New START Treaty

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 18, 2010

Learn more:New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)

Today, Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary Clinton said:

"It is a pleasure to testify along with Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, because we share a strong belief that the new START treaty will make our country more secure. This treaty also reflects our growing cooperation with Russia on matters of mutual interest and it will aid us in advancing our broader nonproliferation agenda. To that end, we have been working closely with our P-5+1 partners for several weeks on the draft of a new sanctions resolution on Iran. And today, I am pleased to announce to this committee we have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China. We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council today.

"And let me say, Mr. Chairman, that I think this announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide. There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran, and although we acknowledge the sincere efforts of both Turkey and Brazil to find a solution regarding Iran's standoff with the international community over its nuclear program, the P-5+1, which consists, of course, of Russia, China, the United States, the UK, France, and Germany, along with the High Representative of the EU, are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolution that will, in our view, send an unmistakable message about what is expected from Iran."

The Secretary continued, "But let me turn to the matter at hand, because I think as convincingly as I can make the case for the many reasons why this new START treaty is in the interest of the national security of the United States of America, the relationship with Russia is a key part of that kind of security. And as Senator Lugar said in his opening remarks, during all the ups and downs, during the heights and the depths of the Cold War, one constant was our continuing efforts to work toward the elimination of and the curtailment of strategic arms in a way that built confidence and avoided miscalculation."

Secretary Clinton then provided background on the new START treaty and explained what the treaty is and what it is not. The Secretary said:

"Now, some may argue that we don't need the new START treaty. But the choice before us is between this treaty and no treaty governing our nuclear security relationship with Russia, between this treaty and no agreed verification mechanisms on Russia's strategic nuclear forces, between this treaty and no legal obligation for Russia to maintain its strategic nuclear forces below an agreed level. And as Secretary Gates has pointed out, every previous president who faced this choice has found that the United States is better off with a treaty than without one, and the United States Senate has always agreed. The 2002 Moscow Treaty was approved by a vote of 95 to nothing. The 1991 START treaty was approved by 93 to 6.

"More than two years ago, President Bush began the process that has led to the new START treaty that we are discussing today. Now, it, too, has already received bipartisan support in testimony before this committee. And as the Chairman and the Ranking Member acknowledged, former Secretary James Schlesinger, Secretary of Defense for Presidents Nixon and Ford, Secretary of Energy for President Carter, declared that it is obligatory for the United States to ratify it.

"Today, I'd like to discuss what the new START treaty is and what it isn't. It is a treaty that, if ratified, will provide stability, transparency, and predictability for the two countries with more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. It is a treaty that will reduce the permissible number of Russian and U.S.-deployed strategic warheads to 1,550. This is a level we have not reached since the 1950s. In addition, each country will be limited to 700 deployed strategic delivery vehicles and 800 deployed and non-deployed strategic missile launchers and heavy bombers. These targets will help the United States and Russia bring our deployed strategic arsenals, which were sized for the Cold War, to levels that are appropriate for today's threats.

"This is a treaty that will help us track remaining weapons with an extensive verification regime. This regime draws upon our experience over the last 15 years in implementing the original START treaty which expired in December. The verification measures reflect today's realities, including the fewer number of facilities in Russia compared with the former Soviet Union. And for the first time ever, we will be monitoring the actual numbers of warheads on deployed strategic missiles. Moreover, by bringing the new START treaty into force, we will strengthen our national security more broadly, including by creating greater leverage to tackle a core national security challenge -- nuclear proliferation.

"Now, I am not suggesting that this treaty alone will convince Iran or North Korea to change their behavior. But it does demonstrate our leadership and strengthens our hand as we seek to hold these and other governments accountable, whether that means further isolating Iran and enforcing the rules against violators or convincing other countries to get a better handle on their own nuclear materials. And it conveys to other nations that we are committed to real reductions and to holding up our end of the bargain under the Nonproliferation Treaty.

