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20 December 2010


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ex-PFC Chuck



I think that obstructionism is indeed what drives the R's. START II is a good idea. There is no sensible reason to stall or kill it other than that it would be a defeat for Obama.

I still wait for some crusty republican stalwart to discover his inner Khrushchev, banging on the table in the senate with a shoe while yelling "Njet! Njet! Njet!". Since the new breed of R's are in their pursuit of doctrinaire purity have reached a state rivalling the Kremlin's fossilised old guard, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest.

Sen. Imhofe perhaps?

Under the Democrat controlled Congress, all 17 witnesses who have previously testified agree with President Obama and the new START Treaty. The U.S. Senate must hear from a balance of witnesses who have differing opinions on this issue in order to make a well informed decision. So far, that simply has not happened. The one-sided nature of the debate is not beneficial, and could lead Senators to make a wrong decision in regard to this treaty. In an effort to bring balance among the witnesses, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe sent a letter to Chairman of the SASC, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D- Mich.) and Ranking Member, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) requesting additional witnesses with alternative viewpoints to the START Treaty. Inhofe’s letter gained widespread support amongst Republicans in the SASC.
Quite obviously, when the JCS, and the Intelligence Community agree that there is no "down side" to this new START treaty, they must be biased, and that bias must be balanced. Say, by someone like John Bolton.

Climate change, START II - Imhofe always does the same thing, (a) asserting bias, and (b) calling for hack testimony for 'balance' (c) generating what will be reported on as a 'controversy' and (d) calling for further deliberations because things are hazy and it is too early to tell - paralysis by analysis. It works equally well at stalling legislation in either field.


The promotor fidei position: tabling this treaty for two years is a diplomatic gimme, so no real loss, while four additional years of the current, insert-scary-adjective-here administration risks frightening noun upon frightening noun for the American people. Partisans merely need really to believe that their opposition is that dangerous.

It is awfully hard to believe the GOP finds Obama 'dangerous'. I have described him as an Eisenhower Republican, but two years in, I have started to think that is unfair -- to Eisenhower, many of whose domestic policies were substantially more liberal.

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Is there a reasonable way to see Republican opposition to approval of this treaty as other than purely political partisanship?


Besides, in the GOP mind, only GOP presidents are allowed to get ratified arms control treaties.

What happens to our Nation when the minority so vehemently, and effectively, blocks any efforts to govern and defend?

I think we are finding out. I hope the results are not catastrophic.


R Whitman

It will be interesting to see how the two GOP Senators from Texas vote. The decommisioning process means a substantial amount of jobs and economic activity to the State of Texas.


I don't think pure partisanship is the main factor, but it is a factor.

The Republicans pretty consistently do no want to see any restrictions of any kind to US ballistic missile defense development, testing and deployment. The principal GoP opposition to this treaty is because of language in the preamble that could be interpreted in a way that might restrict US BMD efforts. From what I've read, GoP proposals to amend the treaty are limited to that language.

There are some, though, who simply don't want to see US nuclear weapons reduced for a variety of reasons.

While partisanship is part of the calculation I think these other factors are a bigger part of the opposition. It's not like the success or failure of START is going to be a huge campaign issue in 2012.

Brad Ruble


William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

Yes to obstrctionism for political gain. However, I do think that I detect from that wing of the political spectrum a cold war mentality. Nostalgia?



The republican party is an embarrassment.

The press should just call their babbling for what it is, dangerous rhetoric that threatens peace, rather than try to divine some legitimate political principle behind it, or (worse) pretend it is a joke.

McCain sang about bombing Iran, and the press treated it like he was making a joke. Iraq was no joke.

Pick almost any issue of import and you'll find that the publicly stated ideas of the republican party are dangerous to the peace and security of the United States, its allies, and the rest of the world.


"New START would reduce both nuclear giants' long-range deployed warheads to 1,550, from a current ceiling of 2,200. The treaty also would reestablish a system under which U.S. and Russian officials could monitor each other's strategic nuclear arsenals."

So McConnell will keep the current zero inspections in place? That's a nice commitment to national security.

"Obama issued a letter to the Senate on Saturday pledging to fully build a four-stage missile-defense system in Europe." How are we paying for this, another tax cut? Surely Europe isn't going to foot the bill for the US to defend them? What other appeasment of Republicans is Obama going to cave in to over the next two years?

