31 March 2010

New Nuke Treaty Bridges Cold War Enemies

The US and Russia are cutting nuclear arsenals, even as everyone else expands theirs.

It had been widely expected, but is welcome nonetheless. Russia has been keen to reduce the cost of maintaining its large stockpile of nuclear weapons and Mr Obama has talked about getting eventually to a world free of all nuclear weapons. The treaty must next be ratified in Russia's Duma and in America's Senate, in the latter case with 67 votes of 100. But in America it should not be a partisan issue. Mr Obama noted positive discussions he has had with leading senators of both parties on the foreign-affairs committee, John Kerry, the Democrat, and the Republican ranking member, Richard Lugar. The White House addressed a potential sticking point, saying the new deal does not place any limits on testing, development or deployment of current or planned America missile-defence programmes. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, expressed the hope that Russia would co-operate with a redesigned missile-defence system in Europe. Russia was pleased at the inclusion of language referring to the clear relationship between offensive systems and missile defence.

By: Brant

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