U.S.-Russia Talks: No Breakthroughs

While the Moscow meeting between Condoleezza Rice, Bob Gates and their Russian counterparts did not produce any breakthroughson the missile defense standoff, all reports suggested that there were some more wide-ranging strategic proposals on the table and that the mood was noticeably lighter thanprevious meetings. So I was surprised to see reports this morning ofRussian disappointment over promised written proposals that were not delivered. Apparently, though, that was atechnical glitch that was later ironed out.

Frequent WPR contributor Richard Weitz has a good overview in the National Interest of some of the broader arms-control challengesfacing America and Russia. One thing I found particularly interestingis the way the Cold War-era bi-lateral arms control treaties createregional imbalances vis à vis other emerging nuclear powers (India,Pakistan and by extension China) — particularly for Russia, since theSouth Asian arms race is closer to their neck of the woods. I mentionthe piece because the big picture Weitz offers serves as a reminder ofhow crucial American-Russian cooperation will be to adapt 20th centuryarms-control frameworks to the 21st century. Which in turn serves as areminder as to just how harmful the poisoned relations caused by themissile defense standoff really are.

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