The Value of Implementing New START
June 22, 2012 | Edited by Benjamin Loehrke and Leah Fae Cochran
Where is the logic?- Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry (D-MA) on New START:
--”Frankly, those who say we should just walk away from New START – or who never supported it in the first place because of our differences with Russia – really have a fundamental responsibility which they have not fulfilled: which is explain to the American people how retaining more nuclear weapons than our military advisers say we need, and how having less insight into Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal, how that would change Russia’s calculus toward Syria or its approach to human rights – or any other issue. We need to see the logic of that.” Read the full-statement here: http://bit.ly/PHGv9c
New START’s value - “The current implementation process is providing ongoing transparency and predictability regarding the world’s two largest deployed nuclear arsenals, while preserving our ability to maintain the strong nuclear deterrent that remains an essential element of U.S. national security and the security of our allies and friends,” said Acting Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gotemoeller in testimony before the SFRC.
--”The United States has made it clear that we are committed to continuing a step-by-step process to reduce the overall number of nuclear weapons.” Full written remarks here. http://1.usa.gov/KD1St5
$$$$ - Yesterday’s SFRC hearing on New START brought out criticism from nuclear spending proponents who questioned the Obama administration’s efforts to modernize the nuclear stockpile.
--NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino emphasized the administration's commitment to supporting the stockpile but noted, "It's about spending the dollars wisely and doing it in a way that we can ensure that the taxpayers are getting what they need and we continue to support the stockpile and get that done." AP has the story. http://bit.ly/MbKiwx
Sanctions and talks - “It is in the interest of the United States and its allies to keep talking [with Iran],” writes The New York Times editorial board. “We don’t know if any mix of diplomacy and sanctions will persuade Iran to give up its ambitions. But there is no quick military fix.”
--“These are the first serious nuclear talks in years, and there is still time to let them run.” http://nyti.ms/MOOMV8
Highway marker - An intersection in Eureka, NC, will soon get a Highway Historical marker commemorating the 1961 near-disaster when a B-52 crashed and dropped two 3.8 megaton nuclear bombs on rural North Carolina. The bombs didn’t go off, but it’s still scary enough to warrant a cautionary road sign 50 years later. Beach Carolina Magazine has the story. http://bit.ly/Mdrv1P
Quote - “There are those [among Iran's leadership] who say, ‘Look, you know, these sanctions are really biting. We’re not making the kind of economic progress we should be making.’ And then, frankly, there are those who are saying, ‘The best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody. Just bring it on because that would unify us. It would legitimize the regime’,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with Charlie Rose. Ali Gharib at Think Progress has the story. http://bit.ly/Noy6Ii
U.S.-Russian relations - U.S.-Russian relations hit rock bottom around 2008 during the Georgia war. The “reset” repaired some of the damage, but President Obama’s icy relations with President Putin show that there is still room for improvement.
--Reflecting on this history of recent relations, Fyodor Lukyanov of Russia in Global Affairs writes, “There is no friendship or sympathy between Putin and Obama, and there is unlikely to be any in the future. But it is more important that they see each other as trustworthy partners.” http://bit.ly/LlxqEW
Explosives - Iran and Venezuela appear to be engaging in some kind of conventional explosives cooperation. Jeffrey Lewis at Arms Control Wonk explains the story with photos and facility locations. http://bit.ly/Lb7jdz
Big brains, big hair - Historians have contrasted Robert Oppenheimer and Hans Bethe for their work and moral positions on the first atomic bombs. In a Friday post on Restricted Data, Alex Wellerstein compares the theoretical physicists by their impressive 1930s hairdos. http://bit.ly/MzwmLr
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