Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trust But Verify

Turns out old habits die hard, like the Russians and cheating. From the Washington Times:

Russia violated '91 START till end, U.S. report finds

Russia continued to violate provisions of the 1991 START nuclear-arms treaty up until the agreement expired in December, raising new concerns that Moscow will violate the pending "New START" treaty now being debated for ratification in the Senate.

The 2010 State Department report on arms-control compliance, which had been requested by Senate Republicans as part of the START ratification debate, also discloses new details showing Iran is secretly working on nuclear-missile warheads, and includes new information about nuclear programs by North Korea and Syria.

On Russia's START violations, the report stated: "Notwithstanding the overall success of START implementation, a number of long-standing compliance issues that were raised in the START Treaty's Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) remained unresolved when the Treaty expired on December 5, 2009."

The unclassified report, "Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments," is set to be released publicly Wednesday. A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Times.

[Eliminated for length]

The recent violations were not identified in detail. However, the report stated that past violations included Moscow's blocking inspections of mobile missile warheads — a significant problem that specialists say could allow Russia to create a large, hidden warhead stockpile.

The 2005 survey reported those violations and also the issue of Russia's failure to provide data tapes containing information provided by missile flight tests to ground stations, known as telemetry.

Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and a key voice in the START ratification debate, stated in a speech in October that Russia also violated START by its development of a multiple-warhead SS-27 missile variant that he said showed Moscow "cheated," if not in the letter then the spirit of the 1991 treaty.

Mr. Kyl said the administration needed to tell the Senate whether the violations outlined in the 2005 report had been resolved and whether there are provisions for dealing with treaty violations with the new agreement.
So they cheated when they said they wouldn't. Big surprise there. Why did we give them everything they wanted this time, in the 2010 START accords?