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Russia-U.S. Nuke Agreement Collapsing

Russia-U.S. Nuke Agreement Collapsing

That “Reset” button never really worked

Things just aren’t good on any front involving the relationship between the United States and Russia. The nearly-hot war between Russia and Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea and the downing of Malaysian Flight 17 are capturing the main headlines. But there’s other grim news as well.

First, the landmark arms control agreement signed by Reagan and Gorbachev seems to be falling apart thanks to Russian aggression.

The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.

It is the most serious allegation of an arms control treaty violation that the Obama administration has leveled against Russia and adds another dispute to a relationship already burdened by tensions over the Kremlin’s support for separatists in Ukraine and its decision to grant asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

At the heart of the issue is the 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying 300 to 3,400 miles. That accord, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, helped seal the end of the Cold War and has been regarded as a cornerstone of American-Russian arms control efforts.

And now, even scientific and mutual defense cooperation between Russian and American nuclear scientists is decaying.

It was only 11 months ago that the American energy secretary — Ernest J. Moniz, a former M.I.T. professor who has championed scientific programs that would bury the Cold War competitions between the United States and Russia — went to Vienna to sign the agreement, an indication of how recently the Obama administration believed it had a chance of building on a quarter-century of gradual integration of Russia with the West.

Handshakes and congratulations exchanged with Mr. Moniz’s Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Kirienko, sealed an arrangement that would let Russian scientists into, among other places, the heart of the American nuclear complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was constructed 70 years ago, and a dozen sister laboratories devoted to the making of the American nuclear arsenal. In return, American scientists would be allowed deep into Russian nuclear facilities, including the birthplace of the Soviet bomb.

The Energy Department’s announcement of the deal also highlighted its potential for “defense from asteroids,” shorthand for a proposal to recycle a city-busting warhead that could be aimed at an incoming earth-destroyer — a plot Hollywood had imagined 15 years before in two far-fetched thrillers, “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact,” in which Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, among others, saved humanity.

Now the program has come to a complete halt as part of the post-Crimean sanctions regime placed on Russia by the United States. Both sets of scientists aren’t happy about the agreement falling apart — but as the New York Times notes: it is hard to exchange nuclear scientists when the rest of the US-Russian relationship has become so cold.

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Comments

It was a joke political ploy from the outset. There was no ‘reset’. Only capitulation.

Putin responds to one thing – strength. Obama has none of it. Why would he CARE what the spineless wimp thinks at this point? He knows Obama is too chickenshit to do anything to stop his plans.

If only the Kenyan usurper was a muscly daddy-type like Pootie Poot, none of this would be happening.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Gus. | August 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Obama has noodle legs . Putin’s sport is judo which requires agility . He can shoot , ride bare horseback , swim butterfly , scuba dive along with other KGB pastimes .

    I really don’t know what noodle legs are good for. Beekeeping?

I’m not seeing much about this on any of my favorite *conservative* sites:

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/House-panel-No-administration-wrongdoing-in-5663509.php?cmpid=twitter%20

I wonder when Congressman Grand Theft Auto intends to payback all of the tax dollars he wasted by lying about this for 2 years.

    Spiny Norman in reply to Gus. | August 5, 2014 at 12:04 am

    That article is almost entirely a Democrat’s interpretation of the report. “No criminal wrongdoing” hardly clears the administration of woeful incompetence. Besides, investigating allegations is not “lying” — I’d wager you still believe it was all about a third-rate YouTube video that no-one had seen until the Obama administration had Susan Rice trot it out.

    Besides, you idiots still blame George W Bush for the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, so get off your damn high horse.

      I “believe” what the evidence shows. What the evidence shows is Congressman Grand Theft Auto and his fellow-travelers have spent almost two years “investigating” trumped up charges and knowingly repeating false accusations against the WH. You idiots have accused the president and HRC of “murdering” our own diplomats. What the evidence shows, to anyone with half a brain, is that *conservatives* deliberately politicized a tragedy because they hate the president.

      I know it doesn’t matter to *conservatives*. You’ll “believe” what you want to believe, despite the lack of evidence.

      When do taxpayers get our money back?

      “Besides, you idiots still blame George W Bush for the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, so get off your damn high horse.”

      No, strawman, no one seriously “blames” GWB for 9/11. But keep trying to justify the lie you love.

        Please do not feed the moronic, idiotic, uninformed, progressive, leftist Troll. He’s getting you to waste effort responding to him rather than have a substantive discussion on the issues. Merely note: Do Not Feed The Trolls.

We need to bring Kissinger back.

BannedbytheGuardian | August 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Strange situation on the 400+ ukrainian soldiers who ‘found themselves’ in Russia . Lysenko says they retreated to Rusiaia ‘for safety. Reasons’ whilst fighting the ( allegedly proxy Russian ) separatists . Proof Ukraine is led by mad people .

Ukraine is demanding them back . Russia says they are humanitarian escapees & will be persecuted if returned.

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