fbpx

Mitt Romney vs. Obama’s START Treaty with Russia

The Republicans smell blood in the water on Obama’s reset policy with Russia, and here one of their leading contenders makes a formal stab at the START deal.  They can’t say they didn’t see it coming.  There are some big holes in Romney’s logic, but as of yet I haven’t seen anyone in the administration launch a defense.  From the Washington Post:

The treaty also gives far more to the Russians than to the United States. As drafted, it lets Russia escape the limit on its number of strategic nuclear warheads. Loopholes and lapses — presumably carefully crafted by Moscow — provide a path to entirely avoid the advertised warhead-reduction targets. For example, rail-based ICBMs and launchers are not mentioned. Similarly, multiple nuclear warheads that are mounted on bombers are effectively not counted. Unlike past treaty restrictions, ICBMs are not prohibited from bombers. This means that Russia is free to mount a nearly unlimited number of ICBMs on bombers — including MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles) or multiple warheads — without tripping the treaty’s limits. These omissions would be consistent with Russia’s plans for a new heavy bomber and reports of growing interest in rail-mobile ICBMs.

Under New START, the United States must drastically reduce our number of launchers but Russia will not — it already has fewer launchers than the treaty limits. Put another way: We give, Russia gets. And more troubling, the treaty fails to apply the MIRV limits that were part of the prior START treaty. Again, it may not be coincidental that Russia is developing a new heavy-load — meaning MIRV-capable — ICBM. (…)

By all indications, the Obama administration has been badly out-negotiated. Perhaps the president’s eagerness for global disarmament led his team to accede to Russia’s demands, or perhaps it led to a document that was less than carefully drafted.