Showing posts with label New START. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New START. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Etched* in Memory—"I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you . . .
Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
[26 March 2012, Seoul, South Korea]

Maybe I watched too many James Bond movies in my day. But doesn’t this hushed conversation between the United States President and the Russian President send a chill up and down your spine? More so, because it was not meant to be heard by the American electorate. You know, the very people Obama expects to hand him his “last election” seven months from now.

Having endured a week of political fun and games, endlessly etching and sketching (the sole benefit being a boost in the share price of The Ohio Art Company), we’ve just had a bucketful of ice cold reality thrown in our faces. Arctic ice cold. Russian-winter ice cold.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Siena College Poll: Romney with big lead in New York

GOP Nomination: (results from August)

Mitt Romney 32% (18%)
Herman Cain 15% (1%)
Newt Gingrich 12% (3%)
Michele Bachmann 9% (9%)
Ron Paul 9% (8%)
Rick Perry 9% (6%)
Don’t know/No opinion 15% (9%)
This Siena College Poll was conducted November 8-13, 2011 by telephone calls to 803 New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of + 3.5 percentage points.

The Data can be viewed HERE.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mitt Romney: The Price of Inexperience

The following piece was written and posted by Mitt Romney at his website:
Last year, when President Obama was pushing for ratification of his New START nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, I was reminded of a simple maxim: When you give something, you’re supposed to get something. But New START, as I wrote in the Washington Post, handed the Russians deep reductions in our nuclear capabilities in return for essentially nothing.
The Obama administration claimed at the time that the treaty was an excellent deal. This claim has been proven false. A new official accounting performed by the State Department acknowledges that the number of launchers and warheads in Russia’s nuclear arsenal was already below New START’s limitations when the treaty took effect, while the U.S. arsenal was well above them. In short: We’re the ones who now have to give, while Russia gets.
In agreeing to START, President Obama squandered an opportunity to extract a number of concessions from the Russians that would have advanced U.S. interests. He could have pressed for meaningful reductions not only in Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal, but also in its tactical nuclear force, which outnumbers ours by an overwhelming margin. He could have tried to elicit Russian help in dealing with North Korea and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But instead he frittered away American bargaining chips and got nothing in return.
Unfortunately, that’s become a bit of a pattern. Before signing New START, he abruptly abandoned our Europe-based missile-defense program as part of his “reset” policy with Russia, leaving Poland and the Czech Republic in the lurch. In return? Nothing. He’s been pressing Israel for concessions to the Palestinians on settlements and borders even before negotiations between them begin. In return? Nothing.
There’s a price to be paid for inexperience in the White house. We are paying it.

-Mitt Romney

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mitt Romney: Triangulation, Republican-style?

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post pointed out yesterday in an article that much has been made of the idea that President Obama will use Congressional Democrats as a foil over the next two years -- triangulating against his own side to grab the ideological center and appeal to electorally critical independent voters.

But what about potential Republican candidates trying the same thing against the New GOP majority? Cillizza goes on to use Mitt Romney as an example of this.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the de facto frontrunner in the 2012 field, drew national headlines when he came out against the tax cut compromise in a USA Today op-ed.

Wrote Romney:
"Given the unambiguous message that the American people sent to Washington in November, it is difficult to understand how our political leaders could have reached such a disappointing agreement."
He sites Romney's opposition to the START treaty as another example of his triangulating.
The strategic underpinnings of Romney's positions on the tax compromise and START are sound.
Romney wants to make clear he isn't part of the Washington crowd and isn't interested in putting his stamp of approval on anything that hands President Obama a legislative victory.
With many Republican voters skeptical of their own parties leadership, it is possible that they would respond positively to a candidate who purposely runs against that group.
Triangulation then may be the name of the game for would-be 2012 candidates in the coming months.
To read the entire article, go HERE.

I'm not sure if I can agree with Cillizza's assessment that this is some kind of Romney strategy to position himself as an outsider. I believe he opposed the Tax Bill Compromise and START Treaty, simply because they were both bad and that he felt that the NEW Congress should have been the ones making the decisions.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vice Admiral: Obama was outmaneuvered by Russians on START


The official website for the U.S. Naval Institute reports some sobering words from former nuclear plans monitor Vice Admiral Jerry Miller, USN (Ret). After reading this, and the opinions of other opponents of the treaty, it's difficult to determine how we benefit from this.
“...The Obama administration is continuing a dated policy in which we cannot even unilaterally reduce our own inventory of weapons and delivery systems without being on parity with the Russians,” Miller told the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Md. “We could give up plenty of deployed delivery systems and not adversely affect our national security one bit, but New START prohibits such action - so we are now stuck with some outmoded and useless elements in our nuke force.”

[...]

“The Soviets/Russians were done in by Reagan and our missile defense program because they cannot afford to build such a system,” said Miller. “They instead try to counter our program with rhetoric at the bargaining table. And they won by outmaneuvering Obama. START plays right into their hands.”

[...]

“We have always been superior in quality of our nuclear force, so we did not have to negotiate with a party we do not trust,” said Miller. “If Obama wanted to save some money and improve national defense, he should have gotten out of the nuke negations and acted unilaterally. START is simply a political victory for Obama.”

