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START: Ratifying the end of America as a superpower

It's really not about missile defense in the end

In all the discussion focusing on how the START treaty would affect our ability to build and deploy a missile defense system, very little has been mentioned to my knowledge about the strategic implications of this treaty.

And in brief, what this treaty does is to ratify Russia’s status as a hegemonic regional power, which follows upon our previous decisions under this administration to grant similar regional dominance by China in Asia and Iran in Central Asia – in conjunction with this administration’s ceding U.S. strategic interests in South America and Central America (or even an interest in defending our border with Mexico).

Now it may be comforting to those who still view the world through a Soviet-U.S. superpower rivalry to continue that Cold War era diplomacy through another arms control treaty, but that has little to do with present reality. Instead we are signaling a retreat in the face of Russian aggressiveness rooted in a resurgent nationalism and energy sales that would seem to consign Eastern Europe (and to a lesser degree Western Europe) to regional domination by Russia.

And in so doing, we are unmistakably making another statement that we no longer wish to wear the mantle of world leadership and beacon of hope for those seeking to emulate us to form their own forms of democratic governance (following upon our passivity in the face of Iranian citizens being ruthlessly suppressed when they protested the electoral fraud in their last election and looked to us for help).

Unfortunately, the last two years have seen the Republican opposition in Congress (and predominant discussion at RedState and elsewhere in the right blogosphere) focused almost entirely on domestic economic matters. Apart from a few lonely voices such as Sen. DeMint, the Obama Adminstration has been largely given a pass on its foreign policy through an absence of any significant debate on foreign policy decisions.

In any case, what I see at stake in this treaty is an acquiescence to America relegating itself to being just another country in the world – that is, the repudiation before the world of American Exceptionalism. And having surrendered such claim will make it far more difficult if not impossible to reclaim it in the future should our country decide to change its course and once again pursue our destiny.

And this is what our senators need to hear. My regret is that it has taken perhaps too long for me to speak out.

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