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US and Russia Conclude Arms-Control Treaty

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the legs-control-treaty-soon-to-follow dept.

The Military 165

reporter writes "According to a report just published by the NY Times, Washington and the Kremlin have finalized an agreement on limiting nuclear weapons and related hardware. Notably, the agreement does not restrict American development of an anti-missile shield. Quoting: 'The new treaty will reduce the binding limit on deployed strategic nuclear warheads by more than one-quarter, and on launchers by half. It will reestablish an inspection and verification regime, replacing one that expired in December. But while the pact recognizes the dispute between the two countries over American plans for missile defense based in Europe, it will not restrict the United States from building such a shield. ... The specific arms reductions embedded in the new treaty amount to a continuing evolution rather than a radical shift in the nuclear postures of both countries. According to people in Washington and Moscow who were briefed on the new treaty, it will lower the legal limit on deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 each, from the 2,200 allowed as of 2012 under the previous treaty. It would lower the limit on launchers to 800 from the 1,600 now permitted. Nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each.'"

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Ha! Russia. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632126)

They aren't even a superpower anymore.

Re:Ha! Russia. (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632206)

Assuming their nuclear arsenal is at the caps mentioned in this article, I'd say they're super power enough.

Re:Ha! Russia. (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632220)

They aren't even a superpower anymore.

And with all the debt and the recent economic failure of US, it seems they aren't either. China on the other hand..

Re:Ha! Russia. (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632298)

China is no superpower and the US remains one.

China has very limited abilities to project power. Russia currently has only the ability to project a few bombers and a couple warship a few thousand miles. On land the Russians have been limited to Chechnya, Georgia and Kosovo in the last 20 years.

Chinese military power projection is very limited, a handful of nuclear subs, most of which spend years at dock between deployments, no carriers and they lack the capability to move land forces across the Straights of Taiwan.

The US on the other hand, well, 10 nuclear carriers, 8 amphibious assault ships, dozens of bombers capable of deployment in a few hours notice, the ability to deploy paratroopers, helicopter assault forces or Marines anywhere on the planet in 2-3 days.

Re:Ha! Russia. (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632446)

On land the Russians have been limited to Chechnya, Georgia and Kosovo in the last 20 years.

Are you seriously saying that a superpower is only a superpower if they go having wars around the world all the time? If my country were in a constant war with everyone all around the world and had troops deployed all the time, I would feel ashamed and a bully, not a "superpower".

I'm sure both Russia and China are capable of deploying all around the world in a few days. Just because they don't usually do that but are a peace-loving countries, doesn't mean they cant.

Re:Ha! Russia. (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632724)

"A superpower is a state with a leading position in the international system and the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests; it is traditionally considered to be one step higher than a great power."

Russia no longer has a leading position, its in the G8 sure and on UNSC, but it is failing. China is in a leading position, but not in the G8 but has UNSC seat, economic power sure, but with problems just like or worse than the US has, but its bubble hasn't burst.

They can not however project power. China and Russia lack sealift and airlift.

China can't get forces to Taiwan, they sure couldn't get PLA forces to San Diego if they wanted to. On the other hand the US could get Marines to Hong Kong in a few days.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632994)

Try hours for Hong Kong, there's this large base just across the sea of Japan....

Re:Ha! Russia. (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632754)

An important thing to note here is that a busy military is an experienced military. It may not be wonderful what they do, but these low level conflicts do test new technology and tactics.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632462)

You do realize that the USA has 400.000 military personnel and China.... well 1.600.000....... Not saying they have the boats to get them all anywhere, but I would think they can deliver quite a punch if they need to.

Re:Ha! Russia. (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632574)

I know, and without the ability to project power the People's Liberation Army will sit in the People's Republic and polish their QBZ-95s.

If the PLA could project power they would be in Taipei right now.

Re:Ha! Russia. (2, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632730)

"BRIAN: We mustn't fight each other! Surely we should be united against the common enemy!

EVERYONE: The People's Liberation Army?!

