U.S.-Russian Agreements Put America at Risk
Keith B. Payne, a member of the Perry-Schlesinger Commission, established by Congress to assess U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities, says President Barack Obama’s agreement with President Dmitry Medvedev to reduce nuclear arms to their lowest levels since the Cold War is jumping the gun. (Source)
The U.S. should assess what strategic forces are required to defend the U.S. before we agree to limitations, Payne says.
“[T]he new agreement not only calls for reductions in the number of nuclear warheads (to between 1,500 and 1,675), but for cuts in the number of strategic force launchers. Under the 1991 START I Treaty, each side was limited to 1,600 launchers. Yesterday’s agreement calls for each side to be limited to between 500 and 1,100 launchers each…Moving toward very low numbers of launchers is a smart position for Russia, but not for the U.S.”
Payne contends that Russia pushed for the lower limit of 500. Russia’s deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and strategic bombers will be reduced anyway because they’re old. In effect, Russia has given up nothing.
Payne outlines other problems with the negotiations. Still unresolved are our agreements to build missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia doesn’t want these bases, nor does it want the U.S. to build a global missile defense system.
“But the U.S. need for missile defense has little to do with Russia,” Payne writes. Given North Korea’s boldness in recent months, strong missile defense is more important than ever. The U.S. must resist Russia’s efforts to make us renege on our agreements with other countries and capitulate to Russia’s wishes.
(AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)