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Why START Now?

December 24, 2010

So the New START treaty has been ratified by Congress, I hear. The French Cowboy is too clueless to make a meaningful assessment on whether this is a good or a bad deal in terms of foreign policy relations, so I rather leave that to people who know. As a political event I’d say that it’s to be placed somewhere between “good for Obama” and “irrelevant”.

It’s good for Obama because he can tout it as a major political (and international relations) achievement. He’s been advertising himself as the “Let’s get rid of nuclear weapons” president and now he can say that he’s made an important step into the right direction (maybe having retroactively earned a bit of that Nobel Peace Prize). Whether that’s true or whether his goal is a good idea in the first place is a different issue.

The deal’s irrelevant because it’s not Russia’s arsenal of nuclear weapons that’s a pressing issue right now. In fact, the mere notion that a US President in the year 2010 is eagerly focused to forge a disarmament treaty with Russia seems a bit anachronistic. Obama has two actual regional wars at his hands, very real terror threats against his own country, an ever more aggressive North Korea and collaboration between the world’s worst regimes — and he’s busy negotiating with the Russians over redundant nuclear arms. Talk about a Cold War mentality.

On the bright side, now that the world has been saved from a possible nuclear war between Russia and the US, Obama can finally set his eye on the economy. I know what you’re thinking: “Why start now?” Well, I don’t know. In any case, I’m not sure that’s actually a good thing. We’re still suffering from the last time when Obama had made the economy his priority.

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