Gore, Putin Sign Extension of 1990 Arms Treaty July 14, 2007Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, arms control, News and politics, Putin, Russia, treaties, treaty.
President Gore, along with his European counterparts, and Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a comprehensive arms control agreement that further draws down conventional armed forces in Europe and sets lofty goals for a reduction of both strategic and theater nuclear weapons.
The signing ceremony took place in Beirut, Lebanon, which has become the de facto capital for peace treaty signing ceremonies since peace broke out in the Middle East. The symbolism is huge because Beirut has regained its prestige as an international city and has become a brokerage house of sorts for much of the world’s diplomatic activity, replacing Geneva as the place to be for major international agreements.
The new agreement means that both NATO and Russia will each reduce the amount of conventional weapons in Europe, accordingly:
From 20,000 tanks under the old treaty to 10,000
From 20,000 artillery pieces to 10,000
From 30,000 armored combat vehicles (ACV’s) to 15,000
From 6,800 combat aircraft to 2,300
From 2,000 attack helicopters to 500.
Right wing Republicans expressed concerns that such high reductions, particularly of attack helicopters, would leave the United States weak in an emergency in such crisis-prone regions as the Caucasus or Baltic regions, but what really pushed their buttons was a commitment from NATO and Russia to transfer some of the equipment to the auspices of the United Nation. This part of the treaty has left a familiar trail of sovereignty whining among various jingoistic crowds in both Congress and parts of Montana.
The nuclear angle of the treaty is much less specific and makes no formal commitments other than a general agreement to reduce the number of strategic and theater warheads under a separate treaty.