"In my discussions with many foreign leaders, including earlier this month in New York at the beginning of the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, I have already seen how this new START treaty and the fact that the United States and Russia could agree has made it more difficult for other countries to shift the conversation back to the United States. We are seeing an increasing willingness both to be held accountable and to hold others accountable.

"A ratified new START treaty would also continue our progress toward broader U.S.-Russia cooperation. We believe this is critical to other foreign policy priorities, including dealing with Iran's nuclear program, cooperating on Afghanistan, and pursuing trade and investment. Already the negotiations over this treaty have advanced our efforts to reset the U.S.-Russian relationship. There is renewed vigor in our discussion on every level, including those between our presidents, our military leaders, and between me and my counterpart, Foreign Minister Lavrov. Now, our approach to this relationship is pragmatic and clear-eyed. And our efforts, including this treaty, are producing tangible benefits for U.S. national security.

"At the same time, we are deepening and broadening our partnerships with allies. In my recent meetings in Tallinn, Estonia, with our other NATO allies, they expressed an overwhelmingly positive and supportive view of the new START treaty.

"Now, there are also things that this new treaty will not do. As both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen will discuss more fully, the new START treaty does not compromise the nuclear force levels we need to protect ourselves and our allies. The treaty does not infringe upon the flexibility we need to maintain our forces, including the bombers, submarines, and missiles, in a way that best serve our national security interest. The treaty does not constrain our plans for missile defense efforts.

"Those of you who worked with me in the Senate know I take a backseat to no one in my strong support of missile defense, so I want to make this point very clearly: Nothing in the new START treaty constrains our missile defense efforts. Russia has issued a unilateral statement on missile defense expressing its views. We have not agreed to this view, and we are not bound by this unilateral statement. In fact, we've issued our own unilateral statement making it clear that the United States intends to continue improving and deploying our missile defense systems, and nothing in this treaty prevents us from doing so.

"The treaty's preamble does include language acknowledging the relationship between strategic offensive and defensive forces, but this is simply a statement of fact. It does not constrain our missile defense programs in any way. In fact, a similar provision was part of the original START treaty and did not prevent us from developing our missile defenses. The treaty does contain language prohibiting the conversion or use of offensive missile launchers for missile defense interceptors and vice versa, but we never planned to do that anyway. As General O'Reillly, our missile defense director, has said, it is actually cheaper to build smaller, tailor-made missile defense silos than to convert offensive launchers. And the treaty does not restrict us from building new missile defense launchers, 14 of which we are currently constructing in Alaska.

"This Administration has requested 9.9 billion for missile defense in FY 2011, almost 700 million more than Congress provided in FY 2010. This request reflects our commitment to missile defense and our conviction that we have done nothing and there is no interpretation to the contrary that in any way undermines that commitment.

"Finally, the new START treaty does not restrict our ability to modernize our nuclear weapons complex to sustain a safe, secure, and affective deterrent. This Administration has called for a 10 percent increase in the FY 2011 budget for overall weapons and infrastructure activities and a 25 percent increase in direct stockpile work. This was not in previous budgets. And during the next 10 years, this Administration proposes investing $80 billion into our nuclear weapons complex.

"So let's take a step back and put the new START treaty into a larger context. This treaty is only one part of our country's broader efforts to reduce the threat posed by the deadliest weapons the world has ever known. And we owe special gratitude to Senator Lugar for his leadership and commitment through all the years on this issue. This Administration is facing head-on the problems of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. We have several coordinated efforts, including the Nuclear Posture Review, the recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit, and the ongoing Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. While a ratified new START treaty stands on its own terms in the reflection of the benefits in national security for our country, it is also a part of our broader efforts."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.



New Mexico, USA
May 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I would offer a little speculation as food for thought in that once this is simultaneously ratified in Washington and Moscow, that the Russian President will be half-way to meeting the friendly challenge I put to him on Dipnote after President Obama recieved his Nobel Peace Prize...that this year is the year for the Russian President to get nominated for one if wants it enough.

Attitude is everything. Then you get results.

May 19, 2010

Neide in Brazil writes:

this woman is much inteligent!!!!!! God bless you.

