Steve LeVine, who is certainly no starry-eyed apparatchik, remarks on just how loony the Congressional debate on START ratification is becoming.
Did I miss something? Is the United States — or any other country on the Earth — under threat of a nuclear attack by Russia? Is Russia using its nuclear arsenal as leverage to win a political or military dispute somewhere?
There are serious areas of competition with Russia, as we’ve discussed previously. They include the free transportation of oil and gas from the Caspian Sea region. Russia has used its natural gas as a lever to obtain concessions in Europe, and it is absurd to presume that the West is in a new and permanent era of no-friction “cooperation” with Russia, as some suggest. We get that the New START objections are politics. But that is why they may not hold. As my colleague Josh Rogin writes, not everyone is prepared to indulge that sclerotic old fart in the epaulettes.