Sunday, December 19, 2010

Senate Debate on New START Treaty

An amendment to the treaty itself offered by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) is being debated as I write. Amending the treaty (rather than the resolution of ratification) will require new negotiations with Russia, essentially from scratch. In effect, voting to amend the treaty is voting to destroy it.

I keep wondering why the opponents of the treaty want to enter future history books as the people who damaged an improving relationship with Russia, who wanted more and more nuclear weapons, undermining any arguments that the United States can make against North Korea and other nuclear wannabes. I also can't understand what future they are looking to, whether a more unstable world is really what they want.

Jon Kyl has a reputation going: he'd like, I suppose, to add another notch to his anti-treaty belt after helping to defeat ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the 1990s. But isn't that less important than world stability, backing away from the nuclear brink?

It's hard to regard these people as rational and grant them any other motivation than the most limited vision: political victory, in a strictly win-lose world.

Joe Cirincione says that not all Republicans are siding with the extremists and the treaty will be ratified when the final vote is taken.

1 comment:

Chris Taus said...

Any change to the treaty text would require both countries to return to the negotiating table
and Moscow made it clear that senators had to accept the treaty or reject it as it is, without amendments.