by Patrick Appel
That's the logic of the Palin-wing of the GOP when it comes to START. A group called The National Republican Trust PAC has promised "to defeat any Republican senator who votes to ratify the New START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia in the lame-duck session of Congress." Larison sighs:
Launching a single-issue primary challenge over an arms control treaty that 70-80% of Americans support is a stunning waste of time and resources. The donors to this PAC must be pleased to know that their money is going to be thrown away for no reason.
Despite the best efforts of some hawkish interventionists to pretend that arms control is a relic of the past and irrelevant to today’s problems, they are the ones most likely to portray Russia as an existing or emerging threat to its neighbors. They should be the ones most eager to limit and constrain Russia through treaty obligations. Even if they don’t believe that Russia will comply with the treaty, it is hawks who should want to impose obligations and limits on Russia’s arsenal. Instead, it is the most anti-Russian and hawkish figures who are effectively enabling Russian power. What is remarkable about this is that these are the same people who could not stop haranguing the administration for betraying Poland and the Czech Republic when there was no betrayal, and they are the ones who remain convinced that it is the administration that is giving in to Russian demands when Russia has obtained virtually nothing tangible from the “reset.” Now that they are presented with an opportunity to side with European allies in support of greater U.S. and European security, they have opted instead for a rejectionist position that would keep the U.S. largely blind to Russian activities, increase uncertainty about Russia’s arsenal, and add to allied anxieties about potential Russian threats.
[E]ither the GOP senators opposed to START know something the rest of the country doesn't, and the entire U.S. military and bipartisan foreign policy apparatus is conspiring to sell U.S. national security out to Russia, or Republicans in the Senate have reached a new low in their efforts to humiliate the president.