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US Mulls Complete Withdrawal From New START

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US Mulls Complete Withdrawal From New START

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst


Back in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow will suspend its participation in the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between Russia and the United States. Putin cited several major reasons for such a decision, including the illegal sanctions imposed by the political West. These restrictions led to an effective halt of the treaty’s implementation in early 2022, as Washington DC refused to honor it by allowing regular mutual inspections, which was an integral part of the New START. As Russia had no legal or practical way of verifying any of the Biden administration’s claims about the state of the US strategic arsenal, it was forced to suspend its participation in what essentially became a mere formality.

“Russia did its best to solve the problem in Ukraine peacefully, but the statements of Western leaders turned out to be fraudulent and untrue,” Putin slammed the behavior of Western political elites during his February 21 speech.

And indeed, the Eurasian giant simply had no other choice as the treaty became largely ceremonial. In addition, considering the series of recent admissions by various Western leaders that nearly all treaties with Russia were there to “just buy time”, Moscow has every reason to doubt every single word uttered by any US/EU/NATO official. However, Putin also stated that his country would continue abiding by the New START limitations on its strategic arsenal and that the suspension concerned only the mutual inspections and further direct cooperation with the political West in matters of nuclear disarmament. However, as per usual, the belligerent power pole saw this as a perfect opportunity to escalate instead of doing the opposite.

On May 18, Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from Arkansas (and an aspiring warhawk), introduced a bill that would formally accuse Russia of breaching the New START and use that as a pretext for the US to completely withdraw from the agreement. Worse yet, Cotton’s No START Treaty Act would also introduce plans to expand America’s strategic arsenal while placing major limits on US participation in any potential arms control negotiations and treaties in the future. As of this writing, at least 10 other senators (all of them Republican) supported the bill, so this piece of legislation is yet to get any Democrat co-sponsors, but given the recent bipartisan support for escalation virtually everywhere, including the sending of US F-16 jets to the Kiev regime, this is only a matter of time.

“The New START Treaty handcuffed America while Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of the treaty’s flaws for years. President Biden should never have extended this treaty that has only made Russia and China stronger and America weaker. We should withdraw from the treaty and bolster our nuclear forces,” Cotton said in a public release.

The No START Treaty Act would also effectively ban any future arms control talks between Russia and the US if it didn’t include China. This issue is most likely the main reason why Washington DC did everything in its power to undermine the New START in the first place. The bill would further “prohibit unilateral reductions and prohibit the bargaining away of US missile defenses”, as well as “prohibit the use of funds to implement the New START Treaty or any future arms control agreement unless it meets the bill’s required stipulations”. Such requirements would put severe constraints on America’s ability to ever negotiate a potential arms control agreement with both Russia and China, either separately or otherwise.

Very influential senators such as Florida Republican Marco Rubio and his Idaho counterpart Jim Risch publicly supported and spoke in favor of the bill, with Risch stating: “Our legislation will correct these mistakes by conditioning future arms control agreements with Russia to include all classes of nuclear weapons as well as China. We must be prepared for a strategic environment in which the United States faces two nuclear peers – China and Russia.”

Russia’s response to the No START Treaty Act shows clear confidence in its deterrence capabilities, but Moscow’s top-ranking officials still expressed concern with Washington DC’s incessant escalating rhetoric and actions. Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that “we can now only state with regret that there are no serious, substantive contacts on these issues between Moscow and Washington”, adding that “the last remnants of the international legal framework in this area are slipping away”. It should be noted that this is only the last in the long line of US violations and unilateral withdrawals from crucial international arms control agreements, starting with the 2002 ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty under former president Bush.

In addition, Washington DC’s obsession with including China in potential future nuclear arms control treaties is perhaps the best proof of the rising strategic schizophrenia in America’s foreign policy, where the belligerent thalassocracy is creating enemies wherever it can and then continuing to escalate to a point where it now faces two global superpowers, both of which are either already heavily armed (Russia) or have the potential to get heavily armed in the foreseeable future (China).

While Beijing’s thermonuclear arsenal is nowhere near that of either Russia or the US, it has been growing steadily, precisely in response to America’s “geopolitical containment” policies directed against China. Taking this into account, China has already started revamping its strategic posturing, a move Russia already implemented in response to similar US/NATO aggression on its borders.

Source: InfoBrics



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