Barack and the bear

Barack and the bear

Jim Mahoney

 

In 1984, Ronald Reagan ran a brilliant 30 second spot
about “the bear”.
While the adversary then was the USSR, one of the responses to the threat
portrayed in the ad is identical to our current President’s reaction to Islamic
murderers.  First, we had his response to Major Hasan’s wanton murder of
fourteen Americans, and now to the murder of the two airmen in
Germany.

Despite help from outlets like CNN that presumably took their
cue from the Oval Office and reported the German attack without mentioning
Islam, or the too familiar battle cry preceding the “heroic” attack on unarmed
people, the word is leaking out to anyone paying attention.  Unfortunately, too
many Americans will be taken in again, accepting the assault as mysterious,
spontaneous, isolated case of “gun violence”.

The White House has
developed a clear pattern when responding to Islamic attacks on Americans.  We
now see them and the rest of the left extending to Islam the same delusional
cover traditionally granted ghetto violence.  As Reagan’s ad says, “…for some
people the bear is easy to see; others don’t see it at all…”

Ronald
Reagan never conducted a foreign policy based on see no evil, hear no evil,
speak no evil.  He had no trouble seeing the bear, calling it evil and going on
to defeat it.

Mr. President, we knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is an
inspiration to us.

You sir are no Ronald Reagan.

Istanbul and Moscow: The Capitals of an Emerging Axis of Evil

Istanbul and Moscow: The Capitals of an Emerging Axis of Evil

Joel J. Sprayregen

I logged over 15,000 air miles in the past three weeks, my ports of call including Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul and London.  I enjoyed opportunities to exchange views with informed leaders of government, business and think tanks.  Changes — many repugnant to believe in — are proceeding rapidly in each country I visited.  I choose to focus on changes in Turkey and Russia which are harmful to the national interests of the United States.

