Raising huge red flags 94

The New START agreement that the Russians won needs to be approved by the Senate. As is his way, Obama wants the process to be got through fast: the less time taken for reading and debating the better.

The Heritage Foundation warns:

All the pressure to blow past the critics, cut backroom deals and get the treaty ratified ought to raise huge red flags. New START has had less than half the number of hearings that treaties are normally subjected to, and the pace for approval certainly is trying to outpace any nuclear arms pact the Senate has ever considered. Not only is the speed with which it is being pushed through unprecedented, the administration continues to withhold key documents, including the treaty negotiating record. This is no time for conservatives in the Senate to offer lemming-like support for President Obama’s arms control agenda.

Mitt Romney lists 8 things that are wrong with it. Just one of them, his item 4, should make it a dud in the eyes of Americans:

Counting multiple-warhead bombers as only one warhead, as New START does, is a problem for America, not a plus. Yes, we currently have more long-range bombers than the Russians. But Russia has embarked on at least one new long-range bomber program. Russia also is developing a new long-range air-launched nuclear cruise missile. We, on the other hand, are doing neither. Russia will have modern bombers and modern missiles; we will not. It should come as no surprise that they are happy to undercount nuclear warheads on bombers.

Failing to count multiple warheads on bombers makes the treaty’s announced warhead limits virtually meaningless in any case: Russia can effectively escape the limit of 1,550 by deploying long-range bombers with many nuclear weapons.

Russia is a dying nation. Its birthrate is 11.1 live births per 1,000 population. Its fertility rate, though it rose slightly from 1.3 in 2006 to 1.5 in 2009, is such that the number of Russians born declines sharply with each generation. And Russian life expectancy is only 65. So there’ll be far fewer Russians by the end of this century. For the next fifty years the Russian state could still do harm, such as seizing parts of neighboring countries, as it recently seized two provinces of Georgia – without the world giving a good goddamn. (When it comes to Russian domination, never call it “imperialism”, comrades!) So there’s an argument for limiting its military power. But this treaty won’t do it.

What New START can do is advance the realization of Obama’s dream: a weak, denuclearized America.

With one last leadership role for him, teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.