Friday, December 3, 2010

Ratify New START

Our friend Dr. Preble of Cato does a fine job in this post * both summarizing the state of play on New START ratification and linking to pertinent articles for further background.  I've taken my time on this one, reading both the for and against positions with respect to the treaty.  And while I believe the Obama Administration is dangerously under-resourcing the modernization of our nuclear stockpile, the treaty before us is a worthwhile exercise of super-power statecraft that modestly reduces the numbers of nuclear weapons each nation can field.  I find the arguments raised by Republicans against the treaty to be largely unpersuasive and mostly reflective of petty politics and in some cases, unthinking ideological rigidity. 

That said, Mr. Obama's reasons for advocating this treaty must of course be taken with a grain of salt.  His frequently made assertion that US/Russian treaties that limit the number of weapons they can field leads other nations to choose not to build them--is simply lunacy.  Nations build nuclear weapons because they feel it is in their interest to do so. 

Secondly, Mr. Obama has on many occasions talked about this being a step to a nuclear free world.  The suggestion that the world would be SAFER without nuclear weapons (at all) just does not pass the sniff test.

* Preble chooses to make his point however in classic  libertarian fashion--which is to adopt the "look, look,  they're both wrong" approach to policy.  Whether it means pointing out errors in thinking between liberals or conservatives, or within those groups, I do grow weary of (my perception of) academic libertarians as a bit holier than thou.....

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