Skip to comments.Russia scraps START-2 arms control treaty
Posted on 06/15/2002 2:13:15 AM PDT by Ranger
Moscow has announced that it will renounce the START-2 arms control treaty, clearing the way for Russia's nuclear forces to continue deploying 154 huge, multiple warhead SS-18 "Satan" missiles that should have been scrapped under the deal.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday that START-2, signed by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in 1993, "has been overtaken by events" and will not come into force next year as previously agreed.
Specifically, the statement said, Washington had already undermined strategic arms control by unilaterally dumping the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned missile defence systems such as the US will begin constructing in Alaska next week.
The ABM treaty officially expired on June 13.
"The US declined to ratify START-2 and moreover withdrew from the ABM Treaty, thus invalidating that cornerstone of strategic stability," the FM statement said.
Russian military leaders have been arguing for months that START-2 must be abandoned, even though the Duma ratified it in 2000, because the treaty would force Moscow to dismantle all its SS-18 "Satan" missiles by 2008.
The "Satan", each capable of carrying ten independently-targeted warheads, is considered vital to maintaining Russia's ability to overwhelm any missile defence shield the US may build, and thus preserving nuclear deterrence.
ROTFLOL! I wish I had come up with that one.
You are right, they can't keep up with us.
It seems to fit with their current military strategy of maintaining a few, extremely-large and potent weapons systems. In the Soviet days they threw nothing away, and tried to keep hundreds of non-complementary systems running, wasting tremendous resources at the same time.
Current budget realities preclude these activities. Russia is now banking on super-sized ICBMs and missile submarines, and their navy and air force has reverted to coastal defense. The upside to this is that fewer maintenance troops and combat crews are needed. The downside of putting a lot a eggs in one basket - a potent foe like the US probably has sufficient naval, air, and missile forces to take it all out.
Against a smaller foe (China, EU, or one of the Absurdistany), however, it makes sense to have fewer, more dependable systems. It's not an arms race, not a slap in the face - merely Russia looking after her own interests.