Skip to comments.Bush, Putin to sign disarmament treaty in late May
Posted on 05/13/2002 2:49:52 PM PDT by jonatron
Former superpower rivals Russia and the United States announced that, during a late-May summit, they will sign a treaty that will slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next 10 years.
"This treaty will liquidate the legacy of the Cold War," US President George W. Bush said here on announcing that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign the formal accord during Bush's May 23-26 visit to Russia.
In Moscow, Putin said the two sides had erased stubborn differences during high-level talks in the Russian capital, paving the way for a deal to reduce their stockpiles from roughly 6,000 warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200.
And the Kremlin boss paid tribute to Bush for his key role in breaking a logjam in the negotiations that had threatened to scupper plans for the two leaders to ink the agreement at the summit.
"Without the active will of the US administration and the close involvement of President Bush, reaching these agreements would have been difficult," Putin said, adding: "We are satisfied with our joint efforts."
The accord "will be the culmination of a lot of months of hard work and a relationship built on mutual trust that I established with President Putin in Slovenia," site of their first meeting last June, said Bush.
The news took some seasoned observers by surprise after months in which the two sides had failed to settle a dispute over decommissioning, with Moscow balking at Washington's plans to store -- rather than destroy -- some of its warheads.
A senior US administration official suggested that talks in Moscow between US Under Secretary of State John Bolton and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov had overcome that resistance.
"Some of the weapons will be dismantled, some of the weapons will be placed in deep storage, and some of them will be stored as operational spares," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Once signed, the treaty will go into force after being ratified by the US Senate and the Russian Duma.
But the anonymous senior US official, noting that Bush has long pledged to enact such cuts even absent a formal accord, said the US side's reductions would proceed even if the US lawmakers voted down the treaty.
However, the official said, the US president supports a treaty because it will "codify predictability" in the Russo-US relationship beyond the warm ties he and Putin share and into future administrations.
The accord "will begin the new era of US-Russian relationships," Bush told reporters. "The new era will be a period of enhanced mutual security, economic security and improved relations."
Asked about implementation, the official said that procedures created under the 1991 START I treaty would apply.
Those rules "require on-site inspection and counting of warheads and actually going to operational bases and looking in missile silos or in submarine tubes," the official said, adding that both sides "are going to continue discussions on looking at further ways to enhance transparency."
Putin said that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State Colin Powell would "finally agree the texts of other summit documents" -- including one defining a US-Russian strategic partnership -- when they hold talks in Reykjavik on Tuesday on the sidelines of a NATO meeting.
A new partnership between the former superpower rivals in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States will be high on the agenda at the NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Reykjavik.
Putin's move last September to back the US-led war in Afghanistan has fostered closer relations between NATO and Russia, which are set to approve a new "Council of 20," giving Moscow a say in decision-making by the military alliance's 19 members.
Under the new agreement, to be signed by Putin and alliance leaders at a NATO-Russia summit in Rome on May 28, the 20th member will have a full if non-voting role in key areas of the Atlantic organization's policy.
In addition to antiterrorism, these areas include global crisis management, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, defense against short-range "theatre" missiles, arms control, high-sea rescue missions and civil disaster plans.
...until we get nuked.
One less SS-2X in the world is a better thing. I shudder at the thought of North Korea or Iran getting one of those things.
I'm not saying I know what a good number is, just that the threats seem more apparent now, not less.
Even better, instead of wasting old and difficult to service old nukes why not just conduct a joint preemptive strike against the Islamic fascits states that are the new theat to both both countries.
With MIRVed warheads, we'll likely have less than 500 missiles at any given time. That makes a first strike a very real possibility. At any given time who knows what our nuclear policy is. Under Clinton it was enunciated to be, respond on first strike. Imagine us with 500 nuke missiles and a policy of respond on first strike. This would leave us about 90% open to a first strike defanging.
George McGovern was the single biggest fruitcake this nation has ever seen. He was a peacenic before peacenics became sheik. He wanted us to unilaterally de-nuke in the late 1960s and 70s. Well, now our President has adopted his defense stragegy. Amazing stuff this is. That I would ever see a majority of people on a "supposedly" conservative forum propose such nonsense is beyond my wildest dreams. It just goes to show have watered down conservatism has become. In the interest of backing the man, we have opted to betray the nation.
When we each had ten to twenty thousand warheads we could afford to ride out an attack and be assured of having enough warheads surviving to completely decimate the other guys cities and the bunkers in which the other guys leadership would be hiding. We had a very stable balance. The fewer the warheads deployed, especially when they are heavily MIRV'd, the harder it will be to achieve such stability. It doesn't take a genius to realize that at some point the surviving deterence won't be credible.
The defender might see nukes go off in every one of its cities while the attacker would lose only a few. Some governments might see that as acceptable, especially when they are watching themselves fall farther and farther behind to the potential inherent in a free market and a free society. They might decide to do the unthinkable ... especially if their leadership and the families of those leaders are set to ride out any retaliation in a now almost invulnerable deep underground bunker. Just a thought.
I suspect for Bush the motivation was to remove another issue from the Democratic arsenal in November 2004. I suspect this is a Carl Rove treaty.
To try and rely on a big nuke system for defense is not a detterent to the real dangers. Are we gonna burn the house to get rid of the roaches?
2000 nukes (not including NMD) is enough to deter China or anyone else from miscalculation.
The best thing we can do is get our intel to the point where we know when Saddam is picking his nose...then we can hit em where they are weak and soft... and pack a real wallop without nessesarily having the intention of 'burning the SOB to the ground with all of em in it!'.
Its Sun Zi on a nuclear scale. Everything else is overkill.