William R. Cumming

Not sure where the Russians are on this treaty but understand that they have indicated that deployment in EU and WEST of anti-missile system will cause them to retreat from START! US has announced such deployment so which chicken is responsible for which egg?


I am for START and furthermore I think the US made a huge mistake 65 years ago by not cultivating Russia as an ally. It was stupid in the extreme.


why should we pay when the only ones pushing for that silly missile shield are the Americans anyway? And even if we paid, the money would go back to the US anyway, and in return we'd get some black box tech that we cannot access. Please fund your pipe dreams yourself.


PS: I re-read your comment. You are right. Mitch McConnel is a fool for, by opposing START II, perpetuating the no-inspection state that exists right now.



I meant no offense, I agree it's a pipe dream but I'm sure some neo-con thinks it will let them launch a first strike since they'll have a 'shield' to stop the few weapons the enemy du jur has left after the attack.


McConnell and Kentucky... Perfect together.

John Waring

What I find so amazing is the GOP is not paying any political price for their holding American security hostage to their domestic political agenda.

The dead-from-the neck-up mainstream media is permitting them to get away with sheer obscurantism.

The Twisted Genius

Perhaps the Republican Party just hates us for our freedoms.

Seriously, I am leery of any party with political discipline. It smells too much like the old CPSU. Loyalty should be to the people of the district that the politicians represent and to the Constitution. Alliances should ebb and flow with the issues and be anchored by conscience. No party is deserving of loyalty, be it Republican, Democratic, Tea Party, Bull Moose or Pirate.


Why are we even negotiating with Russia? Their nuclear forces are wasting away; they get to throw away a bunch of broken junk, and the US...gets to throw away working weapons.
Just another State Dept. giveaway. I wouldn't trust anything "negotiated" by those sellouts, and endorsed by the usual inside-the-beltway "savants."


is some collapse theory informing your view? Those have been notoriously unreliable.

IMO the missile shield is key here. START II is the only way for the US to have the Russians accept it. And the missile shield is a way to retain a nominal purpose for NATO - defence against rogue states, which is a joke considering that the system, by location of interceptors and radars, is pretty clearly aimed at Russia's arsenal.

NATO again is the US way of checking the EU. The EU sells prosperity to the 'new European states'; the US try to counter that by selling 'security'.

Take Poland's late president Kaczinsky, who started to babble incoherently of encirclement, wile frantically waving his flag, whenever Schröder or Merkel flew to Moscow, without holding his hand. Then the US ambassador said: Right boy, they are indeed conspiring against you. You be with us and be safe!' And along with that came a squad of F16 and the proud privilege of having to go into Iraq. Not to mention the privilege to become the host to the radar and missile intercept sites, and of US troops. Ah yes, Rumsfeld's New Europe™ ...


Broken junk? Want to bet the farm on that? Recall the destruction of the SS-20 force in INF was by launching to destruction--and there was nary a failure.

Don't confuse derelict submarines rusting at piers with the missiles covered in START

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Why are we even negotiating with Russia?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe the transit of material support to US forces in Afghanistan has something to do with it?

Or perhaps we need to cooperate to check the rise of another nation on the Asian mainland?

Or maybe because we both seem to be fighting the same phenomenon these days?

Yeah, we have no good reason to be negotiating with Russia at all. I mean, not all those 4,600 pieces of junk would work, right? Heck, if 18 guys with knives and fueled airliners can cause us to go insane, I imaging only 1 out of 4600 needs to work, eh?




Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities.



Thanks for taking up this banner and for instigating a very constructive discussion. I believe "New START" will pass and that this is a good thing for many of the reasons previously discussed... and while it might be an exaggeration, I think the support of people like Senator Scott Brown might have been influenced by the readers of SST and similar venues in Massachusetts who supported him in the special election either as a moderate Republican or from an independent anti-establishment perspective...

Neil Richardson


"I am for START and furthermore I think the US made a huge mistake 65 years ago by not cultivating Russia as an ally. It was stupid in the extreme."

I think the ratification of START is a good idea, but there was no way that the United States could ever have cultivated the USSR as an ally 65 years ago. It was a bipolar international system and this would've been akin to Rome becoming a stable ally of Carthage or vice versa.

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