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March 29, 2010

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Numbers are softer than it seems... Also, what do you think re the time frames involved?

http://www.ph2dot1.com/2010/03/yawn.html

It's a shame, because it's an important treaty, but there's no way it'll be ratified. Lugar will be the only GOP vote in favor.

And... the Duma? Lobbying US Congress? Who thought that would be a good idea? There are a fair number of GOP supporters who are unaware/don't believe the USSR collapsed.

Tosk59: The numbers were never the primary focus of these negotiations. There are some questions about what the numbers in the (very short) fact sheet actually mean. One of those is

each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.

Ellen Tauscher was asked about this today, and pretty obviously ducked.

As to the time frames, Russia is pretty close to these numbers already, and the US should be able to make it easily, although there are some difficulties I wrote about recently. With any luck, there will be new negotiations to get to seriously low numbers in the near future.

CaseyL: If you click through, you'll see that it's a couple of members of the Duma saying that. I took it as a statement of intent on their part to do what is needed to ratify the treaty and found the mental picture amusing.

Maybe, with the Citizens United decision, they will be able to channel some money to senators who need persuading... :^)

"Although President George W. Bush said that friends don’t have to count each others’ nukes, the Russians have continued to feel otherwise."

George W. Bush was stupid enough to think the Russians were our friends. The Russians weren't equally stupid about us.

"Maybe, with the Citizens United decision, they will be able to channel some money to senators who need persuading... :^)"

The CU decision rather explicitly only applies to money spent on speech and published matter, not donations, and specifically denied making any finding concerning foreign entities. So I'd say that would be a big, fat, "Nope!". The Duma will have to channel it's funds to Senators the normal, illegal ways Senators usually get such funds.

Cheryl,
The time frame issue isn't re how long it will take to get to the new limits. Given the way things are counted it could be achieved VERY shortly. My question is, given that fact why would you set in place an achievement time line of 7 years?

It's easy enough to say both sides will move on to a new agreement, however the record is not robust re new agreements being started/done long before the existing ones are reaching their expiration. If that pattern holds, then the can has been kicked very far down the road!

I still posit that the immediate elimination of the UK/French nuclear weapons (assisted by some behind the scenes, very heavy "leaning on" by the US) would do *far*, *far* more to energize the worldwide road to zero than does marginal reductions by the U.S. and Russia. This has zero downside (except a loss of prestige, and isn't that the crux of why others are trying to get nukes, so they "can fight above their weight"?); they can fall under the U.S. umbrella like the rest of Europe; it would actually show that zero was something that 'nuclear-haves' will actually do rather than pay lip service to; etc., etc. This single thing would do more to change the actual dynamic than incremental decreases by the 'big two', nice speeches, etc.

>>>> As to the time frames, Russia is pretty close to these numbers already, and the US should be able to make it easily, although there are some difficulties I wrote about recently. With any luck, there will be new negotiations to get to seriously low numbers in the near future. >>>

Tosk59: The French and British (especially the French) aren't going to give up their nukes any time soon. The US can't control that

I have been thinking over your comments and several other things and hope to have more to say later on what I think Obama's strategy is.

This is inherently a long game, and Obama has set several things in motion.

Cheryl,
Look forward to it... The issue I have is that I can only judge on facts and what actually happens. Being inherently distrustful of politicians, am loath to give credit for possible "intentions" and what *might* be their strategy. Once you start doing this it gets to be "faith-based" (as it were.)

>>>I have been thinking over your comments and several other things and hope to have more to say later on what I think Obama's strategy is.>>>

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