Turkey presents the more immediate concern.  Ataturk’s secular republic, established after the Ottoman collapse in World War 1, was long hailed as the enlightened model for Muslim countries.  Turkey is pivotal because of its location as the boundary between Europe and the Middle East (remember, Napoleon said “Geography is destiny”), its large population, industrial capacity (15th largest economy in world) and formidable army (second largest in NATO).  For more than a half-century after World War 2, Turkey anchored NATO’s front-line southeast flank against Soviet/Russian aggression and even (until 2004) against Saddam Hussein.  Turkey evidenced democratic values in striking contrast to the Muslim despotisms in neighboring Iran, Iraq and Syria, the latter two countries sometimes abetting Kurdish terrorism against Turkey.
The Dismantling of Ataturk’s Secular Republic
That rosy view of Turkey has vanished.  Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and his AK Party are dismantling the foundations of the secular republic and pursuing Islamist domestic and foreign policies.  This process is facilitated by the corrupt ineptitude of sclerotic secular political parties.  It was also facilitated by oafish bungling of European Union officials.  EU officials titillated Turkish desires for membership but were blindsided when Europeans predictably balked at making 72 million Turks citizens of Europe and extending borders of the EU (which aspires to be a United States of Europe) to the suburbs of Damascus and Baghdad.  Europeans remembered what Napoleon had said.  Turks, a justifiably proud people, resent Europe’s rebuff.
Exacerbating their misjudgments, EU officials insisted that the powers of the Turkish army be curbed.  This suited Erdogan because he knew that the army was the historic guardian of secularism.  Aggravating the exacerbation, the Europeans insisted that Turkey empower its AK-dominated Parliament to assume powers of the courts to protect the secular republic.  All this was coming to a head while I was in Istanbul.  The Parliament was able to abolish some but not all judicial prerogatives.  Other initiatives–including court-packing proposals reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt’s which enflamed Americans in the 1930s–may be submitted to referenda in coming months. Turkish friends told me that–although it is a long shot–Erdogan’s remaining Islamist constitutional initiatives could yet be defeated by voters.
Turkey Confirms Vacuity of Obama’s “Engagement” and Joins Up with State Supporters of Terrorism
The domestic Islamist transformation of Turkey-a country with  vast secular population, excellent universities, emerging civil society and a previously free press now being intimidated-is tragic enough.  But the transformation of Turkish foreign policy increasingly presents a clear danger to American interests. The “zero problems” foreign policy of AK Foreign Minister Davutoglu advertises friendliness with proximate neighbors.  In practice, this means allying with rogue states Iran and Syria (whom even President Obama recently saw fit to designate a state sponsor of terrorism).  Worse, Turkey now embraces terrorist murder squads like Hamas and Hezbollah and fetes their leaders as honored guests.  Turkey hosted Sudanese President Bashir, who is under indictment for crimes against humanity by the International Court of Criminal Justice.  Turkey’s new alliances have left in tatters-but not yet completely dismembered-its traditional military alliance with Israel.   Turkish-Israel ties were important because they brought together two countries that were military powers and the only democracies in the region.  I have sat through disconcerting meetings in which Erdogan likened Hamas terrorists to “boys throwing rocks at helicopter gunships.” 
A country with a worldview that demonizes resistance against terrorism is a problematic member of NATO, which was founded to protect democratic values proclaimed by Roosevelt and Churchill in the Atlantic Charter.  It also exposes the danger in Turkey’s present role as a non-permanent member (backed by the U.S. in elections) of the U.N. Security Council.  I was not surprised upon return to the U.S. to find that Turkey and Brazil cooked up a scheme to avert sanctions against Iran.  The Turkish-Brazilian announcement of “ending” the Iran crisis with possible enrichment in Turkey of some Iranian uranium galvanized our State Department to announce that it had secured Russian and Chinese agreement on a weak sanctions resolution, but this was a lie intended to mask exposure of the complete failure of Obama’s “engagement.”  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov knocked the wind out of our State Department’s sails by stressing that the resolution is far from complete and adding:  “Our position on Iran is to give them another chance.” 
In my conversations with U.S. officials, I have found dismaying unawareness of the consequences of the ugly reality that Turkey is now a functional ally of Iran and not of the United States. Our officials are hardly aware that-while Erdogan and Obama have fulsomely flattered each other-Erdogan uses his controlled media to incite populist hatred of the U.S.  The Turkey-Brazil machinations confirmed the vacuity of Obama’s Iran policy. Perhaps our Government will begin to understand what Turkey has become.  A Turkish deputy defense minister came to my farewell brunch on the Bosporus.  Upon my return to the U.S., I was the dinner guest of Turkey’s Ambassador in Washington, a brilliant diplomat and friend of democracy.  Both tried to convince me that Turkey aspires to lead the Islamic world in a moderate direction and to deny nuclear arms to neighboring Iran.  To this point, they have not convinced me, but at least dialogue continues.
