Friday, March 26, 2010

A Useless Arms Control Agreement

Like most such agreements, the latest arms control deal between the U.S. and Russia is virtually meaningless. Here's Obama spouting the usual nonsense.

“With this agreement, the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear powers in the world, also send a clear signal that we intend to lead,” Mr. Obama said, appearing in front of reporters at the White House to announce the agreement. “By upholding our own commitments under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities.”
An arms control agreement between the U.S. and Russia has exactly zero impact on the spread of nuclear weapons. The reduction in the number of deployed U.S. & Russian weapons doesn't have the slightest effect on the nuclear program and aspirations of countries such as Iran. The president's idiotic pronouncement is just another example of one of the main planks of Obamic foreign policy: wishful thinking. 

Here is the practical effect of the new agreement.

According to people in Washington and Moscow who were briefed on the new treaty, it will lower the legal limit on deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 each, from the 2,200 allowed as of 2012 under the previous treaty. It would lower the limit on launchers to 800 from the 1,600 now permitted. Nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each. ...  the treaty does not limit the thousands of tactical nuclear bombs and stored strategic warheads each side has.
In other words, its almost completely meaningless. As one expert noted,
“What did we get out of the deal?” he asked. “Nothing that I can see, and I have been doing nuclear stuff, including arms control, since 1981.”
The good news is that at least at first glance, this treaty appears relatively harmless -- and that's always a plus with the dangerously incompetent Obama administration in charge of foreign policy. Politicians love things that they can trumpet as achievements, just to pretend they are actually doing something and making a difference. Much of the time such feel-good projects are actively harmful or have nasty unintended consequences.  If this agreement lets Obama pretend that he's advancing his pie-in-the-sky dreams of ridding the world of nuclear weapons, hopefully he'll be satisfied that's he's doing what he can, and abandon attempts at more dangerous efforts to feed his delusions.  

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