MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The End of Arms Control As We Know It? – by Daniel Larison

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2022

It is one of the absurdities of international politics that arms control becomes politically toxic at the very moment when it is most needed.

https://daniellarison.substack.com/p/the-end-of-arms-control-as-we-know

Daniel Larison

Russia pulled out of talks over resuming New START inspections, and their government seems unlikely to change its position anytime soon:

Russia accused the United States on Tuesday of toxic anti-Russian behaviour that it said had prompted it to pull out of nuclear arms talks with U.S. officials in Cairo this week.

In strongly worded comments, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also accused the United States of trying to manipulate the New START nuclear treaty to its advantage, although she said Russia was still committed to it.

Zakharova also said that Russia would not discuss New START-related matters with the U.S. as long as it is arming Ukraine. The Russian government must know that there is no chance that the U.S. will halt weapons supplies to Ukraine while the war continues, so this amounts to setting a condition for resuming talks that they know the U.S. will not accept. That makes it all but certain that verification inspections won’t be taking place for the foreseeable future. There have already been no inspections for the last three years because of the pandemic and the war, and it now seems more likely than not that the treaty will be a dead letter even before it expires in 2026. The already poor chances of negotiating a follow-on treaty to replace New START are now even worse.

Arms control is more important than it has been in decades as U.S.-Russian tensions are the worst they have been since the end of the Cold War. It is one of the absurdities of international politics that arms control becomes politically toxic at the very moment when it is most needed. The major treaties that reduced U.S. and Soviet/Russian arsenals over the last thirty years were negotiated and ratified in the waning years of the Cold War or during the post-Cold War era.

See the rest here

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