Challenges from Russia:  More Complex but Less Imminent
The challenges to U.S. foreign policy I found in Moscow are more complex but less imminent.  This may sound strange after all the years of the Cold War in which the USSR was Global Enemy Number 1.  Smart Russians do not want to reignite even a Cold War with the U.S.  Moscow was girding for its High Holiday period-from May Day to the 65th anniversary of V-E Day.  On Moscow’s outskirts, I saw posters depicting the Hammer and Sickle as holiday symbols.  These were banned from central Moscow, along with posters depicting Stalin.  The Russian government wanted to make clear that heroism-and massive sacrifice-of the Russian people defeated Nazism and that Stalin, whatever his accomplishments, committed unpardonable crimes.  I witnessed restrained but effective dispersal of pro-Stalin demonstrators.
Well-connected Russians with whom I spoke regretted the dissolution of the Soviet Union and were opposed to assertions of U.S. military power in east Europe.  But of more immediate concern were the problems of (1) Islamic terrorism (Russia’s Muslim population may be as high as 20%), as evidenced in recent subway bombings and (2) Chinese expansionism, particularly as threatening Russia’s vast Far East-three times the size of Europe-which has a shrinking population of 7.5 million while hundreds of millions of Chinese live just across the border.  China’s economic engine is securing access to resources everywhere it can.  Our hyped sanctions “deal” allows the Chinese exemption from energy sanctions on Iran (which, if implemented, would constitute real pressure on Tehran).  Thus, Obama has achieved a double whammy in foisting “sanctions” that are guaranteed to fail while abetting China in its competition with out country and the rest of the world to near-monopolize global access to resources.
Obama policies have encouraged Russians to believe we lack coherency.  Obama caved in to Russian demands and reneged on a commitment to provide missile defense to the Czech Republic and Poland without getting anything in return, as acknowledged to me in a dinner meeting  with David   Sanger, chief diplomatic reporter for the N.Y. Times, a consistent flack for the President. The Russians have played a clever cat-and-mouse game in fending off tough U.N. sanctions against Iran, but they have to this point practiced restraint in neither finishing the Busheir nuclear plant nor supplying Iran with the S-300 ground-to-air missiles. (though an egregious lacuna in the proposed START treaty allows them to do so, if they choose.)  A Russian announcement of new arms supply to Syria gives reason for vigilance, but I would be surprised if the Russians try to undermine Israel’s security.  Picking up some loose Arab money while annoying Washington is a familiar Moscow tactic.  Obama’s obsession with nuclear disarmament (we have now idiotically proclaimed that we will not respond with nuclear weapons to a massive biological or chemical attack by a hostile country) has aided the Russians in allowing them to destroy obsolete weapons while we destroy deployable stock. 
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which Obama and Russia’s president signed in Prague in April so grotesquely favors Russian and undermines U.S. interests that our Senate may refuse ratification.  Peter Brookes, former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, provided worrisome details in a May 14 N.Y. Post article, pointing out that “the Russians got a great deal” on the new treaty “at our expense.”  Obama seems to believe that unilateral U.S. shedding of strategic weapons will incentivize Iran and North Korea to obey U.N. arms resolutions.  Watch the Senate ratification hearings. And who knows what the Russians made of Joe Biden’s foolish remarks about diminished Russian power.  In Kiev, I learned that the Russians have largely succeeded in forcing Ukraine-with its 60 million people and strategic location-back into relative servitude.
Does Our Government Understand the Implications of a Turkish-Russian Strategic Partnership?
Nature abhors a vacuum.  Both Russia and Turkey perceive the naive vacuity of our foreign policy.   They, along with the rest of the word, heard Obama recently say that we are a super-power, “whether we like it or not.”   Thus, I was not surprised to read upon returning to the U.S.  that   Russian President Medvedev had made a state visit to Turkey’s Islamist President Gul.  Medvedev proclaimed establishment of “a full -scale strategic partnership” which includes Russia’s building a nuclear power plant in Turkey as well as energy pipelines. This is hardly a new Warsaw Pact, nor an existential axis of evil. But neither can it be dismissed casually by incantations of “engagement” or defaulting, as the Europeans do, to soft power.
A Russian-Turkish alliance stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea presents a new set of problems for American diplomacy.  A NATO member in “strategic partnership” with Russia is contrary to more than a half century of NATO doctrine.  The problem is magnified when the NATO ally becomes an ally of Iran and holds joint military exercises with Syria.  My soundings in Moscow suggest that the Russian government comprehends these changing dynamics and the advantages this gives to the Kremlin.  I see no evidence that the same can be said of our government.

