washington post- "Given President Obama's glaring domestic policy missteps, it is understandable that the public has largely been blinded to his foreign policy failings. In fact, these may have been even more damaging to America's future. He fought to reinstate Honduras's pro-Chávez president while stalling Colombia's favored-trade status. He castigated Israel at the United Nations but was silent about Hamas having launched 7,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip. His policy of "engagement" with rogue nations has been met with North Korean nuclear tests, missile launches and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, while Iran has accelerated its nuclear program, funded terrorists and armed Hezbollah with long-range missiles. He acceded to Russia's No. 1 foreign policy objective, the abandonment of our Europe-based missile defense program, and obtained nothing whatsoever in return.
Despite all of this, the president's New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-START) with Russia could be his worst foreign policy mistake yet....
As drafted, it lets Russia escape the limit on its number of strategic nuclear warheads. Loopholes and lapses -- presumably carefully crafted by Moscow -- provide a path to entirely avoid the advertised warhead-reduction targets.... Under New START, the United States must drastically reduce our number of launchers but Russia will not -- it already has fewer launchers than the treaty limits. Put another way: We give, Russia gets....
By all indications, the Obama administration has been badly out-negotiated. Perhaps the president's eagerness for global disarmament led his team to accede to Russia's demands, or perhaps it led to a document that was less than carefully drafted.
No wonder Russia was bending over backwards to be friendly to Obama's push to "restart relations". Whilst an unprecedented Russian spy ring was discovered. This is what an improved foreign image looks like!
infozine.com- "Eric Edelman, former undersecretary of defense for policy, also expressed concern that the U.S. would be cutting more weapons launchers than Russia.
Each country is limited to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, 800 deployed and non-deployed weapons launchers and a combined 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles and heavy bombers.
Edelman said this policy puts the U.S. at a disadvantage because Russia already has a smaller stock of weapons launchers. That's because its weapons system is aging and not being replaced. By contrast the U.S. would have to take some of its more modern weapons systems out of service.
"A treaty that requires no elimination of nuclear structure by Russia and forcing the U.S. to reduce is perhaps not in the U.S. national interest, given the global U.S. responsibilities to providing extended deterrents to allies," Edelmen said.
But Morton Halperin, senior adviser to the Open Society Institute, said there is nothing in the treaty to prevent the U.S. from building new missile defense launchers and the constraint would be of "no significance."
Halperin said START will "contribute to strategic stability and reduce the risk of unintended or accidental use of nuclear weapons by either nation."
The institute, founded by billionaire George Soros, works to build democracies.