Tuesday, February 14, 2017

With our security establishment in a mess


Putin makes another move that would have elicited a strong counter response from any real President. His deployment of a new land based cruise missile is in violation of a 1987 treaty between the two countries.
Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War, administration officials say.

The move presents a major challenge for President Trump, who has vowed to improve relations with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and to pursue future arms accords.

The new Russian missile deployment also comes as the Trump administration is struggling to fill key policy positions at the State Department and the Pentagon — and to settle on a permanent replacement for Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned late Monday. Mr. Flynn stepped down after it was revealed that he had misled the vice president and other officials over conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

The ground-launched cruise missile at the center of American concerns is one that the Obama administration said in 2014 had been tested in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian intermediate-range missiles based on land.

The Russia missile program has been a major concern for the Pentagon, which has developed options for how to respond, including deploying additional missile defenses in Europe or developing air-based or sea-based cruise missiles.

But it is politically significant, as well.

It is very unlikely that the Senate, which is already skeptical of Mr. Putin’s intentions, would agree to ratify a new strategic arms control accord unless the alleged violation of the intermediate-range treaty is corrected. Mr. Trump has said the United States should “strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.” But at the same time, he has talked of reaching a new arms agreement with Moscow that would reduce arms “very substantially.”

The deployment of the system could also increase the military threat to NATO nations, which potentially would be one of the principal targets. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to meet with allied defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday.
The idea that Precedent Trump would or could form a coherent response to this provocation is so ludicrous. Our Secretary of State is busy working on his oil deal with Russia and the National Security adviser canned and his replacement not yet in office, Pooty has no fears he will be opposed on any of his moves.

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