Dispose of your fizzle material (the cartoon)

Morning Bell: Obama’s False START

Morning Bell: Obama’s False START

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 8, 2010 @ 9:24 am In American Leadership, Protect America | 37 Comments

Obama and Medvedev sign new START [1]

Just hours before President Barack Obama unveiled his Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters [2] in Moscow that the Kremlin maintained the right to withdraw from the new START agreement if the United States pursued its missile defense program. Late last night, the White House responded [3] to Lavrov’s statement, insisting: “The Russian statement does no more than give the United States fair notice that it may decide to pull out of the New START Treaty if Russia believes our missile defense system affects strategic stability. We believe it doesn’t.”

But the Russians couldn’t care less what the Obama administration believes about missile defense. The Russians have made it exceedingly clear that Kremlin compliance with the treaty will evaporate at any point when Moscow decides our missile defense program threatens them. And the Russians have already said [4] repeatedly [5] that they believe it does [6]. There is a good reason that neither Russian President Dmitri Medvedev nor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have uttered a word about the treaty in public. As New York University professor of Russian Studies and History Stephen Cohen told MSNBC just seconds after Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the agreement: “Politically it is an unstable treaty.” Why should the U.S. Senate ratify a treaty that Russia maintains it can exit at any time?

President Obama’s New START has other problems as well. The Russians have a long and well documented history of violating arms control agreements. By focusing intently on numerical arms reduction, it is unclear what ground Obama gave up on verification. There is also legitimate concern that the President has not yet met requirements under U.S. law (sec 1251 of the 2009 Defense Authorization Act) to adequately address the modernization of U.S. nuclear weapons and infrastructure before entering into a new arms control agreement. But President Obama’s NPR promises not to develop any new nuclear weapons. That’s an odd promise since Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are all doing so.

Taken together, New Start, the NPR and next week’s Nuclear Security Summit all raise significant questions about the soundness of the administration’s nuclear strategy. The President has made it clear that he sees the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as the core of U.S. nuclear policy. But maintaining an effective nuclear force that protects the United States and its allies and combating proliferation and nuclear terrorism are not incompatible, as the President’s strategy suggests. The last administration made significant strides in countering proliferation, including establishing the Proliferation Security Initiative.

It is President Obama’s nuclear strategy that is contradictory. By having a smaller, less reliable, less credible nuclear force, the President’s strategy will increase the incentive for nuclear proliferators and the reliance of other states on nuclear weapons — the world will become a more, not less dangerous place. As The Wall Street Journal [7] reminds us today: “To the extent that more states haven’t gone nuclear, the reason has been U.S. power, not a treaty. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Canada could build a bomb in a week, but instead they have long relied on America’s nuclear umbrella to deter aggressors. A credible U.S. nuclear deterrent is the world’s greatest antiproliferation weapon.”

The right U.S. defense strategy would emphasize a modernized, credible nuclear force; comprehensive missile defense; and robust conventional forces, as well as vigorous efforts to prevent proliferation, illicit trafficking in nuclear technology and materials; and combating terrorism. This will provide for a more robust and effective deterrence for the post-Cold War World.

Quick Hits:

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned [8] Wednesday that “unless we as a nation demonstrate a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, in the longer run we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth.”
  • According to projections by the Tax Policy Center, almost half (47%) of U.S. households will pay no federal income taxes [9] at all for 2009.
  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told a townhall meeting in Florida last month that Obamacare does not mandate that individuals buy health insurance [10].
  • Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona joined Florida and 12 other states in a lawsuit [11] claiming Obamacare violates state-government rights in the U.S. Constitution and will force massive new spending on hard-pressed state governments.
  • According to Rasmussen Reports [12], 55% of U.S. voters continue to think that media bias is a bigger problem in politics today than big campaign contributions

Obama’s Scary Nuke Plan

Obama’s Scary Nuke Plan

April 7th, 2010

By KT McFarland, FOXNews

 Obama’s new nuke plan is scary

Today President Obama reversed 60 years of U.S. nuclear policy and pledged we would not retaliate with nuclear weapons were we — or our treaty allies — attacked with conventional, biological or chemical weapons by nations in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He hopes that other nuclear weapons states will follow suit with a similar pledge and we will be well on our way to a world without nuclear weapons.

In addition, by carving out those rogue states not in compliance, like North Korea and Iran, the president will give them sufficient incentive to drop their nuclear weapons programs.

That’s a lot of change resting on nothing more than awful lot of hope.

During the Cold War we kept the peace between the U.S. and the Soviet Union through a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). As President Reagan said, we insure that “any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States or our allies…concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.”

This worked whether the adversary was the Soviet Union, or a lesser state. If a country picked a fight with us, we kept open the possibility of unleashing a response that would crush them. We thereby deterred them from launching an attack against us in the first place. This policy of deterrence may have made for an uneasy peace — but it managed to keep that peace for 60 years — perhaps the longest period of great power peace since the fall of the Roman Empire.

Read More:

Russia Moving Fast Before ‘Arms Control’ with U.S.

Russia Moving Fast Before ‘Arms Control’ with U.S.

By Jane Jamison

The New York Times says that President Obama’s nuclear arms reduction agreement, to be signed within a few days, will significantly alter U.S. defense policy to “substantially narrow the conditions under which nuclear weapons could be used, even in self-defense.”

