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Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly Politics Part III : Obama, START, Brit Nuke Secrets, and WikiLeaks

Did the U.S. deliver British nuclear weapons secrets to the Russians as the price for START ? That's what Andrew Roberts contends in THE DAILY BEAST, based on information from newly-disclosed WikiLeaks cables :

The reports that the Obama administration has told the Russians certain British nuclear secrets in order to secure a New START promotes him from being a mere irritant for the Special Relationship to a downright menace. It is bad enough the president arrogating to himself the decision as to who should rule in Egypt, but it is completely unacceptable for him to undermine the whole basis of the British nuclear deterrent, which has always been to keep the Russians guessing about how many warheads the United Kingdom has.
...the leaked cables show that the Obama administration lobbied the British Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense in 2009 for permission to simply tell Moscow this data about the number, age, and performance capabilities of Trident.

Needless to say, the U.K refused, because not letting the Russians know the full extent of its deterrent has long been key to its success. Yet astonishingly—and in my view despicably—the Obama administration seems to have simply rode roughshod over British objections and—according both to WikiLeaks and the Daily Telegraph of London—“The U.S. agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.”
Now, in his desire for a disarmament treaty that will boost Obama’s image as a peace-monger, the president has blurted out that number to the Russians. Any Briton caught doing such a thing would be immediately arrested under the 1911 Official Secrets Act, tried, and imprisoned for up to 60 years. When Obama does exactly the same thing, however, for short-term political gain, it’s called statesmanship. Small wonder that there has been an outcry in Britain, with the anti-American left instancing this as yet another example of the one-sidedness of the Special Relationship.
Supporters of that Relationship, who truly believe that it continues to be a mainstay of global civilization, are now being mocked for putting their faith in an alliance where the other side can behave so high-handedly. And where are the American friends of Britain who should be outraged at this treatment of the ally which has contributed the largest number of NATO troops—and thus casualties—to the American-led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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