that are capable of reaching European cities. Don’t worry though, Putin also tells CNN about Iran: “But such a threat, as of now, doesn’t exist.”

    Putin and President Obama believe that New START is a great deal for our national security. But not everyone agrees. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman have all argued that New START actually weakens our defenses. The Heritage Foundation has identified twelve flaws of New START, including the following:

    Unacceptable Limits to Missile Defense. The Obama Administration claims that New START contains no limits or constraints on our ability to protect ourselves through missile defense. This is false. There are at least five sections that limit missile defense: (1) Paragraph 9 of the Preamble explicitly links missile defense and offensive nuclear weapons; (2) Paragraph 3 of Article V prohibits conversion of offensive strategic missile launchers to launchers of defensive interceptors and vice versa; (3) an array of provisions limit and restrict certain types of missiles and missile launchers that are used as targets in missile defense tests; (4) Article XII and Part Six of the Protocol create an implementing body, called the Bilateral Consultative Commission, that could impose additional restrictions on the U.S. missile defense program; and (5) Article IX, Part Seven of the Protocol and the Annex on Telemetric Information to the Protocol could be interpreted in a way that could lead the U.S. to share telemetric information from missile defense tests. This information could be used to undermine the effectiveness of our missile defenses.

    Inadequate Verification Regime. Edelman and Joseph warn: Those who are pushing a rush to judgment appear willing to ignore the long-held standard “trust but verify” by overlooking the monitoring gaps created by the treaty. While the on-site visits and data exchanges allowed under the treaty are valuable, New START abandons on-the-ground monitoring of Russia’s missile-manufacturing facility and permits Russia to withhold telemetry of some of its missile tests, undermining our ability to know both what is being produced and what is being developed.

    Tactical Nukes Ignored. While the exact numbers are not public, Russia reportedly has a several-fold numerical advantage over the U.S. in tactical nuclear weapons like the ones moved close to our NATO allies this spring. Proponents of the treaty argue that New START is essential for keeping nukes away from terrorists. There is a real threat that terrorists could get nuclear weapons. But the nukes that are most vulnerable to terrorist threats are tactical nuclear weapons—which are not covered by New START!

    Rail-Mobile ICBMs Exempted. The definitions of rail-mobile ICBMs and rail-mobile ICBM launchers established in the expired START, which applied to the associated restrictions and limitations in START, are not in New START. The Obama Administration asserts that rail-mobile ICBMs and launchers are captured by the treaty under generic definitions of deployed ICBMs. But Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, has stated the opposite.

    New START is great deal for Russia. But while Vladimir Putin can be sanguine about the threats posed to the U.S. by Iran and North Korea, U.S. Senators cannot. As Woolsey explains, rushing this treaty to appease Russia is just a bad deal for U.S. security:

    A number of years negotiating arms-control agreements with the Soviets taught me that, when dealing with Russian counterparts, don’t appear eager—friendly yes, eager never. Regrettably, the Obama administration seems to have become eager for a deal in its negotiations on the follow-on treaty to the recently expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start). Hopes for a boost in efforts to “reset” relations with Russia, and for progress toward the president’s dream of a world without nuclear weapons, apparently combined to trump prudent negotiating strategy. As a result, concessions to Russian demands make it difficult to support Senate approval of the new treaty, known as New Start, as it currently stands.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    27 Responses to Morning Bell: This New START Is A Bad Deal At Any Time

    1. Arturo, DFW Metrople says:

      Honestly men, does anyone really believe that this president has this country best interest in anything he says or does? Does anyone [still] believe anything this guy says? Anything???

    2. gary sheldon says:

      The dolts who voted for and continue to support Obama are more dangerous to the republic than the "President" hamself and his corrupt policies.

    3. SERVative says:

      STOP START NOW!!!

    4. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Putin is a thug; Obama is a dupe! The USA is at risk from both men!

    5. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      The HF better call Murdoch

      the WSJ had as a Marching Order for the GOP

      that the Start Treaty was OK.

      The WSJ is the VOICE of the GOP.

    6. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Things the GOP are AGAINST -

      Tax for the Rich

      Minimum wage for the Needy.

    7. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      STOP START.

    8. Judith in Michigan says:

      Of course we could try to realize Mr Obama's dream of a world without nuclear weapons, but it would require that The United States surrender to Russia, Iran and all the other countries that consider us their enemy.. But then again, these countries will become enemies of each other, so they will keep and continue to develop their own WMD'S.

      In the end, only America would be left defenseless. Doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

      The intelligence this administration is showing concerning their rush to ratify this New Start Treaty shows either stunning incompetence or the deliberate waving of the American white flag. The answer appears to be obvious to me.

