The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial yesterday calling on Republicans to continue their delay and extract strategy on New START.
The editors spend most of their ink recycling talking points from the Heritage Foundation playbook about how the treaty limits missile defense and the administration has yet to demonstrate a viable commitment to sustaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
And then in the second to last paragraph we get this gem:
New Start is a relatively minor treaty that lacks the nuclear high drama of the Cold War era. Russia is no longer an adversary, its arsenal is going to shrink in any case from cost and decay, and the U.S. will have enough missiles to maintain its nuclear deterrent even under New Start. We would nonetheless probably oppose it on grounds that it furthers the illusion that arms control enhances U.S. security.
So there you have it: The Journal flat out admits that it opposes New START (or any arms control treaty for that matter) because they don’t like arms control. I gather the “probably” qualifier was inserted as an escape clause in the event that 80+ Republican Senators embarrass the paper by following our military’s advice that the treaty should be ratified. Or perhaps it’s an admission that the editors would be less hostile to the treaty if it was negotiated by a Republican President.
In any event, former Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush would no doubt dispute the notion that arms control is a dangerous waste of time. They viewed it as an essential tool in managing and reducing the nuclear threat, as well as an important demonstration of American leadership. But apparently ideological intransigence is what passes for serious thinking about national security at the conservative movement’s leading voice in the print media.