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Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash 80% of Nukes





handfleisch
This is truly great news, and something I think everyone can agree on.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5654836.ece
Quote:
President Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash Nuclear Weapons

Wednesday 04 February 200

The radical new treaty would reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each.

Washington - President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country's stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent.

The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration's plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow.

Mr Obama is to establish a non-proliferation office at the White House to oversee the talks, expected to be headed by Gary Samore, a non-proliferation negotiator in the Clinton Administration. The talks will be driven by Hillary Clinton's State Department.
Nick2008
Hmm... the US will be slashing too, but that's considerable, we're in an economic mess and we'll have almost a trillion dollars worth of stimulus package. Russia can cut back too, but why doesn't the US ever trust Russia? What harm can they possibly do with nuclear warheads, there's already many treaties signed forbidding use of nuclear missiles under many conditions. Destroying your warheads is just a waste of money. We can't waste money right now. If both countries keep slashing their nuclear stockpile, image a scenario where Russia & USA have 250 nuclear warheads, and Iran has 1000, and China has 2000? I think 1000 is the lowest these both should go. World peace must be kept by strong forces.
handfleisch
Nick2008 wrote:
Hmm... the US will be slashing too, but that's considerable, we're in an economic mess and we'll have almost a trillion dollars worth of stimulus package. Russia can cut back too, but why doesn't the US ever trust Russia? What harm can they possibly do with nuclear warheads, there's already many treaties signed forbidding use of nuclear missiles under many conditions. Destroying your warheads is just a waste of money. We can't waste money right now. If both countries keep slashing their nuclear stockpile, image a scenario where Russia & USA have 250 nuclear warheads, and Iran has 1000, and China has 2000? I think 1000 is the lowest these both should go. World peace must be kept by strong forces.


The article says the goal of this treaty would be to have both countries with about 1000 nukes.

I don't think it's a waste of money at all, given the massive increase in a safer and saner world it would create. Also the cost may be minimal if the regular people already handling the weapons were to be the ones working on the reduction.
deanhills
Well Obama can seek as much as he wants to, but whether Russia will be receptive to a deal like this is hugely debatable. Russia is in total chaos right now, and when money is not available, and people complaining, I would imagine that the Russian Government would be most reluctant to do anything that would make it more unpopular with the people than it already is.

Obama has to prove himself too first, as he is not really that much in with all the world leaders yet. Perhaps he should also be careful to bet on something before it is a certainty, not always good to show your hand before you have sorted out your strategies and know what you are dealing with. And who knows, maybe he is also meddling in the affairs of Hilary Clinton, who is supposed to be wheeling and dealing in this regard as his deputy?

Nice ideal though, if it could work, but I am a little cynical about this. Too good to be true.
ocalhoun
^It might be money-based in the USA as well. Slashing the nuclear arsenal (which takes funds to protect, maintain, and keep updated) would be a way to reduce the military budget, which I'm sure he's very keen on.

People like to focus on how nukes are evil, but they neglect the way nukes prevent a greater evil simply by existing and being available. Personally, I think 1000 would be too few, given the different delivery systems. I would say: 1000 submarine based, 700 ICBM based, and 300 aircraft based would be sufficient, as long as another superpower arms race didn't develop.

Who cares how many nukes Russia has anyway? As long as we both have enough to obliterate the other, the actual amount doesn't matter at all.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Who cares how many nukes Russia has anyway? As long as we both have enough to obliterate the other, the actual amount doesn't matter at all.


Good point. And also that what you have is in excellent working order and that you have a superior intelligence network to guage at all times what the others have, where they are and which areas in the US they can potentially threaten, to ensure that the US is one step ahead all of the time. I am beginning to wonder whether Obama is too nice and may leave some of these crucial elements of the US defense system for God to sort out! It is one place in life where you have to accept the worst in human nature and deal with it as the worst instead of potentially good. Smile
harismushtaq
USA, Russia and other countries in recession should not only cut down thier unnecessarily high defense budgets but should also reduce thier expenditures in certain space missions and other researches which cost a lot and does not fit in the current recession crises. Just an idea.
handfleisch
harismushtaq wrote:
USA, Russia and other countries in recession should not only cut down thier unnecessarily high defense budgets but should also reduce thier expenditures in certain space missions and other researches which cost a lot and does not fit in the current recession crises. Just an idea.


Not a bad idea. Call it "Earth First, War Last".

deanhills
Perhaps the aforementioned pie chart that has been posted by Handfleish should be amended to show the percentage of world population and gross domestic product each country represents in the world total. Otherwise it does not give an accurate picture.
LostOverThere
deanhills wrote:
Perhaps the aforementioned pie chart that has been posted by Handfleish should be amended to show the percentage of world population and gross domestic product each country represents in the world total. Otherwise it does not give an accurate picture.