    9. Ken Kok, Richland, W says:

      It is my understanding based on some reports that the new START contains language that would allow the US to move spent nuclear fuel that is under US control to Russia for either reprocessing or disposal. This is insane since only 5% or less of the U235 in the fuel has been burned and only a limited amount of the U238 has been converted. It would be similar to the US importing petroleum, coverting it to gasoline and then sending 95 gallons out of every 100 gallons to Russia for disposal. When will our national policy allow us to use the total amount of energy contained in uranium by closing the fuel cycle, instituting reprocessing, and developing burner reactors?

    10. tpo, "The Other says:

      In diplomacy, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." (TR, 1901)

    11. Dr. Joseph Foster/ F says:

      A bad deal is a bad deal but this deal is dangerous. The threat of tactical nuclear weapons[TNW] is real and is the only viable mode of nuclear conflict on the modern battlefield. Robert J. Oppenheimer made this clear as part of the debate over the development of high yield fusion weapons which he viewed as genocidal. The review of this whole period is reviewed in: American Prometheus-The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer/Bird & Sherwin. From his position as Director of the Princeton Institute for Advance Studies, Oppenheimer engaged in the debate of the future of nuclear weapons in America's defense strategy. He envisioned a time in his future that there would emerge a single technological superior conventional army and at that point in history lesser states would resort TNW as a technological leveling tool on the modern battlefield. Little did he know that the technologically superior force would be the US and it would be the rest of the world that levels this capability with TNW. It is time we step up to the realization that the Cold War is over. The balance of strategic and tactical capabilities is now an essential element of the nation's defense doctrine. A naive approach that envisions a world without nuclear weapons is a significant risk to the country. I wrote the below letter to Senator Kyl encouraging a full and sober debate of these issues as part of the senate ratification.

      Genie In A Bottle:

      J. Robert Oppenheimer was the technical lead of the US effort to free the genie of nuclear weapons as part of the nation’s war effort during WW II. Oppenheimer’s people were successful in the effort he led but the goal was not unique. Japan, Germany, Russia were simultaneously pursuing the goal of nuclear weapons for the battle that was consuming an average of 29,000 souls a day. The uniqueness of Oppenheimer’s group was their success. After the use of fission weapons to end the war with Japan, the work led to deep differences of opinion among the participants as to the value of continuing the research after the war. Edward Teller served as the leader for the successful post war pursuit of a fusion weapon with megaton yields as opposed to the kiloton yields of the WW II vintage nuclear weapons. Russia emerged as the competition in this technology area building weaponizable devices of megaton yields; then ten megaton yields. As the competition began to reach the level required for 100 megaton weapons both sides declared a cessation to testing.

      Oppenheimer, on the sidelines as the Director of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies made the observation that these fusion weapons were genocidal weapons. He also suggested that the Nation’s nuclear weapons research focus should be on small tactical nuclear weapons [TNWs] with the prediction that at some time in the future there would be a technologically superior conventional military in the world and TNWs would be used for their technological leveling capabilitiy on battlefield of the future.

      There are those amongst us who imagine the genie can be put back in the bottle. Mother Nature put the strong nuclear force field in the structure of the Universe and it will be available forever by those who seek to use it whether for good or evil. The extensive international efforts on the Non-nuclear Proliferation Treaty [NPT] bear witness to this fact.

      The current version of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START] fails to recognize that the Cold War is over and ignores the importance of TNWs and the associated technology to global stability. Recent disclosure of the nuclear weapons agreements between France and the United Kingdom [UK] serve to further support the position that free and democratic societies cannot afford to pretend they are going to put this genie back in the bottle. Current event with Iran proposing and pursuing genocide in the middle-east and North Korea rattling nuclear sabers in Asia serve to further highlight the need for sober consideration by the Senate as to federal government’s role in providing for the common defense and the continued national position of appeasement. We can ill afford the rush to ratification without the requisite debate and hearings before informed outside council.

      Thank you for your consideration,

      Dr. Joseph C. Foster, Jr.

      Fellow of the Air Force Research Laboratory [Ret]

    12. Mike Hadaway, Rome, says:

      This does not surprise me at all. Those in the White House are certifiably light weights when it comes to anything except Chicago style politics.

    13. Aspergus In Houston says:

      The two leaders are cut from the same peace of cloth!!