Is anyone in the Obama administration paying any attention to Vladimir Putin?
The Russian prime minister has just returned from his first-ever trip to Venezuela, with bear hugs for dictator-”presidente” Hugo Chávez.
Russia and Venezuela signed no fewer than 31 agreements in twelve hours. Russia has already sold Chávez $4 billion in military armaments, and now he has signed on for at least $5 billion more.  
The relationship between Moscow and Caracas has strengthened in recent years, with Venezuela buying military equipments worth $4 billion from Russia, including Sukhoi jet fighters, helicopters, tanks and assault rifles, since 2005.

During his latest visit to Venezuela, Putin had personally delivered four Russian Mi-17 helicopters President Chavez, the last of a batch of 38 military helicopters the South American country purchased from Russia in 2006.

Besides weapons, Venezuela wants nuclear power (“just for domestic purposes,” of course). Sadly, due to NASA budget cuts under Obama, it appears that Venezuela may have astronauts before America does in the future. Russia needs oil, and Putin came back with a $20-billion contract to partner with Venezuela in the Orinoco belt. Vladimir and Hugo. It’s all good.
We are not going to build the atomic bomb but we will develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We have to prepare for the post-petroleum era,” Chavez said on Thursday.
While Putin was in Venezuela, China was taking delivery of weapons from Russia on Friday.
Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to China, Interfax news agency reported, under a contract analysts said could be worth as much as $2.25 billion.
China is a major buyer of Russian weapons, and the two countries say they are trying to forge a strategic partnership, though senior Russian officials are privately concerned about an increasingly assertive China.
Russia has been conducting quite a business by selling the same S-300 “Favorit” (“the world’s most powerful and efficient air defense system”) to many countries hostile to the U.S. and Israel: Syria, India, Algeria, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. Russia is also well underway with even more advanced versions, the S-400 and S-500 series, the latter of which can repel attacks in space. The systems began marketing on YouTube videos and news releases dated in late February of this year.
A nagging concern is the fact that Russia signed a deal in 2005 to deliver anti-aircraft, anti-missile S-300s to Iran…with delivery originally set for 2009. It is not clear if they ever were delivered. Why don’t we know?
Obviously, this has presented a huge security concern to Israel.
The S-300 is considered to be one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world, and its capabilities allow it to intercept aircraft flying 30,000 meters up, from 150 kilometers away.
Netanyahu’s government began stepping up its pressure on Putin not to go forward with the arms deliveries to Iran last summer. While Russia was taking meetings with the Israelis, Putin also said that his country’s economic crisis makes the lucrative armaments business very attractive.
A Russian ship, which may have been delivering S-300s to Iran last August, mysteriously “disappeared” between Finland and Algeria. It is believed that the ship was destroyed by the Israeli Mossad security service, which was acting on a tip. There is speculation that the arms deal was brokered with Iran by rogue Russian military “black marketeers” rather than with the Russian government.
Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Ariel Cohen warned last year that the shipments to Iran must be thwarted:
Although the sale of the S-300 to Iran is not prohibited, such a deal would be a game changer in the Middle East. Tehran could threaten U.S. and allied troops’ aerial assets in Afghanistan and Iraq if Iran were to deploy the system along its borders. Furthermore, it would boost the defense of Iran’s Bushehr reactor, which Russia has built. Finally, Tehran could also use S-300s to protect its Natanz uranium enrichment plant, Arak heavy water plant, and other components of its sprawling nuclear and missile complex.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the region as Iran uses its nuclear arsenal to foster its hegemony in the Persian Gulf and beyond and would likely trigger a regional nuclear arms race. Israel, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia would not sit idly while Tehran is building its nuclear arsenal.
In mid-February this year, after another eyeball-to-eyeball session with Putin in Moscow, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that there was an agreement to hold off on the S-300 deliveries to Iran…for now.
The Russians, however say that the delay is due only to “technical difficulties.” It wasn’t made clear when those “difficulties” might be cleared up and the shipments might proceed.
It may not make a whit of difference. While Obama and Secretary of State Clinton dither over sanctions and partnering countries, Iran sneers at the lack of foreign policy fortitude and races to a finish line of its own making.
It appears that while Vladimir Putin is allowing himself “official deniability” of any deal to directly arm Iran, the technology has nonetheless somehow made its way to Tehran. Just a few days ago,  Free Republic’s sources quoted Iranian military officials who say they have developed their own “indigenous” versions of the S-300.
Investor’s Business Daily now calls Secretary of State Clinton the “Bull in the China Shop Diplomat.” She seems overly preoccupied with micro-managing Israel’s apartment-building plans and picking fights with Canada over abortion health care policy, while ignoring such elephants in the room as Iran building nuclear weapons and Russia arming America’s enemies.
The Wall Street Journal opines that “Obama Seems Unserious about a Nuclear Iran.” If the Obama administration has accepted the inevitability of nuclear weapons in the hands of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, why would it cringe at Iran also being militarily able to demolish the Israeli fighter jets which come to destroy the nukes? 
Take it a step further, and what assurance does Israel have at all anymore that the United States of Barack Obama will defend her if the worst comes from Iran?
Former Mayor of New York Ed Koch, a Democrat and a Jew who supported Barack Obama’s campaign, recently wrote an editorial in an Israeli newspaper, saying “The Trust is Gone.”
Humpty Dumpty has been broken and the absolute trust needed between allies is no longer there. How sad it is for the supporters of Israel who put their trust in President Obama.
Vladmir Putin has already proven once to Israel that he cannot be trusted. Kim Zigfeld wrote in American Thinker of Russia’s criss-cross hypocrisies of human rights violations, terrorism, and military aggression, while selling weapons of mass destruction to every enemy of this country.
In the meantime, Iran’s nuclear negotiator has just come back from a meeting on “energy” with China. China still refuses to join the U.S. in sanctions against Iran.
While Russians and Iranians are taking intercontinental flights cementing deals with our enemies, President Obama is rolling Easter eggs and playing baseball. Still feeling a headwind from passage of the health care bill, no doubt.
Obama is scheduled April 8 to sign a treaty with Russian president Medvedev to reduce nuclear weapons of the two countries “by 30 percent.”
Barack Obama presented his tepidly-received nuclear disarmament plan exactly one year ago today in Prague. It would appear, confirming our worst fears, that the only place in the “world with no nuclear weapons” will be the United States if we stay on the bobble-headed foreign policy course of Barack Obama.
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog UNCOVERAGE.net.