John P.
May 19, 2010

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

..the “Russian President”?

I remember that this guy had told us that he would give up his “power” after 8 years of “service”.

What has become of this pr(e)omise?

A dictatorship.

QUOTE: It took us a hundred years to overcome the economic ideology of slavery before equal rights became reality.

As it was with us it is with the's "a matter of mind over manifesto".

This is a people emerging from a long dark age of experiments in bad government, the genocidal whim of dictatorship, and 20 years is not long enough for the ecos of the past to have stopped reverberating in some corners.

Well we know what we're capable of and we know what the Rusasians are capable of, and the Russians know what we are capable of and are very aware of what they are capable of, and frankly what the Russians are capable of scare the Russians just as much as it does anyone else.

Lest an old mindset rear its ugly head at some point in the future.

But then you look at mankind as a whole and I don't see folks generally inclined to live their present in the past, with no future to speak of. END OF QUOTE.

How long will it take for “Russians” to persuade us that ex-Soviet Union changed, or at least changes?

I mean, they had some good “allowence time” already.

(Sorry, Bro), it’s one of the few times we disagree. I CAN NOT TRUST THE RUSSIANS. (the old school! Yoy can also call me the romantic school and then... CHUCKLE)

Recently, they sold nuclear technology to Turkey. Turkey 2 Brazil. Turkey & Brazil 2 IRAN..

Brazil (probably will) 2 Venezuela..(maybe in the future)

And it goes..

What’s next?

A Nobel?

New Mexico, USA
May 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

BBC News Item;


Iran dismissal

A close adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, has dismissed the new measures as illegitimate.

And the head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said newly-proposed sanctions on Iran will backfire.

"They won't prevail and by pursuing the passing of a new resolution they are discrediting themselves in public opinion," said Mr Salehi, who is also Iran's vice-president and the highest-ranking Iranian official to speak since the proposals were tabled.

"This [UN Security Council draft] resolution is the last effort by the West," he told Iran's semi-official news agency, Fars.

"They feel that for the first time in the world developing countries are able to defend their rights in the world arena without resorting to the major powers an that is very hard for them," he said.

Iran is also preparing a letter for the UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, officially notifying them of their deal with Turkey, Mr Salehi said.


@ John in Greece,

If 'lil Kim gave up all his nukes and toy rockets tommorrow, fed his people properly, and announced his intent to unify Korea, dismantling the DMZ, and working with S.Korea to hold elections at some future date to create a unified goverenment, he'd get the Peace Prize for sure. The form of government has nothing to do with walking a path to peace, attitude has everything to do with it.

Given the circumstances, that may be his best bet to keep the peace, if has any interest in that.

The Iranian government still doesn't understand that it can't compare itself with other "developing countries" while it remains the world's leading state sponsor of terror.

It's an insult to all those nations abiding by their NPT obligations and in process of developing the peaceful use of atomic energy without having to create the fuel or the plants themselves.

That way safety standards in construction can be standerdized, and environmental, geological, and site management in conjunction with the end-user nation can be predictable, and institutionalized in keeping with international norms set forth by the IAEA.

In short, Iran is complaining about something that is not reality as it is being implemented in agreements between nations to adress their energy needs into the future.

And a process of on site delivery of services that works to protect populations from tragic accidents, so I see no merit in the posturing, never mind all the things that agreement they signed doesn't address by way of violations of UN resolutions that are ongoing today.

Iran needed to do a policy backflip, instead we're witness to a holier-than-though "face-plant".

I don't know what all the others out there that consider themselves to be leading "developing nations" think, but the one thing that nobody has really remarked upon, is the cost of this distraction to your own development as nations.

Because when it comes right down to it, the money this country invests to counter Iran's agressive posturing in the region could be better spent.

But I think it reasonable to qualify this in that it will require regime replacement therapy to get there from here if sanctions don't convince.

It's good to know what the stakes are.

As a last thought on Russia I did say ratification of NEW START would get President Medvedev "half-way"...

I can't really complain John, it looks for all intents and apperances like he's accepted that friendly challenge.

