China and its Discontents

New Start an Imperative

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President Dmitri A. Medvedev, expressing continued wariness over the prospect of military cooperation with his country’s former cold war adversaries, warned on Tuesday that a failure by Russia and the West to reach an agreement on missile defense could provoke a new arms race.

This is why the New Start Treaty needs to be ratified before the end of the year. We need the Russians to be on our side. Medvedev has staked Russia’s good relations with the United States, and any future nuclear negotiations, on the success of the treaty. New Start and missile defense are not just related – they are inseparable. Without a resolution on one, the other will languish. If we let New Start go, our priorities with Russia across the board falter. If we don’t deal with missile defense, then the Russians will back out of New Start.

I’m very happy to see John McCain coming out of a long, dark election season and finally articulating a position that makes sense: supporting the passage of New Start and encouraging Jon Kyl to follow suit. It’s too bad that some politicians can’t stand up to pressure from within their own party (but at least he’s here right now).

I think ratifying the New Start treaty and the successful inclusion of the Russians in a joint-NATO missile defense plan would be an unqualified success.

Written by Will

November 30th, 2010 at 7:53 am