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The President's Moscow Giveaway

By Ralph Peters, New York Post - July 7, 2009

President Obama went to Moscow desperate for the appearance of a foreign-policy success. He got that illusion -- at a substantial cost to America's security.

The series of signing ceremonies in a grand Kremlin hall and the litany of agreements, accords and frameworks implied that the United States benefited from all the fuss. We didn't.

We got nothing of real importance. But the government of puppet-master Vladimir Putin (nominally just prime minister) got virtually all it wanted. In Moscow, this was Christmas in July.

Ignore the agenda-padding public-health memorandum and the meaningless "framework document on military cooperation" (we've had such agreements before; the Russians always just stiff us). The main course in Moscow was arms control.

President Obama's ideological bias against nuclear weapons dates back to his undergraduate years. Yet those weapons kept the peace between the world's great powers for 64 years. A few remarks about deterrence notwithstanding, Obama just doesn't get it.

He agreed to trim our nuclear-warhead arsenal by one-third and -- even more dangerously -- to cut the systems that deliver the nuclear payloads. In fact, the Russians don't care much about our warhead numbers (which will be chopped to a figure "between 1,500 and 1,675"). What they really wanted -- and got -- was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated.

Moscow knows we aren't going to start a nuclear war with Russia. Putin (forget poor "President" Dmitry Medvedev) wants to gut our conventional capabilities to stage globe-spanning military operations. He wants to cut us down to Russia's size.

Our problem is that many nuclear-delivery systems -- such as bombers or subs -- are "dual-use": A B-2 bomber can launch nukes, but it's employed more frequently to deliver conventional ordnance.

Putin sought to cripple our ability to respond to international crises. Obama, meanwhile, was out for "deliverables" -- deals that could be signed in front of the cameras. Each man got what he wanted.

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