Missed Opportunity?

Israel’s negotiating strategies employ the “reuse” tactic when ever it is convenient. Under this ploy, Israel makes an agreement to do X in return for Y.   X, however, may require multiple steps to complete as in a prisoner release. After the X and Y agreement, Israel will huff and puff about some other Palestinian behavior and tie the completion of X ( that is the release of the remainder of prisoners) to some additional change in Palestinian behavior.

The US has found itself in a similar position with recent bad Russian behavior.  The US could have reverted to this Israeli negotiating style but seems to have chosen not to. What?

Push back the video a few years to when Russia and the US agreed to the “New START Treaty” where each side agreed to reduce its arsenals of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Now fast forward to today and the Russian bad behavior in Crimea. If the US were Israel, the US would have postponed any further implementation of denuclearization until Russian behavior improved.

So what did the US do?

After conferring, not with the Russians, but with legislators from States which are home to most of the missile silos, the US announced plans to move forward with taking an additional bite out of the total nuclear arsenal. Hmmm.

Actually this should be no surprise. President Obama has kept the reduction of nuclear arms a top element of his foreign policy. The President seems to believe that US actions are the strongest form of leadership. Oh, if the world were only that simple.

In reality, it makes no difference in terms of having sufficient nuclear deterrents whether the US reduces its arsenal by 50 silos, 2 nuclear subs, or 33 B-52s or does nothing. The US (as well as the Russians) will still have more than enough weapons to kill everyone on the planet.

The more I think about this, the more I like the American position providing there is no illusion that this American action will prompt a similar Russian response at this time. Keeping ones word is a useful long term strategy. While keeping promises does not win the day every time, it does in the fullness of time.

On the other hand, can you imagine what former Vice President Cheney would have done with this issue?

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Dick Cheney, Politics, Republican Party

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