Along with a "reset button"...

Never underestimate the power of a "reset" of the Russian sense of humor on top of all the other aspects, it's a lot like our's in that it helps handle differences of opinion.

Susan C.
Florida, USA
May 19, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Sorry, Eric, I totally agree with John. Russia has had long enough to show us that they have "changed". I really question their "new" relationship with Iran, and their nuclear agreements with Turkey and Brazil. I know you have good points about giving them time, but it does seem to me that they are leaning toward "old habits". Time will tell.

New Mexico, USA
May 20, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan,

I'm not sure what "new relastionship" you are referring to. Is that the one where Russia is engaging with the diplomacy of sanctions along with the other members of the P-5?

Or in applying political pressure on Iran through it's membership in the "quartet" to not be the "spoiler" in the peace process?

As far as the deal John mentioned, I'd like to see the source of that info to make my own judgement.

But it sounds like a violation of existing UN resolutions by Turkey and Brazil, and that Russia needs protocols built into in its trading to prevent this kind of transfer, if that's what happened.

In any case, the sanctions proposed will eliminate any and all conventional military hardware sales to Iran, and expanded interdicion of illegal arms and nuclear related shipments in and out of Iran.

The fact that this has been put in blue and tabled means that Russia and China are on board with this, no question.

So if Russia's intent is different, that's a sure way of shooting their arms sales in the foot.

Do you see the slight problem that poses for any further Russian assistance on the nuclear power plant they are building for Iran?

John always hold the opinion that State does a "great job". So do I and there's always room for improvement in human endevors.

But this time Madam Secretary and her team have produced an anticipated miracle of diplomacy in getting all the major players on the same page with respect to dealing with Iran's "standoff with the international community". One couldn't have asaked for more.

Now I figure the better our bilateral relationship is with Russia, the faster Russia will become integrated into International institutions like the WTO, and in doing so will have adequate invcentive to play by the rules, and international law. It's in their own national security and economic interest to do so.

The more we trade ( and I agree with both the US and Russian President's that current trade levels between our nations are just slightly better than pathetic, and "we have a lot of buisiness to do."

As the Secretary put it.

Susan, The Russians are tough negotiators and prone at times to posturing, but unlike in the old days, the relationship goes way beyond the posturing to reap results we can live with as partners in a common solution.

We face too many common problems not to be in this boat together, rowing as a team.

I'm sure we'll be watching each other close to make sure we're pulling equal weight on the oars while we go about it.

I'm not sure if the two of you realize just what US diplomacy has achieved in all of this, including bringing China's mindset in line with what needs doing at present.

If both nations are working constructively to build a more stable and secure world along with us, eventually that will give them both the confidence to build better, nmore prosperous societies as they evolve in peaceful coexistance and "larger freedom" within the family of nations with themselves and everyone else.

That's just going to take time, as the quotation John cited illustrates.

John P.
May 20, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

I do not disagree with your remarks and I still believe that the President, SD, and the Secretary are doing a FINE and very difficult job! They deserve a BRAVO ZULU!

I wouldn’t dare to be against such historical changes and moves that probably will make our world better and safer. However, you know better than me that sometimes what WE do –no matter how well we do it- also depends on what the OTHERS intend to do to help us do it.

Let me clarify that when I referred to this “new” Russian-Turkish-Brazilian-Iranian nuclear collaboration I did not mean a strictly nuclear arm collaboration. They won’t sell them guns –at least directly. Maybe I did not express it the right way. Nevertheless, this is absolutely confirmed. I watched the video of the three leaders’ meeting concerning their nuclear collaboration in every single TV channel in Greece. So, I do not have a specific source, but it’s confirmed. Some days before this meeting, Russia and Turkey signed a 20B€ agreement to construct an electricity nuclear plant in Turkey, plus a nuclear storage facility that will transit “extremely strong” nuclear materials to Brazil and Iran.

And you know: when you have the powder, you can make the bullet!

Until now, we knew that Russia used to sell tech and radioactive materials to Iran. We already had a headache.

