Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The issues and implications of START

Great stuff from the scrupulously nonpartisan intelligence consultants Stratfor on START and the issues of nuclear proliferation/disarmament/defense. Read the whole thing, but there's a particular point I wanted to highlight:

The number of weapons may affect budgetary considerations and theoretical targeting metrics, but the danger of nuclear war does not derive from the number of weapons but from the political relationship between nations.

This cannot be overstated. Nuclear war will not be one iota less likely if the US massively disarms. It will, on the other hand, be at maximum likelihood if it completely or near completely disarms, or if rogue nations gain nuclear power of their own. The idea that nuclear arms reduction has any effect on the possibility of nuclear war is anachronistic at best; more accurate adjectives would include childlike, unserious.

Continuing on that theme:

New START is therefore as archaic as the Treaty of Versailles. It neither increases nor decreases security. It addresses a security issue that last had meaning more than 20 years ago in a different geopolitical universe. If a case can be made for reducing nuclear weapons, it must be made in the current geopolitical situation. Arguing for strategic arms reduction may have merit, but trying to express it in the context of an archaic treaty makes little sense.

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