BRIAN: No, no! The Romans!"

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632824)

Fair :)

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632676)

Those numbers don't really mean much. Saddam Hussein had the second largest army in 1990 (yes even bigger than ours), but we beat it in just five days. Just like in manufacturing, it's the technology that matters more than the number of men.

Re:Ha! Russia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632842)

If all those soldiers actually left China, there would be a revolution.

Re:Ha! Russia. (2, Interesting)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633200)

In modern warfare, numbers aren't that important anymore. It's all about force multipliers. The United States may have a (comparable) small military, true, but even the lowliest of their grunts is a highly trained and well equipped specialist. Just look at the last few wars the US has fought in (and I mean *actual* wars, not peacekeeping/stabilizing which involves fighting guerillas) - every time, relatively few US troops have inflicted major casualties with minor losses.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633512)

Well, I do think that also has a lot to do with the USA being the one declaring war and thus setting the day and time of the first strike. I just can't see any country bomb the hell out of China before invading without getting hurt on their soil. For example in 1990 and the latest Iraq war, the USA used bombers to take out all the important infrastructure. After that it's just mobbing up what's still waiving with weapons. But I do agree that numbers aren't everything and that a relative small force of well-trained soldiers with good information and a weaponadvantage can take out a much larger army.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632802)

The question is how long will this advantage last? China seems on track to beat US GDP in twenty years. At that point, even if GDP per capita is lower than in the US, China will have the economic advantage. They can then play catch up on terms advantageous to themselves rather than merely deploy modest counters to US power.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632838)

Unless the world economy collapses worse, or the Chinese economy collapses, which is looking more and more likely.

Re:Ha! Russia. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633164)

Unless the world economy collapses worse, or the Chinese economy collapses, which is looking more and more likely.

It doesn't look more likely than my scenario and a collapse doesn't mean that my scenario fails.

On The Other Hand (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633260)

"The US on the other hand, well, 10 nuclear carriers, 8 amphibious assault ships, dozens of bombers capable of deployment in a few hours notice, the ability to deploy paratroopers, helicopter assault forces or Marines anywhere on the planet in 2-3 days."

Which accomplishes WHAT?

While U.S.A. continues to suffer job loss, infrastructure decay, decreased civil rights, the Af-Pak-Iraqistan wars,
a healthcare system that makes companies with large
U.S.A workforce uncompetitive versus other OECD countries, and general overall economic decline. .

Enjoy your boiling frog collapse!

Yours In Astrakhan,
K. Trout

Not good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632134)

Dear United States of America and Russian Federation, your new enemies are China, North Korea and various countries in the Middle East.

Sign peace treaties between you two but don't disarm yourselves, the wolves are watching.

Re:Not good (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632198)

You trust the US government with nukes more than another country? I think you need your head examined.

Re:Not good (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632740)

"You trust the US government with nukes more than another country? I think you need your head examined."

Oh c'mon....we've ONLY used them twice, and that was a LONG time ago for a good reason, and they were new then...we really didn't know what exactly these new shiny weapons would do!!

:)

Re:Not good (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632278)

Dear United States of America and Russian Federation, your new enemies are China, North Korea and various countries in the Middle East.

Interestingly theres just now happening something between North Korea and South Korea [google.com] .

A South Korean naval ship sank near the disputed maritime border with North Korea early Saturday, prompting the South's military to rush vessels to the site to rescue its sailors and raising fears of an attack by the North.

Earlier Friday, North Korea's military threatened "unpredictable strikes," including a nuclear attack, in anger over a report that South Korea and the U.S. were preparing for possible instability in the totalitarian country.

After the ship began sinking, President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency meeting of security-related ministers, including the defense minister and other top military officials.

Yonhap reported earlier that a South Korean ship fired shots toward an unidentified target in the direction of North Korea, raising fears of an exchange of gunfire.

Re:Not good (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633360)

This crap happens all the time, they had a similar incident in 2009.

Re:Not good (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632322)

The Chinese already know that Russia is a more likely threat to them than the US.

