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US and Russia Conclude Arms-Control Treaty 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the legs-control-treaty-soon-to-follow dept.
reporter writes "According to a report just published by the NY Times, Washington and the Kremlin have finalized an agreement on limiting nuclear weapons and related hardware. Notably, the agreement does not restrict American development of an anti-missile shield. Quoting: 'The new treaty will reduce the binding limit on deployed strategic nuclear warheads by more than one-quarter, and on launchers by half. It will reestablish an inspection and verification regime, replacing one that expired in December. But while the pact recognizes the dispute between the two countries over American plans for missile defense based in Europe, it will not restrict the United States from building such a shield. ... The specific arms reductions embedded in the new treaty amount to a continuing evolution rather than a radical shift in the nuclear postures of both countries. According to people in Washington and Moscow who were briefed on the new treaty, it will lower the legal limit on deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 each, from the 2,200 allowed as of 2012 under the previous treaty. It would lower the limit on launchers to 800 from the 1,600 now permitted. Nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each.'"
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US and Russia Conclude Arms-Control Treaty

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  • Hooray (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:44PM (#31632142)

    Damn Obama, first healthcare and now cutting nukes whilst keeping your shield intact. You're good. I wonder how McCain/Palin would've handled the situation.

  • Re:Ha! Russia. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:48PM (#31632206)

    Assuming their nuclear arsenal is at the caps mentioned in this article, I'd say they're super power enough.

  • by GuJiaXian (455569) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:54PM (#31632286) Homepage

    Are you honestly willing to assume that their warheads are now all duds? Regardless of any political or environmental views or feelings, it seems naive to assume that all those weapons out there "probably wouldn't even go foom."

  • by x1n933k (966581) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:57PM (#31632336) Homepage

    1. Like every country in the world, they're a Competitor for resources. The fact that they have warheads would be enough to consider them a threat to any US interest. They don't necessarily have to launch Nukes into US soil in order to make a point.

    2. Their financial situation is all the more reason to be wary of a Country. I'm not anti-Russian, but they do have weapons of mass destruction. If the wrong people were in charge, and if desperate they could threaten attacks to get resources. Similar to number one.

    On note from the article, I don't really see how that is that important. Yes there are less Nukes, but there are still more than enough to destroy the world a few times over. It just seems like a waste of air negotiating.

  • by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:00PM (#31632370)

    800 nuclear missile launchers aren't enough to nuke everyone in one turn?

  • by confused one (671304) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:06PM (#31632460)
    Pay more attention to Russia: They've found the resources they need to raise all the capital they need to maintain their military at any level they choose. They've discovered they have petroleum riches comparable to the middle east... I'd argue that their nuclear industry is in better shape than that in the United States. They also (still) have a fairly robust manufacturing capacity, which they're leveraging on the global market. Their space industry rivals, and in some ways exceeds, the technological capability of both the United States and European Union. But, your first point is correct, we're not really enemies any more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:07PM (#31632478)

    1) Spoken like a true imperialist. Every country is a competitor for resources, but alas, russia is a competitor for oil that is on their soil it seems (just an example). They don't even have to launch nukes to make a point either. All they have to do is stop the flow of oil or natural gas to Europe.

    2) While the Russians do have nuclear weapons, you ignore the fact that the United States also has nuclear weapons. Are you insinuating that the United States and its allies are the only countries allowed to have nuclear weapons. If so, that is pretty sad.

    While the russians may have more warheads than the US, they also have less reliable delivery systems with a much higher failure rate, making the US inventory more than likely more effective from a potential damage perspective (US ICBMs are all solid fuel, Russian ICBMs are liquid fueled).

    The reality is, that the reduction of stockpiles needs to be accomplished gradually. The limits specified in this treaty are to be reached within 7 years I believe. It takes that long to figure out how to dispose of the weapons grade waste products. You can't just take them offline, strip them down and be done with it.

    Once the limits of this treaty are reached, the powers can then look at the situation of the world and then negotiate further reductions, although more than likely this will be handled by new regimes, at least on the US side.

  • Re:Ha! Russia. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:13PM (#31632574)

    I know, and without the ability to project power the People's Liberation Army will sit in the People's Republic and polish their QBZ-95s.

    If the PLA could project power they would be in Taipei right now.