Well, even so we can compare it to make it representative. China has 1.3 Million people while the USA has around 0.3 million people. Compare that to the chart, showing Americas spendature being 10x more and that's quite mind boggling.
deanhills
LostOverThere wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Perhaps the aforementioned pie chart that has been posted by Handfleish should be amended to show the percentage of world population and gross domestic product each country represents in the world total. Otherwise it does not give an accurate picture.

Well, even so we can compare it to make it representative. China has 1.3 Million people while the USA has around 0.3 million people. Compare that to the chart, showing Americas spendature being 10x more and that's quite mind boggling.

Perhaps you mean 1.3 billion people for China and at least 300 million for the United States?

I took all the countries listed in the Pie Chart, got their population figures from World Census Data for 2007, and Military Expendure from Wikipedia, and then worked out what the military expenditure was per head of total population and ranked them by country from highest to lowest military expenditure per head. I got the following:

US 2321.20 (16.04%)
Israel 1838.62 (12.70%)
Australia 1166.46 (8.06%)
UK 1166.37 (8.06%)
Saudi 1082.39 (7.48%)
France 955.78 (6.60%)
Greece 738.91 (5.10%)
Netherl 717.88 (4.96%)
Italy 689.02 (4.76%)
Canada 582.52 (4.02%)
Germany 557.88 (3.85%)
Spain 468.20 (3.23%)
Taiwan 457.03 (3.16%)
Turkey 402.78 (2.78%)
S. Korea 386.79 (2.67%)
Japan 384.49 (2.66%)
Russia 357.04 (2.47%)
Brazil 120.62 (0.83%)
China 52.47 (0.36%)
India 28.04 (0.19%)
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
harismushtaq wrote:
USA, Russia and other countries in recession should not only cut down thier unnecessarily high defense budgets but should also reduce thier expenditures in certain space missions and other researches which cost a lot and does not fit in the current recession crises. Just an idea.


Not a bad idea. Call it "Earth First, War Last".


Would you be gracious enough to label the chart, so we can have some clue to what it is actually about?
Or, if you're feeling lazy, just give a link to the source.
(I'd also like to know what the little * next to Israel is for...)


deanhills wrote:


I took all the countries listed in the Pie Chart, got their population figures from World Census Data for 2007, and Military Expendure from Wikipedia, and then worked out what the military expenditure was per head of total population and ranked them by country from highest to lowest military expenditure per head. I got the following:

US 2321.20 (16.04%)
Israel 1838.62 (12.70%)
Australia 1166.46 (8.06%)
UK 1166.37 (8.06%)
Saudi 1082.39 (7.48%)
France 955.78 (6.60%)
Greece 738.91 (5.10%)
Netherl 717.88 (4.96%)
Italy 689.02 (4.76%)
Canada 582.52 (4.02%)
Germany 557.88 (3.85%)
Spain 468.20 (3.23%)
Taiwan 457.03 (3.16%)
Turkey 402.78 (2.78%)
S. Korea 386.79 (2.67%)
Japan 384.49 (2.66%)
Russia 357.04 (2.47%)
Brazil 120.62 (0.83%)
China 52.47 (0.36%)
India 28.04 (0.19%)

You get some questions too...
The first number for each country is military spending per person I suppose, but in what? Dollars?
The percentage for each.... What is that?
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:

US 2321.20 (16.04%)
Israel 1838.62 (12.70%)
Australia 1166.46 (8.06%)
UK 1166.37 (8.06%)
Saudi 1082.39 (7.48%)
France 955.78 (6.60%)
Greece 738.91 (5.10%)
Netherl 717.88 (4.96%)
Italy 689.02 (4.76%)
Canada 582.52 (4.02%)
Germany 557.88 (3.85%)
Spain 468.20 (3.23%)
Taiwan 457.03 (3.16%)
Turkey 402.78 (2.78%)
S. Korea 386.79 (2.67%)
Japan 384.49 (2.66%)
Russia 357.04 (2.47%)
Brazil 120.62 (0.83%)
China 52.47 (0.36%)
India 28.04 (0.19%)

You get some questions too...
The first number for each country is military spending per person I suppose, but in what? Dollars?
The percentage for each.... What is that?


I took the military spending of each country and divided it by its population so that it would be military spending per head. So obviously China will show a low percentage and so does India, so possibly this has distorted their figures, but at the same time US did come out on top, and Israel second, so perhaps it still makes sense. The figures are US dollars. The Wikipedia source below gives more details about how the military expenditures have been derived. Looks quite authentic, but obviously not 100% as of course military spending cannot be that transparent. Looked good enough for me though to have fun with.

Regarding the percentages, I added the per capita totals just to show what the percentages were of the total, i.e. US 16% and Canada 4%, so it is easy to work out that US spends four times per head as much on military than Canada does.

I only took the countries that were listed in the pie chart. And this was not spending on nuclear, but military spending, so I do not know how the spending on nuclear works, and whether it is part of military spending. The pie chart that I questioned was about military spending. There are quite a number of countries that have been left out of course, i.e. Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, etc., I only focussed on the ones in the pie chart.

The world population figures I took from a World Census Website:
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbrank.pl

and the Military Spending from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
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