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  #1  
Old 12-27-2010, 10:13 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Arms Control Fever (Spencer Ackerman & Eli Lake)

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:29 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Arms Control Fever (Spencer Ackerman & Eli Lake)

Another quality diavlog from these two redoubtable journos.

I have to disagree with Lake here. North Korea is a buffer zone. The peculiarities of the regime and the eccentricities of its leaders are secondary to keeping the 8th Army from the Yalu. In a possible post-American order in the region, when the US withdraws from the peninsula, I don't think Beijing would object to a unified Korean regime that paid it respect (i.e., gave it MFN status). Of course, conservatives like Lee Myung-bak might object to such obeisance. What the average Korean thinks is a mystery. I suspect most Koreans have equal scorn for all foreign powers, but as long as they can make money or have a job, they would have no objection to a relationship with China.

I think what Lake says is more appropriate for Japan.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2010, 09:41 AM
Otto Kerner Otto Kerner is offline
 
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Default who is Dougie?

The Cali Swagg District version is pretty good, but it can't compare to Girl Talk's use of same toward the beginning of All Day.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2010, 10:36 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default democrats are like the russians

democrats have been saying for years they want to raise taxes on the high earners. But in the end they conceded raising taxes would hurt the economy and they agreed to maintain the current rates. Spencer alludes to democrat agreement that our nukes need to be modernized and we need missile defense. Again, this is contrary to policy statements democrats make in public.Add in how comfortable Spencer appears to be regarding the actions of the evil and otherwise self serving states of the world like Russia, China and Iran. The conclusion is that republicans should deal with democrats in the same way they do with Russia and China. Don't believe anything they say in public. Keep your distance. Trust but verify when you have an agreement on paper.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:02 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default START and Stop

I'll 'start' out by once again commending Eli for his brilliant article in Reason last April. It's linked in the sidebar and required reading for everyone on the political spectrum, from me and my fellow-pacifists to John Bolton and his fellow warists.

I think of New START as a milestone achievement for Obama. It's true that he had to cave to the hawks to get it done; it's true that it's a mere drop in the nuclear bucket (a far bigger price is the Comp Nuclear Test Ban Treaty); it's true that you could make a list of more pressing issues by just glancing at the NPT regime, its agenda and its challenges; it's true that with today's Republican radicals defying the wisdom of their former hawk Republican SecDefs and SecStates elder statespersons, START looks like a dead end for Obama's nuclear agenda; it's true that New START looked like a slam dunk just a few months ago and turned out to be a terrible nail-bitter.

But having said all that, the symbolic value of passage is significant. The Nuclear Long Game requires the US and Russia to signal that they are taking steps toward disarmament, and that world leaders are serious about eventual nuclear abolition. Everyone in the Global Zero universe is celebrating passage of New START.

If it had failed, you'd have had a serious erosion, if not fatal debilitation, of the Obama nuclear abolition agenda. Passage gives him (and the ideal) continued credibility.

Abolitionists have the common purpose of worldwide consensus-building. START helps build the consensus. The question is, where does POTUS, an on-the-record Nobel Peace Prize winning abolitionist, go from here?

I am hoping to see more pressure on Israel, India and Pakistan to join the NPT, and for the conversation with Iran to move forward with some stepping-back-from-the-brink give-and-take between Iran and Israel. Let's get those inspectors empowered on the ground in both countries.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:06 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: democrats are like the russians

Yes, by all means PLEASE "keep your distance!"
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2010, 09:00 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I am hoping to see more pressure on Israel, India and Pakistan to join the NPT, and for the conversation with Iran to move forward with some stepping-back-from-the-brink give-and-take between Iran and Israel. Let's get those inspectors empowered on the ground in both countries.
right, and continue to pretend that evil China and evil/crazy NK don't exist. News today that China has ballistic missile systems in place that can destroy not only US aircraft carriers, but also can be used to devastating affect against Japan. Maybe a surf board will hit vacation guy on the head and reset his thinking against missile defense.
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2010, 01:00 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
right, and continue to pretend that evil China and evil/crazy NK don't exist. News today that China has ballistic missile systems in place that can destroy not only US aircraft carriers, but also can be used to devastating affect against Japan. Maybe a surf board will hit vacation guy on the head and reset his thinking against missile defense.
So, calling them "evil" is a policy? First of all, North Korea is peripheral to regional questions and its significance ends there. And, the news you refer to is from this Asahi Daily report reviewed by Andrew Erickson. What you and Erickson both leave out in your technological fixation is the immediately preceding questions about regional strategic balance.

Quote:
Q: In March, you told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "China's rapid and comprehensive transformation of its armed forces is affecting regional military balances." Could you elaborate on how China's military expansion is affecting the regional military balance?

A: Two ways. In one sense, the tremendous advancement in China's military itself is shifting the overall balance of military powers in the region. It's been rare in history that any country underpinned by the kind of economic power that China possesses has developed its military so rapidly.

But at the same time, the other countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are troubled by and uncertain of China's intentions are also advancing their own military capabilities, and this is particularly true in the acquisition of submarines and advanced aircraft.

