New START is Based on Bad Philosophy
Good philosophy tells you something true about reality. It aids in the interpretation of historical events, which do not interpret themselves, and that’s why philosophy is necessary. But no matter how pretty a philosophical idea may sound or appear on paper, if it does not align with reality, it better make itself comfortable in the realm of ideas, because that’s where it’s going to stay.
President Obama’s philosophy about nuclear arms reduction is that if America unilaterally weakens itself militarily and in terms of its nuclear capacity, other nations will follow our ‘lead.’ Hate to break it to you, but…
His philosophy diametrically opposes reality. It is simply not supported by historical fact, and as long as humans have that little condition called “human nature,” his philosophy will remain flawed and unrealistic. Just take the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which is and always has been a bad idea for the U.S.
Heritage’s Michaela Bendikova explains:
“President Obama touted New START as an essential step on the road toward a world free of nuclear weapons—U.S. nuclear weapons, that is, because the assumption that if the U.S. unilaterally disarms, others will follow, is just not true.
Historically, South Africa gave up its nuclear weapons while the U.S. built up and tested its nuclear weapons. North Korea and Pakistan emerged as new nuclear weapons players, while the U.S. reduced its nuclear weapons and stopped testing them.
Countries base their nuclear weapons programs on their respective perceptions of threats, not on steps taken by the United States.”
The United States needs leaders that will make policy based on reality, not flawed ideals. New START, the “crown jewel” of the Administration’s Russian “reset” policy, has only served to weaken the U.S. and allow Russia to strengthen its own nuclear arsenal at an alarming rate. The latest State Department data declaration “clearly confirms that [New START] is hopelessly biased in the Kremlin’s favor.”
One clear indication of this, which Bendikova discusses, is that the Russians have undergone a process known as MIRVing in which multiple nuclear warheads (Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles) are put on each of their delivery vehicles.
And it’s not as though this is something that could not have been foreseen and avoided. For decades, this type of action has been considered to be destabilizing to the nations involved; yet New START does nothing to ban MIRVing, allowing Russians a major loophole that they’re more than happy to abuse!
A further indication of a strain in relations between the U.S. and Russia came this month, when Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov announced that Russia will not renew a 1991 agreement with Washington on dismantling nuclear and chemical weapons. Reuters reports that Sen. Richard Lugar was in Moscow in August pushing for a renewal of this program, which he helped start, but to no avail since Ryabkov has said “the agreement doesn’t satisfy [Russia], especially considering new realities.”
So while the Russians consider “new realities,” America lags behind in the quagmire of Obama’s imaginative philosophy.
Rather than continuing down a path that is destructive and destabilizing (for the U.S.) and conducive to the Kremlin’s nuclear ambitions, the Administration should adopt a “protect and defend” strategy, something Heritage was calling for since before the ratification of New START. Heritage Action has adamantly opposed this treaty, and not only will we continue to point out its flaws, but we will work to ensure America does not enter into another flawed treaty.