  • "Conclude?" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:14PM (#31632588)
    "Conclude" means "bring to an end." They might have concluded treaty negotiations, but they didn't conclude a treaty (except to the extent that this new treaty may replace an old one, which is clearly not what was meant). And concluding negotiations doesn't imply either agreement or disagreement, so the headline should probably read "US and Russia agree to arms control treaty."
  • Re:Not good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by confused one (671304) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:15PM (#31632618)
    (1)North Korea has a huge army. They might not have resources but, because of the size of their army, even on foot with nothing but rifles, they could cause significant trouble for a while. (2)Seoul, South Korea's capital city, is within artillery range of North Korea... N. Korea could sit on their side of the border and lob shells, again doing considerable damage before, Yes, we would stop it; but, they have a significant amount of firepower parked there, waiting. (3) South Korea is a significant financial and manufacturing power center. Anything that affects South Korea will have an impact on the world market. Point is, you should be concerned about that saber rattling paranoid megalomaniac sitting in power in North Korea.
  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:19PM (#31632684) Journal

    1.We aren't enemies anymore. Right?

    We negotiate treaties with non-enemies regularly, holding treaties with the UK, Canada, and Mexico. It isn't always meant to solve disputes, but in some cases to head them off before they can become a problem.

  • by Jenming (37265) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:25PM (#31632768)

    This is actually very important. Most of us here (me included) are too young to remember. But our parents generation lived in fear of a nuclear war. Tensions were very high and the nuclear build up was huge. Moving from the cold war state to full nuclear disarmament won't happen quickly, but any step in that direction should be encouraged and hopefully there will not be another generation who has to fear a nuclear war.

  • Re:Not good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeng (926980) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:28PM (#31632800)

    They can damage South Korea, but they are not set up in a way that they could effect a war beyond the range that their current artillery is stationed.

    North Korea is a one trick pony and we know what that trick will be if they ever decide to play it. They will not play it.

    North Koreans are taught that the rest of the world has it worse than them, that dear leader has their best intentions at heart. The moment that the North Koreans were to reach Seoul the North would lose those soldiers. North Korea would only be able to sustain an attack for a few days at best, after that the North would be invaded and there would finally only be one Korea. (mass suicide of North Koreans would follow unfortunately)

    Their nuclear program is a joke at best, there have been larger fertilizer explosions than what North Korea test fired.

  • by khallow (566160) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:50PM (#31633114)

    On note from the article, I don't really see how that is that important. Yes there are less Nukes, but there are still more than enough to destroy the world a few times over. It just seems like a waste of air negotiating.

    There's never been enough nuclear weapons to "destroy" the world a few times over. And the huge reductions in the nuclear arsenal greatly reduces the maximum damage from a short term nuclear war. This especially includes secondary effects like fallout and nuclear winter which are more likely to harm third parties.

    Nuclear weapons are extraordinarily destructive, but even that can be greatly exaggerated. For example, in the movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse [imdb.com], a cruise missile with a five kiloton warhead wipes out a large US city. The only problem? That bomb is only a fraction of the explosive power of the only nuclear bombs used in war, Hiroshima (13 kilotons) and Nagasaki (21 kilotons). Even Nagasaki wouldn't have wiped out that city (there'd still be plenty of mostly intact zombies running around, for example).

    For whatever reason, people like to exaggerate the effects of nuclear weapons yet at the same time downplay their effectiveness as peacekeeping tools.

  • Re:Hooray (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:19PM (#31633402)
    What can we not blow up with the 1,500 strategic warheads still permitted under the treaty!? This is mainly just going to save both of us a lot of money.
  • Re:Ha! Russia. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:51PM (#31633724)

    so you think that China has a bubble economy then? The country where most of the worlds manufacturing capacity is [being] concentrated? The country that is actively buying assets in forms of commodities, lands, mines, all over the world? Country with the fastest growing consumer population?

    You just described a bubble. Congratulations.

    BTW, arguing with rhetoric and thinly veiled personal accusations only makes your argument appear weaker.

  • Re:Not good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:27PM (#31634112) Homepage

    Kim Jung Il maybe a megalomaniac, but the idea that he can do everything that crosses his mind is wrong. Lose the support of the top ranked officers of the army and his opinion will be irrelevant (or he'll stop having one at all).

    Even a dictator relies on a chain of command, and can't do anything if it breaks.

  • Re:Ha! Russia. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash.p10link@net> on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:33PM (#31634162) Homepage

    Pretty well afaict, afaict there are far more enemies dying than there are people dying on our side.

    The real problem in iraq was not winning the war itself, it's dealing with the mess left behind afterwards. That costs more lives than many of us westerners are willing to stomach for a war we see as having little direct affect on us (but still not very many compared to other wars).

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