Now, Russia becomes a “nuclear supermarket” and various countries have already been transformed to “salesmen”. Besides, Russia now can say that it does not sell anything to Iran, although the commercial channel is still open and much more difficult to control and check, since its “products” can come “by pass” from Brazil, or Turkey. Made in Russia, of course.

And whoever thinks that I am against nuclear use for energy needs, I have to say that, on the contrary, I absolutely agree with the President’s thesis on the issue. Safe and controlled nuclear use can be extremely useful. (Although I think that some time ago, you Eric, had expressed some very interesting points on this, concerning the danger of an accident, or, even worst, a terrorist attack in such facilities).

So, regardless these dangers, I still believe that nuclear technology can help us in various ways, but the problem is who is selling and who is buying. I don’t have a problem, or any fear when the U.S. sell nuclear technology to India, because I trust the American “platform”, being sure that everything is under control. However, I am not sure that the fanatic Iran won’t sell part of its “shopping” to Sudan, or Brazil to Venezuela, or Cuba. I mean, after all, it’s a question of “who is who”.

Moreover, it’s an “energy monopoly game” too. Russia makes its best to force Europe become dependable on gas. Now it’s expanding its plans to make Europe and Middle East dependable on electricity, powered by Russian nuclear tech and materials.

And here is the point that a pure question comes out straight from my heart: If they do sell such tech to Turkey and others, why don’t we (allow me the “we”) also sell nuclear tech to Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria etc.? We have better nuclear technology than them.

Anyway, I am not an analyst, an expert, or a specialized scientist. Probably I write childish things. I just felt to share some thoughts with you. So, my dear friend, please don’t “fail” me. Just give me a D (CHUCKLE).

@ Susan in Florida

I wish you the best with this pollution problem you have to fight in FL, as I watch in breaking news. Take care guys there and do your best. Everything will be OK.

I’d also take the chance to say Best Regards to Joe in TN -- they had the same problem there.

New Mexico, USA
May 24, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece:

You know, it's interesting...seems I shouldn't know what I know because most of the details involving events that play out in international relations are not available through open source media. So what I told you in my last post was simply coming from trends and probabilities, an extrapolation beyond the immediately acertainable, based on gut instinct. And there's no way I could have read this included article (see link below) before I posted the thoughts, because it simply confirms what I said with uncanny timing post-my post.

What's kind of amusing personally is that I've been consistantly beating the experts to the conclusions they get paid to think about and reach, long before members of the public should. Now just what assesments and ideas could I come up with if I had everthing I could get my hands on, classified included? My own government might hesitate to give me that access. Now there's a truly scary thought that should have dictators, terrorists, and ethical infants quaking in their beds at night...(chuckle).

See the way I figure it, we have a war to win. The State dept. for years on end has claimed they have no Earthly ability to read into the minds of these fools...officialy through spokesmen's certainty of experience... and here I've been doing so with remarkable accuracy over the whole time I've been posting on this blog....for sport.

What do you think John... You think the State Dept. has made good use of free advice and analysis, or do you think they're "looking a gift horse in the mouth" with all of it? I'm in a bit of a fix here, like an artist trying to judge his own work, and trying to be objective about it. What's objective in analysing the work, is that I shouldn't be able to do it accurately in the first place, let alone preempt the experts. But here's just the proof you need on this one particular occasion among many previous. 'lil Kim and Amanidijad haven't let me down yet, as they never fail to prove me correct. Why should the Russians be any different (in a more positive way I might add).

Delving into the minds of madmen and tyrants gets a little old after awhile. There's no creative thought processes bouncing around in the negative space between their ears to calculate their own current circumstance without grave miscalculation. So I've had to go further afield to determine if the minds of the sane have got their act together on an international level to deal with these idiots before they make a total mess of things. Big change 'a comin' John, I can smell it like ozone in the air in a summer storm. Don't ask me how I know these things, I just do, like my bones tell me when the weather is changing. The optimist in me is second only to this, and I don't let it color the end product analysis.

