Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bomb Repeat Bomb

I had a post all ready to go about the procrastination around ratifying the New Start Treaty between the US and Russia. I've been blown away (pun intended) by the wavering Republicans that wanted to amend the treaty. The New Start Treaty is based on a previous treaty with Russia that is set to expire this month. As such, any amendment would require both countries to go back to negotiations.

I was going to write about Russia's response to the proposed amendments, "I can only underscore that the strategic nuclear arms treaty, worked out on the strict basis of parity, in our view fully answers to the national interests of Russia and the United States,” (Sergey V. Lavrov - Russian foreign minister) “It cannot be opened up and become the subject of new negotiations.”

I had a bunch written about how Senator McCain was pushing for a clause to be inserted that would maintain the US's ability to stockpile missiles in Germany and other European countries. As I wrote, I kept thinking about how completely asinine the GOP's arguments were, and how ridiculous the comment from Mr McConnell was accusing Obama of trying to force the treaty forward for political gain, "Our top concern should be the safety and security of our nation, not some politician’s desire to declare a political victory and host a press conference before the end of the year."

Then, just before clicking on the "Publish Post" button, this news was released. I can't express how delighted (and surprised) I am that congress has managed to approve a little bit of common sense. I'm glad that an the publishing of an explosive post was averted. Oh, and I'm pretty happy that congress came to their senses before we had to face the possibility of heating up a Cold War.


Architect said...

What exactly is the point of arms limitation treaties?
Publicity? Rogue countries cheat. The USA spends more than the next 80+ countries combined. What a waste of diplomatic resources.

Jacob S. said...

We went into it in more detail here, but there are a few good reasons.

First, from an ideological point of view, as peaceable followers of Christ I think it is our duty to advocate for a world with fewer nuclear weapons, not more. The nuclear weapon has only one goal, the death of tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of innocent civilians. Anything we can do to make the world more peaceable, and reducing nuclear stockpiles is one of the most important thing we can do on that front, we should.

Second, from a practical point of view, arms reduction is our strongest tool in keeping nuclear weapons from spreading to currently non-nuclear states. We have no leverage in telling other nations that they can't obtain nuclear weapons unless we are actively reducing our own. This has been employed by the US and Russia for decades.

Third, the nuclear treaties require strict rules regarding the monitoring and safekeeping of nuclear weapons and nuclear technologies, which strengthens our ability to keep them out of the hands of rogue states and non-state actors, like terrorist groups.

The START treaty is an unequivocally good use of diplomatic resources and my opinion is that Mormons should be leading the cause against nuclear weapons.