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Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:51 PM

Russia Won’t Renew Pact on Weapons With U.S.

Source: New York Times

The Russian government said Wednesday that it would not renew a hugely successful 20-year partnership with the United States to safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union when the program expires next spring, a potentially grave setback in the already fraying relationship between the former cold war enemies.

The Kremlin’s refusal to renew the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program would put an end to a multibillion-dollar effort, financed largely by American taxpayers, that is widely credited with removing all nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus; deactivating more than 7,600 strategic nuclear warheads; and eliminating huge stockpiles of nuclear missiles and chemical weapons, as well as launchers and other equipment and military sites that supported unconventional weapons.

<snip>

In a statement on its Web site, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Obama administration had proposed renewing the arrangement but that Washington was well aware of Russia’s opposition. “American partners know that their proposal is not consistent with our ideas about what forms and on what basis further cooperation should be built,” the statement said.

<snip>

Mr. Lugar, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this year, visited Moscow in August to begin pressing for renewal of the program and found Russian officials resistant. “The Russian government indicated a desire to make changes to the Nunn-Lugar Umbrella Agreement as opposed to simply extending it,” he said Wednesday. “At no time did officials indicate that, at this stage of negotiation, they were intent on ending it, only amending it.”

<snip>

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/world/europe/russia-wont-renew-pact-with-us-on-weapons.html?_r=0

36 replies, 5143 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Russia Won’t Renew Pact on Weapons With U.S. (Original post)
bananas Oct 2012 OP
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #1
psychopomp Oct 2012 #4
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #9
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #17
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #18
bemildred Oct 2012 #21
bananas Oct 2012 #2
kenfrequed Oct 2012 #14
Turbineguy Oct 2012 #3
Bullionwar Oct 2012 #5
kenfrequed Oct 2012 #16
Stake Oct 2012 #26
Posteritatis Oct 2012 #30
dipsydoodle Oct 2012 #6
cprise Oct 2012 #7
dipsydoodle Oct 2012 #8
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #10
Alamuti Lotus Oct 2012 #13
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #15
bananas Oct 2012 #19
a geek named Bob Oct 2012 #20
bemildred Oct 2012 #22
cprise Oct 2012 #24
bemildred Oct 2012 #28
cprise Oct 2012 #32
bemildred Oct 2012 #33
JudyM Oct 2012 #11
LaPera Oct 2012 #12
fujiyama Oct 2012 #23
bemildred Oct 2012 #29
cprise Oct 2012 #34
bemildred Oct 2012 #35
I love weed Oct 2012 #25
Stake Oct 2012 #27
Posteritatis Oct 2012 #31
knitter4democracy Oct 2012 #36

Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:58 PM

1. Does this mean I can't pick up

 

those Migs, and that Hip attack helicopter? I was really looking forward to having them in the backyard.

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 02:08 AM

4. If you don't have anything intelligent to add

To the discussion, button it.

This is an important setback for US-Russian relations.

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Response to psychopomp (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 09:33 AM

9. acutally, psychopomp...

 

I DO want a soviet era helicopter. They're sturdy, easy to operate, and easy to fix.

As to the treaty, the Russians have an unfortunate track record of breaking treaties, and/or using amazing sophistry on same. (I'm just old enough to remember the whole "yellow rain" fiasco.)

I was under the impression that the Russians were selling off some of their older military equipment, to get much needed hard currency. (Hence me - sort of - joke).

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:47 PM

17. Just curious, but what's the US track record on treaties...

...especially with the North American Indian tribes?

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:52 PM

18. pretty bad, actually

 

but I gotta ask why you'd bring it up?

Also, I really DO want to pick up a soviet-era Hip helicopter. Those things can transport pretty much anything you'd car to name, anywhere in the world.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 08:50 PM

21. We view them as convenient tools to befuddle the rubes with.

It has not always been that way, but it is now, and it has been a lot since we decided to go full bore imperial power. They think we are "indispensible", so we can just do whatever we want.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 11:04 PM

2. Lugar's defeat to a conservative Republican Tea Partier is a factor

Much more info on this at Bellona:
http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2012/Russia_pulls_out_of_ctr

<snip>

According to one government official familiar with arguments ongoing over Nunn-Lugar in Washington, rounding up support for the program has been on a downward spiral ever since its co-founder and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee Richard Lugar surprisingly lost his Indiana Senate seat in US Congressional elections late last spring. His term in office will end in January 2013

“While President Obama supports Nunn-Lugar ... the Lugar political operation had to fight every day through the government bureaucracy to make progress happen. That will now be lost,” said the US government source, who asked to remain anonymous as he is not authorized to discuss the issue, in emailed comments.