OBAMA ON A LEASH: Russia reserves opt-out of arms treaty with USA…

Russia reserves opt-out of arms treaty with US

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press Writer Tue Apr 6, 9:40 am ET

MOSCOW – The new U.S.-Russian arms control treaty is a much better deal for Russia than its predecessor, but Moscow reserves the right to withdraw from it if a planned U.S. missile defense system grows into a threat, Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia will issue a statement outlining the terms for such a withdrawal after President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the treaty Thursday in Prague. The new accord replaces the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, which expired in December.

Lavrov has said before that Russia could withdraw from the treaty. But his comments at a briefing Tuesday were his most specific yet on how and why a withdrawal could occur.

“Russia will have the right to opt out of the treaty if … the U.S. strategic missile defense begins to significantly affect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces,” he said.

Moscow welcomed Obama’s decision to scrap the previous administration’s plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, but expressed concern about plans for a revamped shield, including a possible facility in Romania.

Lavrov said the site in Romania poses no immediate threat, but Russia could opt out of the new treaty if U.S. missile interceptors become capable of intercepting Russia’s strategic missiles.

“We have noted that the U.S. system won’t have a strategic capacity in its early stages,” he said. “We shall see what will happen next. When and if this system gets a strategic capacity, we shall see whether it creates risks for our strategic nuclear forces.”

The talks on a START successor had dragged on for nearly a year. They were stymied most recently by Russia’s demand for an explicit link between strategic arms cuts and development of the U.S. missile defense system. The U.S. Senate, however, has opposed any restrictions on the shield.

Moscow eventually agreed to have just a general statement noting a link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons. U.S. officials said the wording imposes no constraints on missile defense.

Lavrov said the new agreement will be the first arms-control treaty to make the parties fully equal. He said Russia shares Obama’s goal of a nuclear-free world, but said other nations must join the disarmament process, as well.

