Vail Daily letter: START treaty’s flawed |

Vail Daily letter: START treaty’s flawed

Mr. Le Vine left out a couple of details of his criticism of Republican objections to the new START treaty Obama is pushing forward. There are good reasons not to support this poorly designed agreement. Furthermore the U.S.Senate should reject the new START treaty.

It has no upside for the United States, is shot through with flaws, and will limit our defenses. The treaty represents international relations as gesture, and is based on President Obama’s naive belief that if we are seen as limiting ourselves, other nations will more readily join us in persuading rogue states to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

The treaty is advertised as a 30 percent cut in Russian and American warheads, down to 1,550 on each side. This is spin. Under the 2002 Bush-Putin Treaty of Moscow, Russia and the United States agreed to cut their arsenals to a range of 2,200 to 1,700 warheads each. The new START treaty is a cut of only 150 warheads from the low end of that range, and even this cut is illusory.

The treaty reduces the number of permitted deployed delivery vehicles – missiles, bombers, and submarines to 700, about half the previous level. This is just as meaningless. The Russians are already beneath this number. The aging of their arsenal, coupled with economic constraints, means that they couldn’t go higher, new START treaty or not.

On the terms Democrats invoked to critique the Treaty of Moscow, Obama’s START treaty is sorely lacking.

They pointed out that it only limited deployed weapons and didn’t destroy stockpiles – neither does the new START.

They complained that it didn’t affect Russia’s advantage in tactical nuclear weapons – neither does the new START.

Of course, Joe Biden and John Kerry, who leveled all these criticisms at the Treaty of Moscow, won’t return to those complaints now. Such is the course of partisan hypocrisy.

But it does not change the fact that there are serious flaws in the new START and should be rejected by Democrats as well.

Ron Ownby


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