The Obama administration is so eager to further cut U.S. nuclear warheads in another deal with Russia that it's not only gone soft on U.S. missile defense, it won't call out Moscow for a new missile that violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
That pact bans ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 620 and 3,418 miles. The Washington Free Beacon reports that Russia's new road-mobile Yars M missile, due for deployment this year with a supposed range of 6,800-plus miles, flew just 1,242 miles in a recent test.
U.S. intelligence officials and private-sector experts contend Russia is classifying the Yars M as a longer-range intercontinental ballistic missile to hide the fact that it violates the INF Treaty. So do some high-ranking House Republicans who've been pressing the issue and say the White House hasn't been responsive to their concerns.
The fiscal 2014 defense bill — like its fiscal 2013 predecessor — includes a House-passed provision prohibiting further nuke reductions while Russia is in violation of treaty obligations. But this White House's particularly pernicious foreign-policy deferentialism on the Yars M so diminishes U.S. credibility and leverage as to make any new arms-control talks not just unwise but pointless.
As one U.S. intelligence official puts it: “How can President Obama believe (the Russians) are going to live up to any nuclear treaty reductions when they are violating the INF treaty by calling one of their missiles something else?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.