Thursday, February 9, 2017

START Treaty: No, Mr. Trump, START Does Not Mean Begin a Round of Golf

Original START Agreement Reached in December 1987 
(Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev)

START Treaty Signed in July 1992
(Geo. H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev)

New START Signed in April 2010
(Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev)

Keep in mind that Donald J. Trump has the nuclear codes (carried around in a case known as the Football). Then read this story. Draw your own conclusion.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – February 9, 2017
In his first call as president, and with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty (New START) that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States (according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of that call).
When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START.
Trump paused in the middle of the call, turned to his staff nearby and asked: “What is the START treaty?”
Trump then returned to Putin and told him that the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that “New START favored Russia.”
Then and right on cue, Trump started to talk about his own popularity (sources revealed).
Sean Spicer when asked for details said: “The president's conversation with President Putin is a private call between the two of them, and I'm going to leave it at that.”
Note: It has not been previously reported that Trump had conveyed any of his doubts about New START to Putin in the hour-long call.
Background: “New START” gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers. During a debate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said Russia had “outsmarted the United States with the treaty, which he referred to as START-Up.”
Trump as usual then asserted (and just as usual, incorrectly), that it had allowed Russia to continue to produce nuclear warheads while the United States could not.
Note: Two Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (MA), both criticized Trump for deriding what they called a key nuclear arms control accord. 
Sen. Shaheen said: “It’s impossible to overstate the negligence of the president of the United States not knowing basic facts about nuclear policy and arms control. New START has unquestionably made our country safer, an opinion widely shared by national security experts on both sides of the aisle.”
Related Background:
3.  START III is here (NOTE: Never signed into law and not implemented).
So, who out there in Trump la-la land still thinks he is qualified and fit for the office … he was not prepared for that call with Putin. Details in the reference article listed above.
The #1 unresolved issue to date is the relationship (or not) between Trump and Putin). The public has a compelling right to know.
Stay tuned.

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