North Korea is a threat mainly to themselves and occasionally to the South Koreans. North Korea is unable to mount an attack that would go much further than a few miles past their borders, they just plain do not have the logistics necessary.

Re:Not good (2, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632618)

(1)North Korea has a huge army. They might not have resources but, because of the size of their army, even on foot with nothing but rifles, they could cause significant trouble for a while. (2)Seoul, South Korea's capital city, is within artillery range of North Korea... N. Korea could sit on their side of the border and lob shells, again doing considerable damage before, Yes, we would stop it; but, they have a significant amount of firepower parked there, waiting. (3) South Korea is a significant financial and manufacturing power center. Anything that affects South Korea will have an impact on the world market. Point is, you should be concerned about that saber rattling paranoid megalomaniac sitting in power in North Korea.

Re:Not good (2, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632800)

They can damage South Korea, but they are not set up in a way that they could effect a war beyond the range that their current artillery is stationed.

North Korea is a one trick pony and we know what that trick will be if they ever decide to play it. They will not play it.

North Koreans are taught that the rest of the world has it worse than them, that dear leader has their best intentions at heart. The moment that the North Koreans were to reach Seoul the North would lose those soldiers. North Korea would only be able to sustain an attack for a few days at best, after that the North would be invaded and there would finally only be one Korea. (mass suicide of North Koreans would follow unfortunately)

Their nuclear program is a joke at best, there have been larger fertilizer explosions than what North Korea test fired.

Re:Not good (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633074)

I agree with what you're saying; but, that couple of days would result in a huge mess. I wouldn't assume they won't do anything... No they're not stupid; but, Kim Jung Il is a megalomaniac.

Re:Not good (2, Interesting)

Jenming (37265) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632688)

North Korea could most likely nuke Japan. While that would result in the end of their current government its still a threat.

Re:Not good (2, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632880)

They do not have the ability to create a launch-able nuclear weapon.

Their test bomb was not small enough to launch, they could put it on a ship and bring it to harbor and blow it up maybe.

They could though launch a conventional warhead against Japan though. It would be more likely to go boom also.

Re:Not good (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632758)

Hope it does not infringe the second amendment ha ha ha.

Hooray (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632142)

Damn Obama, first healthcare and now cutting nukes whilst keeping your shield intact. You're good. I wonder how McCain/Palin would've handled the situation.

Re:Hooray (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632246)

"I can see^H^H^Hnuke russia from my office!"

Re:Hooray (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632592)

Uh. Somebody opened a political can of worms. And he was marked +3 Insightful besides. Alright. I'll bite.

>>>Damn Obama, first healthcare and now cutting nukes whilst keeping your shield intact. You're good.

I'm going to be fined $1000 for not belonging to an HMO, and my personal taxes will increase $1500 (according to a CNN Sunday Morning report). If you think I'm going to praise Obama for that, then please think again.

Yes Obama is good for having eliminated some of those missiles. Good job.

But there are other things I could criticize Obama for, like his decision to track cellphones, turnoff the internet whenever the president (either him or some future dude) feels like it, and also signing the Patriot Renewal Act. PLUS: If I lived in the EU, I'd be asking why America is building a shield instead of the Europeans?

In general I view Obama as just a continuance of Bush's policies.

Re:Hooray (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633292)

As far as we Europeans are concerned, Obama can stuff the missile shield up his ass. And while we're at it, he can stuff NATO, too.

We have no issues with Russia. We even buy them gas and oil. We have more important problems than the Russian missiles. Why the fuck should we spend money buying extremely expensive (and useless) technology to protect us from the Bogeyman or whatever?

Re:Hooray (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633496)

We have no issues with Russia. We even buy them gas and oil.

Really? No Europeans have any issues with Russia? None? Nada?

I hope Russia turns out to be a reliable gas and oil source for Europe, free from any supply disruptions or political leveraging. Watch as the unfolding dependence of the US on China to finance debt demonstrates the folly of such arrangements.

