The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that as Russia begins moving tactical nuclear weapons into the Crimea, the Obama administration is funding non-official arms control talks with Russia through a Washington think-tank that are aimed at curbing U.S. tactical nuclear arms in Europe.
First of all, I would like to remind everyone that Russia has paid no price for taking over the Crimea–there is no one standing up for the rights of the people in the Ukraine to expel the Russians from the Crimea and re-unite their country. The Russian takeover of the Crimea is considered part of the current baseline, and no one is talking about it as if it were the problem it is.
The article reports:
Regarding the nuclear deployments to Crimea, Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R., Okla.) first disclosed last month that Putin had announced in August his approval of deploying nuclear-capable Iskander-M short-range missiles along with Tu-22 nuclear-capable bombers in Crimea, located on the Black Sea.
“The stationing of new nuclear forces on the Crimean peninsula, Ukrainian territory Russia annexed in March, is both a new and menacing threat to the security of Europe and also a clear message from Putin that he intends to continue to violate the territorial integrity of his neighbors,” Inhofe stated in a Sept. 8 op-ed in Foreign Policy.
In their Sept. 23 letter to the president, McKeon, Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee on strategic forces, and Rep. Michael Turner (R., Ohio), chairman of the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, noted Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty by building a banned cruise missile. The missile has been identified by U.S. officials as the R-500.
The lawmakers said the Russian nuclear deployment in Crimea represents the “clear, and perhaps irrevocable tearing” of the 1997 agreement between NATO and Russia that allowed Russia to maintain a military presence within the alliance.
This is another example of America’s lack of strength making the world less safe–not safer. We need to increase our defense spending to make sure we have the weapons in place if Russia decides to go after a country in Europe next.