Obama’s Russian Disaster

Obama’s Russian Disaster

April 6th, 2010

By Kim Zigfeld, America Thinker

 Obama is being pushed around by Putin

The point of President Barack Obama’s much-ballyhooed “reset” of relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia was simple: Get Russia to stop supporting American enemies and use its influence to reduce the threat of nuclear terror being rained down on the West by the world’s rogue regimes. 

Obama was ready, willing, and able to betray Russian human rights activists by selling American values down the river in order do get this deal done, and he promptly gave them the cold shoulder. He was even willing to totally ignore Russia’s horrific problem of race murder and its invasion of tiny Georgia for imperial conquest.

Last week, Obama learned the wisdom of Ronald Reagan’s famous advice on Russia: “Trust, but verify.”

Despite Obama’s best efforts, including a unilateral withdrawal of the Bush anti-ballistic missile plan for Eastern Europe, Putin traveled to Venezuela, shook hands with a beaming Hugo Chávez, and announced (video here) that Russia would provide Chávez with both a nuclear energy capacity and a rocket program, the same as it has done for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.

Read More:

A START towards Undermining Our Nuclear Security

- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. – http://blog.heritage.org -

Morning Bell: A START towards Undermining Our Nuclear Security

Posted By Conn Carroll On March 25, 2010 @ 9:42 am In Protect America |

Yesterday the Kremlin announced that the Obama administration and Russia had reached agreement on a new nuclear arms agreement intended to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The declaration appeared to surprise the White House [1], as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs could only confirm that the two sides were “close” to a treaty. But U.S. officials confirm that “all major obstacles” in negotiations with Moscow have been cleared.

Russian approval of a new START agreement has been the cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s “long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons” [2] policy. President Obama’s desire to appease Russia is why he began negotiations by unilaterally surrendering to Kremlin demands that the United States betray our Czech Republic and Polish allies [3] by going back on our promise to build ballistic missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe. Russians took President Obama’s easy and early capitulation on missile defense as a sign of naivete and weakness and concluded that the Obama administration was far more desperate for a new nuclear treaty than they were and, as The Los Angeles Times [4] reports, “used that fact in negotiations.”

The full text of the new agreement has not been released, but early reports indicate that it will not adequately address three key issues and would therefore compromise U.S. national security:

Verification: The Russians have a long and well documented history of violating arms control agreements. By focusing intently on the reduction in each nation’s strategic arsenal, the U.S. has lost some negotiating ground on the issue of verification. The Senate must ensure that the new treaty is adequately verifiable. There is no reason to sign the treaty if the verification mechanisms fall by the wayside.

Nuclear Modernization: Some arms control advocates insist that the U.S. has a robust nuclear modernization program. This claim is simply inaccurate. The truth is that America’s nuclear infrastructure is rapidly aging, in deep atrophy, and is losing its reliability and effectiveness. The U.S. is not producing new nuclear weapons, and its ICBM force is shrinking and not being modernized. In contrast, Russia and China are engaged in a major modernization effort. On December 16, 41 U.S. Senators voiced their concerns and signed a letter saying they will oppose the new treaty if it does not include specific plans for U.S. nuclear modernization as stipulated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.

Missile Defense: It is absolutely imperative that a new START agreement not undermine our post-Cold War defensive posture by linking offensive weapons with missile defense. But early reports indicate that the treaty does exactly that. The New York Times reports [5]: “Administration officials describing the draft treaty said its preamble recognized the relationship between offensive weapons and missile defense, but that the language was not binding.” But the Times goes on to quote retired major general Vladimir Dvorkin who says Moscow will scrap the treaty if the U.S. pursues missile defense: “If, for example, the U.S. unilaterally deploys considerable amounts of missile defense, then Russia has the right to withdraw from the agreement because the spirit of the preamble has been violated.”

The Obama Administration’s arms control strategy has been deeply flawed [6]. It is based on outdated 1970s arms control strategy and 1960s idealism and naivete. It will not work because it does not account for Russian nuclear strategy [7], which is based on approximate parity between the two sides, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), denial of missile defenses to the U.S., and nuclear warfighting capability. The U.S. needs to reset the reset before the Obama administration is allowed to seriously undermine our national security.

Quick Hits:

Hussein: U.S. Responsible For Russian Invasion Of Georgia By Setting Bad Example In Iraq

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