Re:Hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633610)

Europe has a total population of 1? Are you the fabled Techno Viking?! I knew it! All the other Europeans are fakers!

Re:Hooray (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632696)

I suspect this was one of the main reasons why Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The word in diplomatic circles is that this move towards nuclear disarmament originated directly from Obama himself, and not from staffers. I heard that from a very reliable source, ie. someone in diplomatic circles.

Re:Hooray (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632710)

Selfish perspective: Obama gave me a new monthy bill and Bush gave me $600. Bush wins everytime.

Re:Hooray (-1, Flamebait)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632788)

"Damn Obama, first healthcare and now cutting nukes whilst keeping your shield intact."

Yep, keep it up and pretty soon WE won't be a superpower any longer either...er, that is what you were cheering for, right?

Re:Hooray (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633334)

...pretty soon WE won't be a superpower any longer

OMG! You mean we will only be just another country in the world community, reduced to cooperation and diplomacy to further our goals? Madness.

Re:Hooray (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633402)

What can we not blow up with the 1,500 strategic warheads still permitted under the treaty!? This is mainly just going to save both of us a lot of money.

Re:Hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632924)

*Cue I'm not a naive hippie-contest*

Huh, actually not. Where are all the regular I'm not naive-guys today? A gun convention somewhere?

Two arms per person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632168)

Max.

I hope Civ V isn't bound by this. (2, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632170)

Boy would that stink if I can't nuke everyone with ballistics in one turn.

Re:I hope Civ V isn't bound by this. (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632370)

800 nuclear missile launchers aren't enough to nuke everyone in one turn?

Re:I hope Civ V isn't bound by this. (2, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632584)

plus 700 nuclear missiles and 700 nuclear armed heavy bombers.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Or you play a map sized 1:1.

Re:I hope Civ V isn't bound by this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632590)

In Total Annihilation it only took about 4 nukes to take out the most determined enemy...don't even take out their people, just their infrastructure, then bring in the bombers to do the rest. The best was nuking their energy plants which would then take out an even larger radius.

Re:I hope Civ V isn't bound by this. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633214)

You have to nuke a city several times to do more than just put a dent in it.

Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (-1, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632184)

Sorry, I have to speak an unspeakable Truth here.

We shouldn't be negotiating treaties with Russia anymore. Two equally good reasons:

1.We aren't enemies anymore. Right?

2.Russia wouldn't be a threat to us anyway. They are a third world country with some residual nukes from a day when they were a second world country with nukes. They haven't had the resources to maintain their conventional army, odds are they haven't had any better luck maintaining the nukes so they probably wouldn't even go foom!

We all understand what is going on here, The Won is on record saying the US should be nuke free (stupid!) and is using the Russians as an excuse to go in a direction he already wants to go.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632268)

Russia cannot be 3rd world.

By definition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632344)

And even if you look by how people now a day define third world countries etc, Russia still ranks as "First World Country" [wikipedia.org] .

Impossible by definition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633420)

The original nomenclature was "First World" to refer to the West vs. "Second World" to refer to the Communist Soviet Union and Eastern Block.

"Third World" meant the others caught between the 1st and 2nd world's power struggle during the Cold war. (i.e., the places where proxy wars/struggles between the West and Communists were taking place...like Vietnam, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, etc.) The 3rd world countries were being lobbied with military/political/economic/etc. pressure by the 1st and 2nd worlds to choose a side.

The terms 1st world/2nd world/3rd world had nothing to do with the human development index you linked to. The term 3rd world came to be associated with poverty because...well, let's face it...the places that were used as pawns and proxy battles between the 1st and 2nd world are the ones vulnerable to such pressure -- meaning weak...usually poverty being a staple element.

So Russia is _by definition_ second world...impossible for it to be 1st world or 3rd world, no matter how rich or how poor they get. 1st world and 3rd world are not terms for describing the Human Development Index, but rather find their root in the cold war terminology.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (4, Insightful)

GuJiaXian (455569) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632286)

Are you honestly willing to assume that their warheads are now all duds? Regardless of any political or environmental views or feelings, it seems naive to assume that all those weapons out there "probably wouldn't even go foom."