[...]

“The treaty prohibits the conversion of an existing ballistic missile system into a missile defense system,” said Miller. “We might want to do that with a Trident or an ICBM sometime in the future, particularly if the Chinese alleged threat materializes.”

Here's a list of the eleven Republicans who voted in favor of the treaty:

Alexander, Bennett, Brown, Cochran, Collins, Corker, Isakson, Lugar, Murkowski, Snowe, and Voinovich.

Brown and Murkowski have been particularly reliable in helping to enact Obama's agenda as of late. Unfortunately, there probably isn't anything we can do about those two. However, I suspect Cochran, Isakson, Voinovich, and Corker will likely face hotly contested primaries when their current terms are up.

Read the entire article HERE

Update: More disturbing developments courtesy of The Washington Times.
One of the key arguments made by American proponents of New START is that the language in the treaty’s preamble linking strategic offensive and defensive weapons is nonbinding. Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who has been leading the fight for ratification, said during floor debate that the treaty’s preamble is “a component of the treaty that has no legal, binding impact whatsoever.”

Moscow apparently has a different view of the preamble.
ITAR-Tass, the main Russian government information agency, reported last week: “The treaty will have a legally binding provision on the link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons and will affirm the increasing importance of this link amid the reduction of strategic offensive weapons.”


Several Republican-authored amendments to the treaty that sought to alter the preamble were voted down, based in part on assertions that the preamble had no legal standing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Palin Versus Every European Foreign Minister

Sarah Palin had this to say about the New START Treaty.
There are many other problems with the treaty, including the limitation on the U.S. ability to convert nuclear systems to conventional systems and the lack of restriction on Russian sea launched cruise missiles. In addition, the recent reports that Russia moved tactical nuclear weapons (which are not covered by New START) closer to our NATO allies, demonstrate that the Obama administration has failed to convince Russia to act in a manner that does not threaten our allies.
Greg Scoblete responds.
Presumably if the treaty left American allies exposed to Russian predations, we'd see a huge outcry from our European friends. But that hasn't happened. In fact, just the opposite: Europe's foreign ministers have all signed onto an op-ed urging ratification.
Here is the complete list of Foreign Ministers who don't realize that they are threatened.

Michael Spindelegger, Austria
Steven Vanackere, Belgium
Nickolay Mladenov, Bulgaria
Markos Kyprianou, Cyprus
Lene Espersen, Denmark
Urmas Paet, Estonia
Alexander Stubb, Finland
Michèle Alliot-Marie, France
Guido Westerwelle, Germany
Dimitrios Droutsas, Greece
János Martonyi, Hungary
Micheál Martin, Ireland
Franco Frattini, Italy
Girts Valdis Kristovskis, Latvia
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg
Tonio Borg, Malta
Uri Rosenthal, Netherlands
Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland
Luís Amado, Portugal
Teodor Baconschi, Romania
Mikulás Dzurinda, Slovakia
Samuel ŽZbogar, Slovenia
Trinidad Jiménez, Spain
Carl Bildt, Sweden
William Hague, United Kingdom

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sarah Palin: Senate Republicans - Vote No on New START

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin continued her voice of opposition against the New START treaty with an op-ed for National Review. I don't pretend to be a nuclear arms expert, but she makes some very compelling arguments against the treaty. The following passage regarding constraints on our ability to deploy additional missile defense systems echoes my main concern with the treaty.
New START recognizes a link between offensive and defensive weapons – a position the Russians have sought for years. Russia claims the treaty constrains U.S. missile defenses and that they will withdraw from the treaty if we pursue missile defenses. This linkage virtually guarantees that either we limit our missile defenses or the Russians will withdraw from the treaty. The Obama administration claims that this is not the case; but if that is true, why agree to linking offensive and defensive weapons in the treaty? At the height of the Cold War, President Reagan pursued missile defense while also pursuing verifiable arms control with the then-Soviet Union. That position was right in the 1980’s, and it is still right today. We cannot and must not give up the right to missile defense to protect our population – whether the missiles that threaten us come from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, or anywhere else. I fought the Obama administration’s plans to cut funds for missile defense in Alaska while I was Governor, and I will continue to speak out for missile defenses that will protect our people and our allies.
Arizona Senator, John McCain has similar reservations regarding the missile defense provisions of the treaty.

Palin goes on to highlight several other concerns.
*New START actually requires the U.S. to reduce our nuclear weapons and allows the Russians to increase theirs.

*New START’s verification regime is weaker than the treaty it replaces, making it harder for us to detect Russian cheating.

*The limitation on the U.S. ability to convert nuclear systems to conventional systems.

*The lack of restriction on Russian sea launched cruise missiles.

*Recent reports that Russia moved tactical nuclear weapons (which are not covered by New START) closer to our NATO allies, demonstrate that the Obama administration has failed to convince Russia to act in a manner that does not threaten our allies.
President Obama seems to be in full court press mode, urging swift passage to "ensure our national security." The urgency of his message is reminiscent of his push to pass his government take-over of health care. Senators, let's take our time and do it right this time. Vote no on New START.

Read the entire op-ed HERE.