    14. Pingback: Morning Bell: This New START Is A Bad Deal At Any Time

    15. Richard Stapp, Newpo says:

      Agreement with the other subscribers is a dull comment; but a true one. Mr. Obama is not an intellectual paragon as he is portrayed by his sycophants and some prominent Fox News TV personalities. He is, in a word, stupid. But, we get what we pay for and Obama is the consequence of Republican betrayal of conservative principles. Moreover, after yesterday's 'compromise' with the Pelosi-Reid-Obama Triumvirate, we probably need one more election to bring the lesson home.

    16. wally, Zion IL says:

      Well I don't have any problem with this treaty, Obama and Putin both think it's just fine.

    17. Benny D, Dayton, OH says:

      When has our opposition ever complied with a treaty? They aren't worth the paper they're written on. Putin, a former KGB, above all, is not to be trusted.

    18. toledofan says:

      The major role of the government is to insure the safety and well being of it's citizens, so far the government gets an 'F'. What is really sad is that the Democrats and Obama just think that nothing will happen and if it does, well, they'll just turn and run anyway. They picture the world as a bad place because of American greed, but, the people like Obama are the people that benefit the most. The reality is that the Russians will never negotiate away any of their power and, as usual, they will do whatever it takes to get the upper hand. The bully Putin is just telling Obama to do this or else; maybe he threathened to steal his lunch?

    19. Pingback: Taxes-for-New START Deal is Not the Change Americans Voted For | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    20. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Doc Foster, the Cold War isn't actually over. We are in the end game right this moment. The whole world is Socialist, we are increasingly Communist. The sad fact is we lost the Cold War. The Communists have infiltrated every nook and cranny of the United States Government. The New START Treaty is proof absolute of my major premise all year: The Obama Administration serves the Foreign Interest exclusively, and our President is a coconspirator of the Half Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.

      Colin Powell is a RINO, a gutless wonder who didn't finish the job in Iraq. The guy is so bad he came out for Obama (a 3rd generation Communist) and now he is selling out America again backing the New START Treaty. Apparently Obama will go down serving the Foreign Interest, exclusively and undermining Representative Democracy in every possible way. Let's see! Like Republicans should trust the word of Colin Powell? Gosh! Let the Russians keep their 3 to 1 advantage in Tactical Nukes and we get nothing. Nothing. No, actually we don't even get Verification! The Russians have been cheating all along!

      And right you are Conn Carroll, the Russians are not a Democratic country! Obama serves their Interests over and above American Interests. I believe that is Treason. After all Glenn Beck has proved the Half Vast Communist Conspiracy exists. The evidence is in plain sight!

      So what is the Dream Act? A bid to train an Illegal Alien Army out of the Illegal Alien gangsters? And that is more important than saving American jobs? That's Obama's Dream? Make the Mexicans deport themselves! Mexico needs them, now more than ever!

    21. Linda H, California says:

      Of course Russia wants the U.S. to reduce it's nuclear arms, leaving us defensless and making it easeir to attack us. Obama took an oath to uphold our Constitution, and to protect the citizens of The United States, but he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he took that oath. He would leave our great nation defensless. Remember, it has always been Obama's goal to 'knock the U.S. off it's pedestal"? It's why he makes it a point to "Apologise" for the U.S. where every he goes. Only an "Enemy of the State" would ever consider such an outright stupid move.

    22. Charlie, Peoria, IL says:

      People who frame an argument involving many people by focusing on only two people clearly have an agenda.

      This is *not* just about Obama or Putin.

      All senior Defense Department officials testified that they support ratification of New START. Including the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff. This includes the current commander of our nuclear arsenal, Gen. Kevin Chilton.

      So, I feel I must ask: Why does Sen Kyl and his cronies hate the military (and by extension, America)?

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2

    23. Pingback: » Sunday Weekly Summary MySquawk

    24. Linda, Louisiana says:

      I hope Obama does not believe that we can make other countries love us by bowing down to them and telling them we love them and that we have mistreated them in the past. Those countries could care less about loving us. Doesn't Congress, such as it is right now, have some input in treaties signed by the President? If not, that's too much authority for one person. A good defense is the solution for Peace.

    25. Henry says:

      We have a community organizer sitting in the white house and all the community organizers helpers, what do you expect from race hustlers.

      It's like this……..how many AMERICANS lock their doors? It's the same with Russia. They are not to be trusted! Don't allow Russia to bluff AMERICA.

    26. Mike, Minot ND says:

      I know you guys mean well with this blog, but you didn't even give us a link to the actual START treaty. I had to look it up myself and read it in order to defend your points.

      Also, could you please explain what you meant in the fourth point of "Unacceptable Limits to Missile Defense"? I can't seem to find the powers of the BCC in the treaty.

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