Thursday, October 06, 2016

Behold the Smart Diplomacy

It is not a stunning display of diplomatic skills to get foes to agree to documents that they can't believe we'd be foolish enough to sign.

Ah, reset flexibility in action:

Russia increased its deployed nuclear warheads over the past six months under a strategic arms reduction treaty as U.S. nuclear warhead stocks declined sharply, according to the State Department.

During the same period, the United States cut its deployed nuclear warheads by 114, increasing the disparity between the two nuclear powers.

Russia’s warhead increases since 2011 suggest Moscow does not intend to cut its nuclear forces and will abandon the New START arms accord as part of a major nuclear buildup. ...

Since the treaty went into force in 2011, Moscow increased its total warhead stockpile from 1,537 warheads to 1,796 warheads, an increase of 259 warheads.

By contrast, the Obama administration has cut U.S. nuclear forces by 433 warheads during the same period.

Ouch. Is the nuance supposed to burn this bad?

And Iran gets in on the act:

The full story of President Obama’s 2015 Iran deal, which gave Iran more than it could have wished for in its wildest dreams just as its economy was on the verge of collapse, is a stunning tale of weakness, self-deception, wishful thinking and topsy-turvy priorities on the part of Team Obama.

Even the French Socialists called the agreement, which lifts sanctions against Iran in return for that country vowing to back off its nuclear weapons program for 10 years, “a sucker’s deal” (before being browbeaten into approving it). And a former International Atomic Energy Agency weapons inspector said Obama’s pact “sets an incredibly bad precedent.”

And remember, even if the Iranians obey the bad deal, restrictions on Iran's nuclear ambitions expire in a decade. So the only way the deal makes any sense at all is if Iran stops being a nutball mullah-run regime during that time.

About that angle a year in:

Even the Iran deal’s most ardent supporters are beginning to suspect it won’t mellow the mullahs. Alas, that’s not the worst of it — because the deal is actually boosting Iran’s darkest forces.

According to a study to be released Tuesday by the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards — and not ordinary Iranians or the country’s much-vaunted “moderate” cleric-politicians — are the ones who’ll gain the most from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal the mullahs signed with six world powers one summer ago.

“As the 2015 nuclear deal is implemented, it is the [Guard Corps] that is poised to benefit most,” concludes the 48-page, painstakingly detailed study by four FDD researchers.

Remember, Iran is still busy testing long-range ballistic missiles, which in the world of the non-stupid are best used for carrying nuclear warheads.

Seriously, should the nuance be blistering like this?

Oh, and don't forget Syria--the client state of Russia and Iran--who got a chemical weapons deal with America that has not prevented Assad from using chemical weapons against his enemies (broadly defined).

Come on! I really need to read the fine print on that bottle of Dr. Obama's Hope and Change Elixir.

Oh, and for some real yucks:

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday suspended an agreement with the United States for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium because of "unfriendly" acts by Washington, the Kremlin said. ...

The deal, signed in 2000 but which did not come into force until 2010, was being suspended due to "the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions by the United States of America towards the Russian Federation", the preamble to the decree said.

This author wonders if the Russian threat over this deal shows he is desperate to end the sanctions on Russia.

I have my doubts that sanctions are any more than a small part of Russian economic problems that include corruption and low oil prices in a country that in many ways is still just a Third World country with nukes and oil. And over time, sanctions will weaken as Westerners tire of the cost and as Russia learns to evade them or replace Western trade.

What I worry about is that Russia has a lot of weapons grade plutonium that won't be demilitarized.

So someone who suddenly got an infusion of cash (coughIrancough) could pay quite a lot for some of that plutonium in order to technically avoid violating a deal that suspends Iran's domestic programs to develop nuclear weapons material, which would provide raw materials for nuclear warheads on newly developed long range ballistic missiles.

Russia can see the fits that China's little nuclear-armed friend causes to America, South Korea, and Japan. Perhaps Russia would like their own little nutball friend to terrorize America and our allies in Europe and the Middle East.

Seriously, I think I need to seek medical attention. My vision is starting to blur quite a bit.

I clearly exceeded the recommended dosage of nuance-enhanced Hope and Change. How are you feeling?

(Tips for some of the above to the Instapundit Borg)