That President Bush, he just can’t get a break, can he?
On what should have been a positive day in the sea of negativity that is Bush’s second term, North Korea opened its nuclear facility in Yongbyon to IAEA inspectors. This is the first step in a lengthy disarmament process which, it is hoped, could ultimately normalize relations between DPRK and the U.S.
This good news, however, is likely to be overshadowed by Russia’s President Putin announcing that Russia is suspending the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, which has reduced the number of tanks, combat vehicles and fighter aircraft on the European continent. While this move seems drastic, Russia has not committed to withdrawl from the treaty; the primary foreseeable change is the halting of physical inspections of military installations. Changes to the treaty have been on hold since 1999: NATO countries have been delaying ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty in response to Russia’s failure to withdraw forces from Moldova and Georgia.
Given these developments, where is arms control in the 21st century headed? Can we look forward to U.S-Russian cooperation again once Bush has left office? Or is Putin foreshadowing a chilling of East-West relations in military and security affairs? And has Korea indeed come around? Discuss.