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (4, Informative)

1729 (581437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632288)

We all understand what is going on here, The Won is on record saying the US should be nuke free (stupid!) and is using the Russians as an excuse to go in a direction he already wants to go.

The President has actually requested a $624M increase for NNSA Weapons Activities in FY2011, but don't let the facts get in the way of your rant.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1, Insightful)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632336)

1. Like every country in the world, they're a Competitor for resources. The fact that they have warheads would be enough to consider them a threat to any US interest. They don't necessarily have to launch Nukes into US soil in order to make a point.

2. Their financial situation is all the more reason to be wary of a Country. I'm not anti-Russian, but they do have weapons of mass destruction. If the wrong people were in charge, and if desperate they could threaten attacks to get resources. Similar to number one.

On note from the article, I don't really see how that is that important. Yes there are less Nukes, but there are still more than enough to destroy the world a few times over. It just seems like a waste of air negotiating.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632478)

1) Spoken like a true imperialist. Every country is a competitor for resources, but alas, russia is a competitor for oil that is on their soil it seems (just an example). They don't even have to launch nukes to make a point either. All they have to do is stop the flow of oil or natural gas to Europe.

2) While the Russians do have nuclear weapons, you ignore the fact that the United States also has nuclear weapons. Are you insinuating that the United States and its allies are the only countries allowed to have nuclear weapons. If so, that is pretty sad.

While the russians may have more warheads than the US, they also have less reliable delivery systems with a much higher failure rate, making the US inventory more than likely more effective from a potential damage perspective (US ICBMs are all solid fuel, Russian ICBMs are liquid fueled).

The reality is, that the reduction of stockpiles needs to be accomplished gradually. The limits specified in this treaty are to be reached within 7 years I believe. It takes that long to figure out how to dispose of the weapons grade waste products. You can't just take them offline, strip them down and be done with it.

Once the limits of this treaty are reached, the powers can then look at the situation of the world and then negotiate further reductions, although more than likely this will be handled by new regimes, at least on the US side.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (0, Flamebait)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632518)

> 1. Like every country in the world, they're a Competitor for resources. The fact that they have
> warheads would be enough to consider them a threat to any US interest.

So we should be doing arms reduction treaties with France? They compete with us and could probably muster as many WORKING warheads as the current Russians. Or how 'bout China? No, we aren't on the brink of world war with the French or the Chinese. And neither are we with the Russians.

> 2. Their financial situation is all the more reason to be wary of a Country. I'm not anti-Russian,
> but they do have weapons of mass destruction. If the wrong people were in charge, and if desperate
> they could threaten attacks to get resources. Similar to number one.

Yea, so? They have no ability to harm US other than the hope one of their nukes would actually go Foom! Most of their Navy couldn't leave port if the fate of the world depended upon it and their air power is almost as pathetic. I'm all for realizing the reason for NATO's existence is gone and leaving the defense of Europe to the Europeans. Having to fund a military of their own would level the competitive playing field a bit and might just force them to move back toward freedom instead of continuing to drift toward socialism/fascism.

> It just seems like a waste of air negotiating.

Beyond the reason I proposed in the first post there is the need among some people to prop up the reputation of Russia, to pretend they are still a great power. I'll leave the analysis of that as an exercise for the student.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (2, Insightful)

Jenming (37265) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632768)

This is actually very important. Most of us here (me included) are too young to remember. But our parents generation lived in fear of a nuclear war. Tensions were very high and the nuclear build up was huge. Moving from the cold war state to full nuclear disarmament won't happen quickly, but any step in that direction should be encouraged and hopefully there will not be another generation who has to fear a nuclear war.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633114)

On note from the article, I don't really see how that is that important. Yes there are less Nukes, but there are still more than enough to destroy the world a few times over. It just seems like a waste of air negotiating.