Ethical infants will have their diapers changed at the hands of the combined will of the international community. Whether they like wearing them now or not, the stench of ill intent is all pervasive and serious aroma therapy for the masses is the order of the day. So my "Citizen's NIE" for this year is short and bittersweet: In order to be the change we seek to bring to the world we're going to have to crack a few eggs in order to make the omlette that's got no recipe, just add all the ingrediants on hand including the kitchen sink to drain the swamp, and feed the future. Whatever it costs, because a lack of will ultimately will prove ten times more costly. Alone if we have to, but we won't have to, because folks generally like our cooking. Occasionally it resembles flambe, but I don't know a chef that hasn't singed an entre on occasion and it still proved edible.

-End NIE-

You once called me a "master chef" John. Well I'm not, just the grandson of a "chemist gone wrong". Scuse me a fire in the kitchen to put out...gotta!

South Carolina, USA
May 24, 2010

Jimmy in South Carolina writes:

Hi @ Eric in Mexico,

My name is Jimmy and I am 13. You are so smart and I was wondering how you got to be so smart. What college did you go to? My parents tell me it is important to go to college so I have to do good in school now. Thats why I read Dipnote and things like that so I know more than other kids.

I bet your right almost all of the time, even though sometimes I can't understand what you're talking about. Do you work for the government? If you don't, why not? I bet they would love to have somebody working for them as smart as you. But if you are right all the time and they are wrong, maybe they are jealous and they don't want you around. But I don't understand that because if you are right then if you were in control we would always do the right thing and everyone would be happy. Sometimes people are so stupid, don't you think?

Maybe if you ran for congress or something you could tell all these people who don't know what their talking about whats right and whats wrong and the world would be a better place for all the kids like me.


New Mexico, USA
May 24, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Jimmy, When I was your age, I didn't have TV, and read a lot of books.

I'm a music school drop-out and never finished college.

I never went to a formal school for my education in foreign affairs, I was just curious and knew how to do research, and keep an open mind.

That's the most important aspect of any education you may aspire to.

To learn to think for youreslf, critically and without pre-concieved bias as to the conclusions you may reach when investigating a topic of research.

Be it in your science lab at school, or out in the real world dealing with the human condition that surrounds you.

I'm 50 now and have been thinking about these things for a long while. It's not a matter of being smart, it's just a matter of observation.

The key to understanding concepts is understanding the parameters that shape them, and that is an evolving process born of a changing world.

I hate being right most of the time, especially about the ethical infants of the world.

My granmother described my grandad as a "chemist gone wrong" because he became a metalurgist and delved into atomic physics and this government asked him to lead the chemical and metalurgical division of the Manhattan Project during ww2.

So there's a bit of family history involved in my motivational awareness in public discorse to create a better, more peaceful and sustanable world for you, as well as my own kids to grow up in, and everyone else's kids.

As you grow older, you will find your own particular motivation to be all you can be, and it sounds like you are already on that path.

I define "working for" as something you get paid to do for someone, but we all serve in the capacity that one is afforded by circumstance, whether that be a concious choice or not.

So no, I don't work for the government, but I hope they take your kind recomendation to heart, because I am serving the best interests of the nation to the best of my current ability under present circumstance.

The following was written to my government in early 2002;

"In my granddad's day, some of his fellow scientists at Los Alamos had a "pool" going before the Trinity test as to how large the resulting explosion (in kilotons of TNT) would be. Anyone care to guess how many "Los Alamos's" there are today on the planet? How much Gross National Product is invested? To create weapons that cannot be used, and remain civilized. Some 300 billion a year for the last 50 yrs. on defense in this country alone, this is not for me to judge, as I haven't all the facts. I think it unfortunate, however, that it was deemed necessary, and I stress here the biggest "what if?" is what we might have accomplished as the Human species had we chosen to live in peace, instead of fear after WW2. We have lived so long with the reality of imminent destruction that we've become numb to it in ways that are as dysfunctional as the "Simpsons".

One cannot simultaneously plan for the American dream, and prepare for Armageddon.

