Jeffrey LewisMission to Moscow

McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay reports that Rice and Gates are headed to Moscow to discuss missile defense deployments in Europe, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and, my favorite, extending the verification provisions of the START treaty:

Bush is sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates on a rare joint mission to Moscow this week in a bid to break arms disputes that have helped plunge U.S.-Russian ties to their chilliest depth since the Cold War.


Friday’s talks also will address the fate of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, which is due to expire in December 2009.


Unless it’s replaced, Moscow and Washington will lose the primary means by which they make sure that each is complying with a 2002 treaty that requires them to slash the numbers of nuclear warheads on their bombers, long-range missiles and submarines to no more than 2,200 by Dec. 31, 2012.


  1. Muskrat (History)

    The obvious solution for post-START verification is to maintain the notification regime, which requires telling each other about production, movement, dismantlement, and launch of controlled weapons systems, along with the telemetry tape and interpretive data exchanges and mutual unilateral pledges not to encrypt, etc. The only thing that should drop to the wayside is the actual on-site inspections. Those are just dispute-generating machines. It’s not like we can’t count bombers/silos/docked SSBNs through NTM, after all.

  2. TulsaTime (History)

    Looks like buddy Vlad is not having any of it. I think we are in for an extended period of payback from Moscow for our treatment of them as a has-been power. Assuming that they don’t melt down their banking system first.