There's never been enough nuclear weapons to "destroy" the world a few times over. And the huge reductions in the nuclear arsenal greatly reduces the maximum damage from a short term nuclear war. This especially includes secondary effects like fallout and nuclear winter which are more likely to harm third parties.

Nuclear weapons are extraordinarily destructive, but even that can be greatly exaggerated. For example, in the movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse [imdb.com] , a cruise missile with a five kiloton warhead wipes out a large US city. The only problem? That bomb is only a fraction of the explosive power of the only nuclear bombs used in war, Hiroshima (13 kilotons) and Nagasaki (21 kilotons). Even Nagasaki wouldn't have wiped out that city (there'd still be plenty of mostly intact zombies running around, for example).

For whatever reason, people like to exaggerate the effects of nuclear weapons yet at the same time downplay their effectiveness as peacekeeping tools.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (4, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632460)

Pay more attention to Russia: They've found the resources they need to raise all the capital they need to maintain their military at any level they choose. They've discovered they have petroleum riches comparable to the middle east... I'd argue that their nuclear industry is in better shape than that in the United States. They also (still) have a fairly robust manufacturing capacity, which they're leveraging on the global market. Their space industry rivals, and in some ways exceeds, the technological capability of both the United States and European Union. But, your first point is correct, we're not really enemies any more.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632784)

Also:

Russia is #1 with the fastest internet at 9.6 Mbit/s (relative to other continent-sized federations). The average Russian citizen's connection is about 2 Mbit/s faster than the average US citizen and 3 Mbit/s faster than the average EU citizen. The Russian Federation is well-poised for the technological revolution.

Source: speedtest.net

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633120)

They also (still) have a fairly robust manufacturing capacity, which they're leveraging on the global market.

I have never seen a "made in Russia" label on anything. China? Taiwan? Pakistan? South Korea? Mexico? Yes yes and yes. Russia? Never.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633480)

I have. So your anecdotal evidence fails.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633518)

The water glass standing on my table says otherwise.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633562)

Funny cause I've never seen a 'made in USA' label on anything either I take that back actually, Staggs Chilli is made in the USA right?

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1)

zx-15 (926808) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633378)

Eh, what are you talking about?

Found resources by drilling more oil? Gee that was hard, anyhow Russian military is a joke -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7837342.stm [bbc.co.uk] . Everything that is still valuable, like the nuclear industry, was built in Soviet time, and hasn't yet completely fallen in disarray, this applies to the space agency as well; for comparison the budget of NASA for 2009 is 17 Billion, Roscosmos 2.4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Federal_Space_Agency [wikipedia.org] ) even if everything is very cheap in Russia, which is not, the difference is staggering.

About nuclear power -- let me remind you in which country Chernobyl happened and this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seversk [wikipedia.org] , and lots of other really bad things. As much as I like the idea of nuclear power, Russia doesn't have a particularly good track record using it even for 'peaceful purposes'. Anyhow, the latest government's pet project is this -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_floating_nuclear_power_station [wikipedia.org] which in my view seems to be a rather dumb idea.

There's no manufacturing capacity to speak of, most of the manufacturing facilities built in Soviet Union are now gone, you have no idea how hard Soviet economy crashed, all that's left, are manufactures that prepackage and deliver raw materials like oil, natural gas, nickel, aluminum, the list goes on. There's also a car maker that is getting bailed out over and over again -- http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/united-russia-to-save-avtovaz/390702.html [themoscowtimes.com] and if you think that GM and Chrysler got a sweet deal from the government, think again. On a related note, Americans really don't appreciate American cars.

The myth that Russia is strong and it is rising is perpetuated by the Russian government to disguise the fact that those who in charge are just interested pumping more oil, and if you don't approve of current government, you want Russia to fail, I am not kidding -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Gryzlov#Memorable_quotes [wikipedia.org] , http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704187204575101510173019130.html [wsj.com]

Russia is slowly dying and things will not change unless the resent government suddenly vanishes. I read on some forum in 2002 or so that Mr. Putin's Russia will end up being a version of Soviet Union with healthcare system, army and education removed and it seems that that's the way it has been going all these years.