Anyone who has witnessed the birth of one's child can tell you that yes indeed you create your own reality, the question is what do we wish to create for ourselves as reality on this planet, now and for our children's, and their children's future? Not just in this country, but the world as a whole, as an international vision.

Inherently, change is viewed with suspicion, as a threat to culture and ways of tradition and ethical belief systems. As it applies to developing countries in this nuclear age, the post-cold war aftermath presents a vast paradox that present no easy solutions, and has culminated in the reality of the war on terrorism as it exists today."

Yesterday Chinese State Counciler Dai said this, and you be the judge of whether I just got an official answer to the challenge I posed long ago.

"One year later, as we gather again and look at the world around us, I believe we all view more keenly that we are now at a crucial historical juncture in the development of mankind and China-U.S. relations. Our two countries not only need to answer the question of whether we can build a new type of relationship between major countries in the 21st century, but also face a strategic choice as to what kind of a century China and the United States, together with other countries, will leave to our peoples, to our children, and our children's children."

So Jimmy, if there's something I say that you don't understand, just ask. I'll be happy to try and make it as clear to you as I can.

It's not that I'm right and this government is wrong...we just opperate differently in reaching the same conclusions and motivating others to make those realizations.


Susan C.
Florida, USA
May 24, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@ Eric in NM -- There is nothing better than having a young person think you are smart. Nice thoughts from Jimmy in SC. I wonder if he understands the great significance of the Manhattan Project. I have been an educator all of my working years, and I'd say that Jimmy is very smart too. In answer to your thought/question about my comment about Russia's and Iran's "new" relationship, I was trying to say that there is nothing new about it. Russia wants more economic power and influence, and is going wherever they can to gain it. I'm sorry, Eric, I am still cynical about Russia's motivations. Interesting about your grandfather and the Manhattan Project. I am a "student" of history, although my actual teaching subject is art. Always appreciate your postings.

New Mexico, USA
May 24, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan, I figure Jimmy is smart enough to google "Manhattan Project" if he wants to know all about it.

But here's a link I'd recomend;

There's a slideshow of photos, in one you'll see Oppenheimer on the right talking with a weapons designer and my granddad, he's the big guy on the left with the pipe.

In doing my own research into family history, I came to find a patent he was involved in for the invention of adding bismuth to steel to improve it's machining characteristics in August '44.

Now I don't know if folks can truly appreciate the magnitude of that discovery, nor the implications for today's modern industrial society.

For we wouldn't have the modern society we do, nor the cars we drive, the planes we travel on, nor all the rest of what we consider modern industrial applications as a result of being able to machine steel alloy parts to tolerances of thousanths of an inch without spalling or cracking.

And to think building the bombs took only 27 months with all the technical hurdles he and his metalurgical group faced along the way.

This should give anyone pause for thought about how close Iran is to having their own.

Susan C.
Florida, USA
May 24, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

What are the reactions/thoughts on the news today that Iran, who is being "helped" by Russia with their nuclear programs, is now officially going to "help" Brazil and Turkey with THEIR nuclear programs. Am I missing something, or does that sound like it is in direct contradiction to what we are trying to do with all these treaties? Please correct me if my impressions are wrong, but it seems to me that these "agreements" are going in the opposite direction of what we, the U.S., had in mind. Comments?

New Mexico, USA
May 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan,

France builds nuclear power plants for other nations, we're involved in nuclear agreements with Brazil, The Russians started building the Iranians one when the former regime was in power and I frankly think under these circumstances any plans to start it up have been put on hold...don't quote me, but the Russians are mindful of public opinion as much as our government is and the influence they seek can't be won with a dysfunctional foreign policy that acts like one hand doesn't know what the other is doing, and they know that too.

They may need to work a bit on "interagency coodination" in similar respects as the US has in order to get everyone on the same page. I suspect that may be a factor in taking a more wholistic approach to their NPT obligations. It's one thing to declare unwavering support for a diplomatic solution, nothing wrong in that. But in doing so, one also recognizes that there comes a time when the talking is done. For better or worse. That's the nature of diplomacy.


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