Jub wrote:Being in the ABM treaty was a terrible idea for the US in the first place. Russia only wanted that treaty because at the time their economy was in shambles and they knew they couldn't build an ABM system worth a damn.
Wow, so you basically admit you are just in the "fuck Russia" camp unapologetically? Because treaties don't just exist to benefit one party, but to keep the peace between countries. Abrogating the ABM treaty has only resulted in Russia increasing its stockpile of nukes, and possibly leaking rocket technology to North Korea. Gee whiz Mr. Bush, what a great chess move that was.
That's what I'm trying to get at, you can't just abrogate a major treaty like that without consequences. Abrogating that treaty confirmed to Russia that the Cold War was still on, and that it wasn't about them being communist after all. The West (read: the US) just couldn't stand having them exist as a peer power to NATO. And what's more, this is a conflict we can't win economically because Russia is an ally to China, which is the country that manufactures something like 90% of all our stuff. All we can do is threaten them militarily... and that's a bad idea.
None of Russia's allies stopped them from annexing Crimea so...
Yeah, but the difference is no one is pretending Russia isn't responsible for its actions. As opposed to the pretense that you can somehow disentangle NATO's agenda from that of the US.
It's not much of a special trick when you can't use them.
You don't need
to use them. Just having them is enough. Just having them changes how other countries have to approach you, because they can't go to war with you. Next time read the whole paragraph and stop chopping it to bits when formulating your response. Its the lowest form of argument this forum has produced.
You can't violate a treaty you've withdrawn from.
And traditionally you can't unilaterally withdraw from a treaty. They are the international version of a contract, and its well established contract law that refusing to honor your side of a contract is illegal. Every time the US does this it undermines its credibility in the international arena because no one can trust us at our word. And what's worse is, the traditional way of enforcing treaties is going to war with the transgressor
. Which we have already established is a bad idea for everyone... so as counter-intuitive as it sounds, its no wonder Russia has been building more nukes. Escalation is the next best thing to war, hence why the status quo for half the twentieth century was two countries pointing an increasing number of doomsday bombs at each other that they mercifully never launched.
Are you starting to get it yet? Nothing Russia is doing should be surprising. They are just following the Cold War playbook to the letter because that's what the US has been doing ever since Shrub the Warmonger. You would think we could do better than following the example set by the Bush family.
It's not much of a doomsday scenario unless somebody is a supreme idiot and that could happen in any nuclear-armed nation. It only takes a couple of nuts stationed at a silo to kick off doomsday which is precisely why you really want to have ABM systems that work.
No, ABM systems just encourage sloppy thinking by strategic planners. It gives the illusion of safety from nuclear threats when the reality is that it encourages Russia to develop weapons those ABM systems can't shoot down. Right now last I heard, they've been developing nuclear powered cruise missiles that actually go around the Antarctic, where we don't even have radar installed that could see it coming; as well as nuclear torpedoes that are more like long duration autonomous subs, designed to sneak into ports and then on command they blow up the whole goddamn bay, destroying critical shipping infrastructure or fleets of warships at dock. Or, you know, you can just launch too goddamn many conventional ICBMs for the ABM system to shoot down all of them, because it doesn't take that
many nukes of the size Russia developed during the Cold War to deliver a crippling blow to our ecosystem and farmable land, let alone our culture. So even if you dismiss the previous two claims as just Russian military propaganda, you can start to see why they would increase the size of their arsenal. We put an ABM system on their doorstep, and they decided to answer that threat by escalating. THAT is why the US agreed to the ABM treaty in the first place, because back then someone did the math and realized that a foolproof technological solution to nuclear war simply does not exist, and even if it did, scientists like Carl Sagan proved that any sufficiently large nuclear strike would just ruin the planet's climate anyway. What, do you just want them to abrogate the Outer Space Treaty like the US abrogated the ABM treaty? Because the playbook we handed them says they can totally do that, and there isn't a goddamn thing an ABM system can do to stop a de-orbiting bomb! And that is NOT new technology!
Assuming the enemy is dumber than you are is a recepie for disaster. Assuming they are smarter than you are may be equally disasterous. Standoffs are fun that way.
If this is the case shouldn't Russia be operating under the same rules? They seem perfectly happy to threaten military action against their neighbors and play a game of brinksmanship with NATO over sanctions that their own reckless actions caused.
That assumes they are
reckless, but as far as I'm concerned that's just your bias talking. No one actually cared enough about Crimea to do anything about it militarily. Likewise Russia has frequently stated that they don't actually want to annex the Ukraine (no one wants to invite a bunch of Nazis to the party after all, least of all the Russian people), which may or may not be bullshit but is at least carefully phrased bullshit. The important thing is that they don't want any more countries on their border joining NATO because it has become clear that NATO is no different now than it was during the cold war. Their threats are best seen as reminders that they cannot be bullied, and they are completely indifferent to accusations of being the bullies. They know the Chinese don't give a fuck about those accusations, since Bush and Trump have thoroughly shredded our credibility in that regard. But it doesn't really matter. The Russians are
playing by the same rules. We test the waters to see how far they will go before relenting; now they're pushing back to see how far we will allow it before inevitably Putin and/or Biden invites the other to talk in private. Escalation followed by diplomacy followed by either another round of escalation or de-escalation. We can only hope for the latter, but only if we are willing to compromise with them about something
. Being in the "fuck Russia" mode doesn't get us anywhere. You have to learn to live with the fact that sometimes you have to wait on justice rather than hoping the background context of nuclear weapons ceases to be relevant.