  Also a paper to about a downfall of Soviet Union, I don't think that too many things have changed since then -- http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/72997307.html [hoover.org]

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632544)

Go back to jacking off to your photos of Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan and Glenn Beck.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632684)

1.We aren't enemies anymore. Right?

We negotiate treaties with non-enemies regularly, holding treaties with the UK, Canada, and Mexico. It isn't always meant to solve disputes, but in some cases to head them off before they can become a problem.

Re:Speaking an Unspeakable Truth to Power (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633470)

We all understand what is going on here, The Won is on record saying the US should be nuke free (stupid!) and is using the Russians as an excuse to go in a direction he already wants to go.

This is actually another example of Obama's bipartisan agenda. He is after all following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan on this issue, so I assume we'll be hearing soon from Republicans everywhere about what a great day for America this is.

Nuclear Arms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632334)

You can't hug your children with nuclear arms!

Re:Nuclear Arms? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633186)

Girl: "Animals are better than people, they don't have war."
Death: "What the hell are you talking about, animals fight all the time!"
Girl: "Not with nuclear arms. You can't hug children with nuclear arms."
Death then reaches over and touches (killing) her.

From the Death Lives [wikipedia.org] , Family Guy episode.

However... (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632342)

In other news mr Kim is planning a nuclear war with his southern neighbors...

Re:However... (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632790)

Cue the cheesy late night infomercial music.

"Dear Mr. Kim. Upon receipt of your delivery in either South Korea or Japan, we would be happy to demonstrate, for you, state of the art methods in manufacturing these weapons. Just pick up the phone and place your order, and we will deliver a demonstration model to your home via express shipment...."

Interesting number of bombers (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632348)

Since 744 B-52's were produced I have to assume that number was derived to match the US's current heavy bomber fleet.

Re:Interesting number of bombers (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633136)

Most of those 744 aircraft are gone. The entire active inventory of B-52 airframes is 94 [af.mil] (see bottom of "General Characteristics" list, last line), all "H" models.

The inactive ones are extremely inactive, generally in salvageable or restorable condition in The Boneyard [wikipedia.org] . I suppose if someone has to do something to reduce an on-paper count of potentially active bombers, you would saw a bunch of the boneyard birds in pieces, like they did there for START I reductions. (Yes, when doing an arms reduction, you start with the inactive but somewhat intact ones. Kinda seems counterintuitive, since you'll probably wind up with as many active weapons as you started with, but as a paper exercise it's righteous.)

Now if they could only agree on Iran's nukes (1)

Gomer79 (43434) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632354)

I would be more impressed if they could agree on a way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons!

Re:Now if they could only agree on Iran's nukes (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632436)

"I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

On the other hand (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632542)

Russia agreeing to reduce nukes may mean they have become more confident in their conventional weapons capacity, unlike in the 90s when their economy was in free fall.

Still nuke reduction is a good thing, I suppose.

Re:On the other hand (1)

orient (535927) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632728)

From the article: "[...] the pact [...] will not restrict the United States from building such a (missile) shield." If Russia does not insist on canceling the missile shield, it means they don't feel threatened by it. They let the americans spend money on the missile shield and they protest every now and then, but the missile shield might already be ineffective against the Russian new weaponry.

"Conclude?" (2, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632588)

"Conclude" means "bring to an end." They might have concluded treaty negotiations, but they didn't conclude a treaty (except to the extent that this new treaty may replace an old one, which is clearly not what was meant). And concluding negotiations doesn't imply either agreement or disagreement, so the headline should probably read "US and Russia agree to arms control treaty."

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632626)

So now if a nuclear war happens, it won't be that bad.

Do MIRVs count as 1 warhead? (3, Interesting)

molo (94384) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632778)

For those that don't know, one ICBM or SLBM rocket can launch multiple hydrogen bombs. This is known as MIRV [wikipedia.org] (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles). Each one can be aimed at different target. Does such a system count as one warhead, or do each of the bombs count separately?