“There is no one else in Congress with the interest and expertise (to continue the work of Nunn-Lugar). In fact, Republicans are moving to the right. Romney now calls Russia America's greatest enemy,” wrote the source.

<snip>


Here's a Reuters article from May when Lugar lost the primary:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/09/us-usa-congress-lugar-idUSBRE8481JZ20120509

Lugar defeat underscores vanishing U.S. political middle

By Thomas Ferraro and David Lawder

WASHINGTON | Wed May 9, 2012 6:47pm EDT

(Reuters) - The landslide defeat of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana sent an ominous message to Washington: unprecedented partisan gridlock in Congress likely will worsen next year and make difficult efforts to cut the record U.S. debt even tougher.

<snip>

Widely hailed as an elder statesman, Lugar lost the Republican primary in his home state to a Tea Party-backed challenger, largely because he was seen as not conservative enough and too willing to compromise.

While politics has been long defined as the art of compromise, victor Richard Mourdock, who ridiculed Lugar's willingness to cut deals, made a prediction about next year.

"I don't think there's going to be a lot of successful compromise," Mourdock told CNN on Wednesday after beating Lugar, a 36-year veteran of the Senate, by double digits. Bipartisanship, Mourdock added, means Democrats voting for Republican initiatives.

The Indiana election result shook many of Lugar's colleagues on both sides of the political aisle who saw him as a giant on foreign policy and arms control.

<snip>

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Response to bananas (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:42 PM

14. True

But the timing is terrible. Or could be terrible I suppose.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 11:14 PM

3. Hedging against a Romney win.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 02:35 AM

5. Russia Helping Iran

 

Russia is helping Iran and North Korea develop sophisticated weapons in revenge for USA helping Mujahideens against Russia in Afghanistan.

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Response to Bullionwar (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:45 PM

16. Uhm

Highly unlikely.

So you think that Russia is helping Iran and North Korea in revenge for something that happened almost thirty years ago? Absolutely fictional.

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Response to Bullionwar (Reply #5)


Response to Bullionwar (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

30. Methinks Putin's a tad too realpolitik for that kind of silliness. (nt)

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:25 AM

6. From the article

“The American side knows that we would not want a new extension,” a deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, told the news agency Interfax. “This is not news.”

>

" During his August visit to Moscow, Mr. Lugar said he hoped that the United States and Russia could use their past successes as a basis for expanding their efforts to reduce the threat of unconventional weapons in other countries. He raised the idea of trying to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

Russian officials, however, seem increasingly unwilling to let the United States set the agenda in global diplomacy — blocking demands, for example, for more aggressive intervention in Syria."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/world/europe/russia-wont-renew-pact-with-us-on-weapons.html?_r=1&

Look no further than the Middle East for contributing factors behind this.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 09:10 AM

7. You apparently missed the flap over putting ABMs in Poland

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Response to cprise (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 09:12 AM

8. Yes that too.

Thanks for adding that.

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Response to cprise (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 09:35 AM

10. I never really understood the reasoning behind the Russians

 

being against the ABM network in Poland.

Short range Anti-Ballistic Missiles are designed to stop incoming ballistics.

As an Irish friend of mine says: What's the harm?

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:07 PM

13. having a ring of American military bases on your borders--what's the harm?

 

The argument reeks of rather coy naivety.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:43 PM

15. a ring of short range missiles with limited weight payloads

 

we're not talking long range weaponry, here.

If it was ICBM's, or hunter-killer bombers, I could understand.

On the other hand, I LIKED the idea of letting the old Soviet Union know where the line was/is.

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:08 PM

19. It reduces the deterrent effect of Russian missiles.

To deter an attack, Russia needs enough missiles to survive the attack and then hit their targets in Europe.
An ABM system means Russia needs enough missiles to swamp the ABM system.
So the ABM system is destabilizing, increases the chance of war, and results in a new arms race.

edit to add: Everyone's trying to reduce the number of missiles needed, because they're expensive and dangerous.

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Response to bananas (Reply #19)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:11 PM

20. I'd rather go long on defensive systems, than rely on MAD and the old Soviet's sense of balance.

 

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 08:56 PM

22. There is no defense against ballistic missiles, that's what they have been throwing money at for 30

years with no success, huge sums of money mind you, after the physicists told them it would not work. (The math thing again.) So you can't go long on defense because there is no defense to go long on. You have to have something that might do the job first, and all they have is something that will cost a lot money. That is what they are so hot to get lasers for, they could be fast enough, in theory. ABMs are a waste of time, countermeasures are easy and cheap, and ABMs are difficult and expensive. This is not a new problem, it's why guided ballistic missiles are so popular, they can't be stopped, though you might get lucky now and then.

