Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

TOUGH NEGOTIATIONS NEXT WEEK


President Obama will be meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on July 6-8 in Moscow in hopes to "reset" relations between the two nations. One primary goal will be to explore negotiations for reduction of nuclear missiles.

Reuters reports, "Both leaders see further arms cuts as a key to maintaining global strategic stability. However, Moscow views U.S. plans to create an anti-missile system and deploy elements in Eastern Europe as a threat to its security... Medvedev has expressed hopes Obama will be less committed to the missile defence plan than Bush. Russian media have quoted U.S. officials as rejecting any linkage between the new arms deal and the missile defence."

The Chinese will be watching this summit closely as they too are deeply concerned about US "missile defense" systems being deployed near their borders in Japan, South Korea and on Naval ships just off their coast.

The new American military strategy of surrounding Russia (via NATO) and China will be put to a test in these new negotiations.

The US and Russia do recognize the need, and want to reduce, nuclear weapons because they are getting "out of control." Both leaders also realize they must take the lead if they hope to have others put down their nukes. Nukes are a huge waste of resources that both countries would rather be spending on other conventional military technologies - like space technology.

But at the same time Russia (and China) understand that if they reduce their nukes without the US backing off on "missile defense" deployments in their neighborhoods, then the US gains strategic first-strike advantage. They are very reluctant to give up their retaliatory nuclear capability under those circumstances.

The 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev nuclear negotiations broke down because of US insistence on Star Wars. The same thing happened when Clinton-Putin had similar negotiations and reached a similar impasse.

This will be a huge reality check for the global peace movement as we find out just how far Obama is willing to go when it comes to reaching his proposed "global zero."

News Flash:
For an early sign of how these meetings will go check out this CBS News story that indicates the US is likely to tell Russia that it is not going to compromise on deployment of "missile defense" systems in Europe or on NATO expansion. See it here

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