Disturbing news Wednesday received less attention than warranted due to the Vice Presidential debate. Russia announced that it is backing out of a 20-year deal with the United States to dismantle WMDs in areas controlled by the former Soviet Union.
In his Prague Address, Obama described nuclear weapons as dangerous relics of the Cold War and called for a world free of nuclear weapons. He pledged commitment to new START, test ban and non-proliferation treaties and vowed to seek a new treaty that would end the production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons. While pointing to the threat an Iran with nuclear weapons would constitute, he took a generous stand for Iran’s so-called nuclear “rights.”
Some conservatives seemed to forget that Ronald Reagan negotiated the first START treaty, and did so with passionate commitment, when they criticized Obama’s efforts at nuclear reductions. But others expressed more specific concerns regarding inadequate verification and why we would offer lopsided concessions at time when Russia needed an arms control agreement much more than we – and at a time when Russia was turning darkly away from Glasnost, harassing and intimidating fledgling democracies in Eastern Europe and actively supporting Syria and Iran. The new START treaty required greater U.S. reductions than Russian and gave real advantages to Russia.
Another move drew more widespread concern, even among some liberal commentators. In a preemptive and completely unnecessary announcement that could only be joy to the ears of weapons proliferators and terror sponsors, Obama issued a nuclear doctrine that Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted “includes significant changes to the US defense posture.” He explained, “The new part of this is saying that we would not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state that attacked us with chemical and biological weapons.” (CBS)
As I say in my upcoming book: Russia watched like the cat that swallowed the canary as the cards unfolded to its advantage. The President and Secretary of State of the United States had not only chosen to ignore its invasion of Georgia, its intensified bullying of Ukraine and Chechnya, its continuing aid and arms sales to the world’s worst regimes, its threats of military retaliation against the Poles and Czechs for standing with the U.S. on missile defense and its refusal to join in pressuring Iran; Obama and Clinton also offered to deconstruct missile defense, promised to “listen” to Russian ideas about security and decided to “delay” a push for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO.
We’re all in a bad situation now, and we’ll be in an even worse one, once (if) Obama has the “flexibility” he told Medvedev he’d have “after the election.”