Meanwhile, if we put a bunch of missiles in Poland, guess what, they can shoot them at Russia, anytime they want, and put any warhead we want on them too, if it fits, so all you have is a lot of missile sites close to Russia that we can do whatever we like with, that we CLAIM are only for "defense". (And don't tell me we would not lie about that either.)

And the other guys comment about destabilization is right too, Russia is not going to just sit there while we ring them with missiles in the attempt to somehow make global thermonuclear war "thinkable", and no amount of dissembling and bullshit is going to change that.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:03 AM

24. They can be shot down while in boost phase

Once they start re-entering, there is little if anything you can do against them.

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Response to cprise (Reply #24)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 07:51 AM

28. I have this notion that the Russians are not going to shoot down their own missiles.

And We cannot shoot them down in boost phase.

We don't have the reaction time, the speed, the steerability, or the accuracy required. The notion of X-Ray Lasers in orbit was what they came up with for boost phase, and it was a complete non-statrter, it requires way the heck too much power and it requires way the heck too much time between shots, and the time window is very short.

Missiles with known trajectories now, for them we are death.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #28)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:22 PM

32. Yeesh. They could be launched from Poland.

Compared to the global-scale trajectory of an ICBM, that is Russia's back yard.

It would allow for the possibility to hit ascending missiles.

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Response to cprise (Reply #32)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:27 PM

33. Right. nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 10:14 AM

11. Ugh. Could make Rmoney appear more credible in the upcoming foreign policy debate. nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 11:23 AM

12. “At no time did officials indicate that, at this stage of negotiation, they were intent on ending it

“At no time did (Russian) officials indicate that, at this stage of negotiation, they were intent on ending it, only amending it.”

Let's make this extremely clear to the slimy republicans who will try to use this and leave out the aforementioned in the 3rd (last) Presidential debate on foreign policy, the final debate which will take place near the end of this month.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:23 AM

23. I think this is really a power play by Putin

telling the West he won't back down with regards to Syria and Iran. This is just leverage as far as he's concerned. He knows neither the US or Western Europe will attack Russia (well with Romney, who knows - he strikes me as much nuttier than Reagan), whether from Poland or elsewhere. He's also not concerned about Central Asian and Eastern European nukes anymore. That part's taken care of. Nunn Lugar did its job. Those leaders of the former Soviet block that disagree or oppose his agenda can be bribed, poisoned, or worse.

It's unfortunate and shouldn't be too surprising though, given well...everything we know about Putin. God, just imagine if Romney is president and how his beligerant attitude will play on the world stage. Him and Nut-and-yahoo on one side, and Putin and Akma-dinner-jack-ass on the other.

Shudder.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 07:58 AM

29. Putin is saying put up or shut up.

He is tired of our stupid games, and he no longer feels the need to suck up. Another wasted opportunity. (thanks, brilliant Neocon strategerizers!)

If we are friends, then we should treat them as friends, and if they are enemies or fresh meat for our corporations, then we can fuck off with our fake pretensions of friendship. We need to make our words coincide with our behavior. I mean, we still have Presidential candidates and other Pols babbling on about the Soviet Union, which dissolved more or less peacefully 20 some years ago, I mean that was as good as it gets, the end of the Soviet Union, and we still want to cling to it, we long for the enemies of the past, so WE won't have to change and grow up. WE are nuts.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:43 PM

34. American and UK media indulge in Russophobia more or less constantly

Its becoming an ingrained cultural trait, unfortunately, even more-so in some respects than before the USSR broke up. And I find it is more consistently propagated than anti-Arab/Muslim sentiment.

Unless a Russian is trying to emigrate from Russia, or trying to heroically help out American authorities, s/he is portrayed as an evil cartoon (and this extends well beyond fiction). It's so dehumanizing and hamfisted, very akin to fascist propaganda.

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Response to cprise (Reply #34)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 06:47 PM

35. We love our enemies, and won't give them up.

The Russians have their issues, as do we, but they are a great people, and they deserve our respect for their accomplishments, as well as criticism for what deserves criticism.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:26 AM

25. Russians are not subtle or diplomatic.

 

They are all about crude power politics, national pride, and intimidation, especially under the regressive Putin.

I know this very well, as I am an ex-pat working in Moscow and have been dealing with Russians for many years.

Putin is determined to stick it to the U.S. and provoke at every turn. This makes him look tough at home and strengthens his support among the very nationalistic and xenophobic Russian people.

This is an old, proven tactic used by authoritarian leaders - keep the people focused on external enemies instead of internal problems.

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Response to I love weed (Reply #25)


Response to I love weed (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:51 PM

31. I'm getting a flashback to the previous decade. (nt)

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Response to I love weed (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 08:49 PM

36. I disagree.

They often are both, especially in balancing various forces within their nation.

Putin, however, is all about restoring them to some mythic greatness, and that means beating up on the US so people at home think he's strong.

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