We're seeing not only China advance, but (also) the other militaries in the region that can afford it seek to advance alongside.

Q: Do you think that kind of procurement, or arms race, is detrimental to stability? Or is it better to have other countries procure a certain level of weapon systems to balance out China's expansion?

A: I think that's a very fair question. I think that the nations in the region have a responsibility to be able to maintain security within their territory, and not all of the nations in the Asia-Pacific are self-sufficient militarily.

To an extent, the acquisition of systems (and) the advancement of our regional militaries will assist all of us in sharing the responsibility to maintain security across Asia-Pacific.

To the extent the acquisitions are specifically to counter China or any other nation's growing military, it would raise the question whether or not those acquisitions are properly balanced to achieve self-sufficiency or whether it's targeted against counter-balancing other military powers.

Q: Is the strategic balance in the region tipping toward China's favor because of its military expansion?

A: Well, when you say "strategic balance," you and I would have to help define that because there's more to strategic balance than just a growing military. I would say that the military balance is undoubtedly shifting as China's military expands faster than other regional nations, but the strategic balance remains in flux. And again, there is an economic factor in that. There is a diplomatic factor in that. There is a military factor in that. (And) there is an economic factor associated with that.

When we talk strategic balance, we have to talk about relative influence in the international community globally. China bears a responsibility, given its growing economic power, growing diplomatic power globally and growing military, to be a greater contributor to the overall security--of not only the Asia-Pacific but elsewhere--brought about by its many elements of national power.

Japan and the United States, two longstanding economic powers, are good examples of nations that have achieved a strategic balance in the world and are meeting many of their global responsibilities.
FYI, too, China might have a fifth-generation stealth fighter.

This is the trickier and more relevant issue. How does the US as an offshore balancer adjust to a region in strategic flux? Especially, that is, if Beijing's economic prowess starts to waver or at least go boom and bust. And, how do India and Japan fit into this picture? As usual, you're just simpler than a bumper sticker. I worry more about arms races than China.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:26 AM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Arms Control Fever (Spencer Ackerman & Eli Lake)

When I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke.
Maybe the CIA has an Occupation Media Group to go along with the WTF.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:10 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Gorby on our next step en route to ZERO nukes

Gorbachev on New START and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.


Quote:
It is fairly certain that once the Senate agreed to ratification, most of the countries still waiting would follow. No country wants to be a “rogue nation” forever, and we have seen that dialogue with even the most recalcitrant governments is possible. Yet dialogue can work only if the United States abandons the hypocritical position of telling others what they must not do while keeping its own options open.

Universal ratification of the test ban treaty would be a step toward creating a truly global community of nations, in which all share the responsibility for humankind’s future.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:31 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Pushing Rogue a Bit Too Far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Gorbachev on New START and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
One quibble I have with both Lake and Gorbachev is, that no nation is a monolith. Every bureaucracy and every institution has factions. Yes, there might be a "rogue" tradition in Russian policy, or a "rogue" faction. But, no nation, not even Libya is 100% "rogue".
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2010, 05:21 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Gorby on our next step en route to ZERO nukes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Gorbachev on New START and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
With all due respect to Gorbachev, neither a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty nor the total elimination of nuclear weapons would be the first step towards a "global community of nations, in which all share the responsibility for mankind's future." The first step was taken long ago when international law began to regulate relations between states, however inadequately. The second step was taken with the establishment of the League of Nations and the United Nations (and the European Union?), when states agreed to submit their disputes to discussion and adjudication (and in the case of the EU to limit their sovereignty).

Good riddance to nuclear weapons, but at least they were only used once and they kept the world out of a major war for a half century! There are still plenty of conventional weapons (the US in particular seems to think that it can never have enough of them), and as long as states remain independent and sovereign, they will be tempted to settle their differences by war. They are certainly never going to disarm as long as one state, the global hegemon, thinks it alone has the right to police the world.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:45 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
So, calling them "evil" is a policy?
the policy is to raise tariffs on Chinese imports, penalize GM and GE for entering into global parnerships with China ( see today's WSJ ), withdraw the American soldiers from SK. What trade we have with China should favor companies located in the south of the country. That would empower that region of the country to press for more autonomy from the North.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
First of all, North Korea is peripheral to regional questions and its significance ends there.
NK is a proxy of China. All of its rogue international acts are done with the acquisence and instruction of China. There is no other explanation for why China allows NK to ship nuclear and weapons technology to Iran and Venezuela.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:58 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Gorby on our next step en route to ZERO nukes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Gorbachev on New START and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Both the US and Russia have governments which are unstable. Russia has a shrinking population and controls a huge amount of open space territory. The people living in the over populated lands of China, India, Pakistan and South West Asia have every right to demand immigration rights to that space.

The US has a terribly untenable financial situation due to its out of touch and greedy political and government class. The divisions between democrat and republican are transforming into regional differences. Hopefully the nuclear armaments of both sides will melt away as the political standing of the Russian and American central governments turns to dust.

