Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama Seeks deal with Russia to Slash Nuclear Weapons

According to the UK Times online President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent. "The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each. A Key to this initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow."

No doubt President Obama will be accused by the Hawks in Congress and elsewhere of being soft on the defense of this country. The concept of Mutual Assured Destruction, or M.A.D., has long been with us so long that too many people think it is a sane idea. The Hawks will cry out, "If only we had elected Senator McCain this travesty would not be a potential reality." There is a myth that Republican administrations will keep us safer than Democratic ones. This myth has been propagated by Republicans and others who have a vested interest in the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about over 50 years ago.

The Bush administration did not keep this country safe by invading Iraq and wearing down our military forces, while allowing the Taliban its resurgence in Afghanistan. Poorly planned belligerence never keeps America safe. The reduction of nuclear missiles is in the best interest of the people of the world, not just America and Russia. The people of this country are aware that there are forces that pose a significant danger to us. However, having 5000 nuclear weapons will not protect us from terrorists or rogue regimes

The Times article further stated, "Efforts to revive the Start talks were fitful under Bush and complicated by his insistence on building a missile defense shield. “If Obama proceeds down this route, this will be a major departure,” one Republican said. “But there will be trouble in Congress."

It's far too early to predict what the negotiations will look like but the mere mention of the of the missile defense shield will likely raise the blood pressure of conservative Republicans and other like-minded individuals.

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