Thanks.
-molo

Re:Do MIRVs count as 1 warhead? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633134)

One would assume that counts as one launcher and multiple warheads. The term "warhead" isn't exactly vague.

Re:Do MIRVs count as 1 warhead? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633190)

Each RV counts as one warhead.

So, if a hypothetical missile system could countain 20 reentry vehicles, that one missile would count as 20 warheads towards the total number.

(posting from work, where we do ICBM testing)

 

Re:Do MIRVs count as 1 warhead? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633520)

You guys must have a huge backyard. Do the neighbors complain about the fallout?

Rusty nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31632810)

Sucks for us that Russia will get credit for reducing its old poorly-maintained aresenal, much of which they'd have to get rid of anyway. With this treaty, we're scrapping our cherry nukes while Russia scraps some rusty clunkers.

Re:Rusty nukes (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633536)

We will do the same thing. We have old gear that needs to go too.

These always worry me... (1)

anom (809433) | more than 3 years ago | (#31632986)

No matter how much the US and Russia limit their stockpiles of this and that, we'll still both be able to blow the world up a few times over, so this is really all pointless. I'd rather make sure and keep a healthy supply of nukes for when the big asteroid comes.

Re:These always worry me... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633138)

No matter how much the US and Russia limit their stockpiles of this and that, we'll still both be able to blow the world up a few times over,

Nonsense. The reductions in nuclear arms would greatly reduce the damage from a full out nuclear war, not only to the participants, but also to third parties. Things like fallout and nuclear winter effects are greatly reduced. Population centers are also less likely to be targeted and more such places are likely to survive.

Re:These always worry me... (1)

anom (809433) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633180)

This isn't the cold war anymore...

Re:These always worry me... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633410)

This isn't the cold war anymore...

Not relevant. The laws of physics didn't change just because of a temporary shift in geopolitics. These nuclear weapons are still ready to be fired on a moment's notice. There's no reason to expect that we won't see future nuclear wars, perhaps from causes that don't even exist yet.

My idea of arms control (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633162)

My idea of arms control is double-checked coordinates, and officers who aren't afraid to turn their keys. They come after superpowers with MIRVs, next thing you know they'll be trying to take away my mutated anthrax. I need that. For duck huntin'.

(Don't mod unless you know what sarcasm is, and have watched every episode of Futurama at least twice).

Uuum, we did have such treaties since the 80s! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633188)

I distinctively remember such treaties being signed in the Gorbachev era.

How quickly “people” (or rather cattle) forget...

Re:Uuum, we did have such treaties since the 80s! (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633526)

I distinctively remember such treaties being signed in the Gorbachev era.

Sure, this is just Obama following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately he is in other respects, too, like the massive deficits that Reagan created both via sending bloated budgets to Congress and failing to veto pork in Congressional bills that crossed his desk.

I can't really see why Republicans hate Obama so much. I understood why they hated Clinton: he was a deficit fighter who actually brought Federal spending under control, leading to the kind of smaller government that Republicans hate. But Obama, with his huge deficits, sweetheart deals for particular industries, and nuclear weapons reductions, seems to be taking his plays straight from the Republican book, sadly enough.

Re:Uuum, we did have such treaties since the 80s! (1)

Truth is life (1184975) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633618)

Yes, [wikipedia.org] in [wikipedia.org] fact [wikipedia.org] there [wikipedia.org] have [wikipedia.org] been [wikipedia.org] many [wikipedia.org] such [wikipedia.org] treaties [wikipedia.org] ! [wikipedia.org]

It's almost like they might be signing something...changed from what went before, isn't it?

(For the spam filter and the sarcasm-impaired) This treaty goes beyond the many I linked above by imposing somewhat deeper cuts and a new "trust but verify" mechanism (which SORT did not have). It is a welcome step forwards for stability, peace, and cost-cutting.

I can see the headlines now (1)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633258)

Obama planning to cut nuclear arms. Emo President trying to see past 100 megaton bangs.
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