Last edited by DenvilleSteve; 12-29-2010 at 09:44 AM..
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2010, 09:28 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
NK is a proxy of China. All of its rogue international acts are done with the acquisence and instruction of China. There is no other explanation for why China allows NK to ship nuclear and weapons technology to Iran and Venezuela.
You're an awfully loud-mouthed cub for someone who knows even less than those with clearances. As far as the 8th Army leaving, that's for the South Koreans to decide. It's up to Americans to decide whether the region matters to them or not, and how to deal with all the states in the region, not just China. A few BM's, badly-designed aircraft carriers, and crappy jets mean nothing to a well-trained military force backed by sound policy. Keep hyper-ventilating, though, it makes some Chinese and most Koreans laugh to watch American conservatives froth at the mouth. But, trust me, people like you are good for entertainment when there's a lot of booze flowing.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2010, 09:46 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
... As far as the 8th Army leaving, that's for the South Koreans to decide. ...
I don't want you to think I am ignoring your posts, but your above statement does not make any sense.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2010, 07:28 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
I don't want you to think I am ignoring your posts, but your above statement does not make any sense.
And, I don't want you to think that I think you're an idiot. But, the US has negotiated with Seoul to withdraw, and Seoul has requested a delay. And, in another sense, too, it's in Seoul's hands. It makes no sense to leave South Korea before the ROK military can do for itself what the US does now. That means massive procurement and structural reforms, along the lines of ending conscription and improving conditions for its troops.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:32 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: START and Stop

Yes I'm sure the whale hunting Putin is impressed with the symbology! I'm sure that Kim Yong-il, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were similarly in awe of the significant "...signal that they are taking steps toward disarmament, and that world leaders are serious about eventual nuclear abolition..." even as yourself acknowledge that it is significantly insignificant; "...true that it's a mere drop in the nuclear bucket (a far bigger price is the Comp Nuclear Test Ban Treaty); it's true that you could make a list of more pressing issues by just glancing at the NPT regime...".
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:46 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Yes I'm sure the whale hunting Putin is impressed with the symbology! I'm sure that Kim Yong-il, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were similarly in awe of the significant "...signal that they are taking steps toward disarmament, and that world leaders are serious about eventual nuclear abolition..." even as yourself acknowledge that it is significantly insignificant; "...true that it's a mere drop in the nuclear bucket (a far bigger price is the Comp Nuclear Test Ban Treaty); it's true that you could make a list of more pressing issues by just glancing at the NPT regime...".
When you consider the effort that has to go into confirming treaties like START and passing bills, yes, I agree that the outcome is paltry compared to the hopes entertained by their proponents. This is a war of inches, like a football game in the mud. Iran and North Korea (and Kim Jong-il) exist in the gaps between regional antagonisms and between the gaps in rhetoric and reality. Iran will flog Israel for its nukes, and North Korea will demand parity with the region and the US because the US with its bombing campaigns did worse than nuke it during the Korean War. (Again, I disagree with those who think North Korea is just a Chinese stooge: there's also a Korean civil war component to the problem.) The anti-nukes crowd will always be running the ball while the "rogues" have the better passing game.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2010, 09:02 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: START and Stop

I mean we just left out the next generation of weapons that will be of significance and the is the boost and glide hypersonic weapons. We specifically requested that these soon to be deplorable weapons weapons were not in the mix.

This whole arms control sham is like the smoke and thunder of the Wizard of OZ.
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  #21  
Old 12-29-2010, 09:09 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: START and Stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
I mean we just left out the next generation of weapons that will be of significance and the is the boost and glide hypersonic weapons. We specifically requested that these soon to be deplorable weapons weapons were not in the mix.

This whole arms control sham is like the smoke and thunder of the Wizard of OZ.
I think you're alluding to another aspect of this debate that's a bit disconcerting but still relevant. Another reason to rid ourselves of these fossil weapons is their budget-busting potential. Sure, both sides want to retard the other side's ability to do harm and increase its own ability to produce worse weaponry. That's another debate. The fact is, that nukes are yesterday's news, frustrate any debate about the good uses of nuclear energy, and, if for no other reason than making tax-payers happy, we need to get them off the books.
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  #22  
Old 04-10-2011, 03:18 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Please pardon our thread necrophilia ...

... but I thought this nugget from Danger Room was interesting enough to add to this space, since part of the discussion concerned missile defense and it was the most recent one that I could think that had done so.

Quote:
To mitigate some of Hezbollah’s missile threat, Israel is expected to deploy its Iron Dome anti-rocket missiles on its northern border with Lebanon alongside its Arrow long range ballistic missile defense system. In the meantime, Israel has rushed Iron Dome to the southern border with Gaza last month to meet Hamas’ rocket fire. Since then, it has scored its first successes, taking out two rockets yesterday and three today headed towards the southern city of Ashkelon. But Iron Dome’s protection comes at a price. The advanced radar-guided system uses missiles to knock out cheap, sometimes DIY rockets at short range — and costs at least $25,000 per missile fired and $50 million per battery. Facing an arsenal of thousands of Hezbollah rockets up north, Iron Dome could quickly rack up a hefty bill in the event of another war.
Emph. added.

(h/t: B'head Robert Farley)
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