On March 8, 2018, a group of US Senators – all liberals – signed onto a letter drafted to the US Secretary of State urging the Trump Administration to begin new talks with the Russian Federation about the state of affairs between the two countries regarding nuclear weapons without delay.
The letter makes reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s March 1 speech in his State of the Nation address in Moscow, in which a whole array of new, and highly advanced weaponry was announced to Russia and to the world. This weaponry includes hypersonic weapons and nuclear powered weapons possessing unlimited range and endurance, as well as the perfection of an ICBM that can hit the US from any direction.
However, the letter unfortunately beats the same tired narrative used by most of the elected leadership in Washington – that Russia stands guilty of invading Ukraine, forcibly taking over Crimea, destabilizing relations in Syria and of course, interfering in the American elections:
A U.S. – Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent following President Putin’s public address on March 1st when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone, which are not currently limited by the New START treaty, and would be destabilizing if deployed. There is no doubt we have significant disagreements with Russia, including Russia’s brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. elections; continued violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF); invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea; and destabilizing actions in Syria. However, it is due to these policy rifts, not in spite of them, that the United States should urgently engage with Russia to avoid miscalculation and reduce the likelihood of conflict.”
The Democrat Party has an acquired reputation for trying to make deals with communist or other repressive régimes. While Russia in the present day is neither one of these, here the issue that may cause problems is the premise stated in the paragraph above. In this, of course, the establishment is rather entrenched in its point of view.
Russia Today (RT.com) pointed out the roots of the problem from the Russian point of view:
On March 1, the Russian leader presented a set of advanced Russian nuclear weapons, some of which are not yet named. During his state of the nation address, Putin stressed that Russia would not need all these new weapons had its legitimate concerns been heeded by the US and its allies. “Nobody wanted to talk to us about the root of the problem. Nobody listened to us; so listen to us now!” he said.
“The speech drew a hysterical reaction from the Western media and accusations of saber-rattling and starting “a new arms race,” Putin told NBC Washington was in fact to blame for it. The Russian president referred to the US decision to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) back in 2002.”
One can read the full text of the letter to Secretary of State Tillerson here.