Arms Treaty Nonsense

Peter Wilson
The New York Times editorial "The Next Treaties" contains two statements of mind-numbing stupidity:

First: "The United States and Russia...cannot credibly argue for restraining the nuclear ambitions of Iran, North Korea and other wannabes unless they keep working to bring their own numbers down."

This argument is widely circulated among Democrats, nuclear freeze activists, and other idiots, despite the fact that it is absurd.  Does anyone seriously imagine Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad abandoning their nuclear programs because of the START treaty?  The logic behind this thinking is that if you believe that the United States is simply one country of many, no more exceptional, probably worse than the rest -- as our President seems to -- then who are we to expect Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons if we don't first give up ours?

Second: "One of their most urgent tasks is slashing -- or better, doing away with -- their tactical nuclear weapons. These smaller arms, with a 300- to 400-mile range, have no military utility or deterrent value."

No military utility or deterrent value?

The Times summarizes the situation: "The United States has about 500 tactical nukes, including 180 in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey...Russia's arsenal is much larger - between 3,000 and 5,000."  Russia continues to build them, and they have moved many to their western borders where they are within striking range of European capitals.  Why would the Russians build something that has no value?

The Times continues its analysis:

Whether Russia would give up its "advantage" in tactical weapons is hard to gauge. Moscow had said it wouldn't negotiate until Washington removed all of its tactical weapons from Europe. More recently, Russian officials appear more open to discussions.

Ah, yes, more discussions.  We have 180, they have 3800, and we have to get rid of ours?

Note the scare quotes around "advantage" -- since tactical weapons have no value, having more of them isn't really an advantage in Times-think.
The New York Times editorial "The Next Treaties" contains two statements of mind-numbing stupidity:

First: "The United States and Russia...cannot credibly argue for restraining the nuclear ambitions of Iran, North Korea and other wannabes unless they keep working to bring their own numbers down."

This argument is widely circulated among Democrats, nuclear freeze activists, and other idiots, despite the fact that it is absurd.  Does anyone seriously imagine Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad abandoning their nuclear programs because of the START treaty?  The logic behind this thinking is that if you believe that the United States is simply one country of many, no more exceptional, probably worse than the rest -- as our President seems to -- then who are we to expect Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons if we don't first give up ours?

Second: "One of their most urgent tasks is slashing -- or better, doing away with -- their tactical nuclear weapons. These smaller arms, with a 300- to 400-mile range, have no military utility or deterrent value."

No military utility or deterrent value?

The Times summarizes the situation: "The United States has about 500 tactical nukes, including 180 in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey...Russia's arsenal is much larger - between 3,000 and 5,000."  Russia continues to build them, and they have moved many to their western borders where they are within striking range of European capitals.  Why would the Russians build something that has no value?

The Times continues its analysis:

Whether Russia would give up its "advantage" in tactical weapons is hard to gauge. Moscow had said it wouldn't negotiate until Washington removed all of its tactical weapons from Europe. More recently, Russian officials appear more open to discussions.

Ah, yes, more discussions.  We have 180, they have 3800, and we have to get rid of ours?

Note the scare quotes around "advantage" -- since tactical weapons have no value, having more of them isn't really an advantage in Times-think.