START Treaty is dead, because of the US exceptionalism, I mean, because of US political class being exceptionally arrogant and exceptionally incompetent, if not outright dumb. Marshall Billingslea is your typical product of the US law "education" machine and political career within swamp. Serving as an aid to late Jesse Helms alone qualifies a man for a serious observation by experienced psychologist but that is only half the problem. The issue is larger and it is that realistically it is impossible to teach US upper power echelon anything because it makes shit up as it goes to experience a constant gratification from own aggrandizement, a perpetual orgasm, of sorts, and one does not negotiate with such people. So, this dude came up with the set of conditions for extension of START Treaty, which, everybody understand the United States wants dead and works hard for that. He spoke to Washington Examiner and declared:
New START is an issue that the Russians are seized upon,” he said. “It does nothing for the United States with respect to our concerns regarding China, and it does nothing for the United States with respect to our concerns regarding what Russia has been doing, which are a series of destabilizing activities outside of — and not constrained by — the treaty.
There is no need to debunk this obvious newspeak, but some retrospective is needed here--obviously the United States, at the peak of own, grossly talked up, unipolar moment in 2002 decided to quit 1972 ABM Treaty--one of the most important building blocks of the arms control system. But here is a clue, in 2002 Bush Jr. Admin thought itself to be very righteous and very competent--a defining characteristic of US body politic. They, and their in-house lawyers and corridor generals, thought that the end of history has arrived and US was well on its way to a complete "democratic" global dominance--a typical mode of thinking, or, rather lack thereof, by the whole highly concentrated cabal of all kinds of geopolitical, military, economic and what have you "experts" abusing their sinecures inside the Beltway think-tankdom. Well, it is not 2002 anymore and some hard cold military-technological realities begin to dawn even on all those career bureaucrats in, now, Trump Admin.
The reason to a Billingslea's bloviation about START is not even China and preposterous desire to make her a party to this treaty, despite the fact that even if to consider a degree of misinformation about the actual size of Chinese strategic nuclear arsenal emanating from Chinese themselves, China's arsenal still remains well below massive nuclear arsenals of Russia and US. But, obviously, nobody in Trump Administration ever heard of weight categories in boxing, power lifting and wrestling. The real, also well know, reason for this patent BS from US Department of State is this:
The two systems covered by the treaty are the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and the Avangard hypersonic missile stage, a maneuvering nuclear or conventional warhead delivery system. Three other new weapons include a new air-launched ICBM called Kinzhal; and the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped subsonic cruise missile. That new missile blew up during a test in August, killing several Russian arms developers and spreading radiation in the White Sea. The last new strategic weapon is a drone submarine armed with a large nuclear warhead capable of blowing up ports.
Here is the real deal. As I stated not for once, and even wrote a book on this issue, main concern is a dramatic shift in geopolitical power balance that Kinzhal and Burevestnik provide even merely in a conventional, non-nuclear that is, variants. Burevestnik (Petrel) is a weapon which assures that no one who makes a homicidal decision to unleash a global war, while sitting it out somewhere in Patagonia or in New Zealand, will feel safe from, as it is becoming known, Mach=6+ justice capable to wait for attack for days in the air. In general, this weapon is for cooling heads trying to save their asses in the Southern Hemisphere, in addition to its already wide range of purely military applications globally. Per Kinzhal--it was discussed so much and on so many occasions that I simply see no reason to concentrate again of the weapon which changed naval warfare forever. Wait for 3M22 Zircon getting to IOC by the end of this--start next year and you may confidently add this too to the list. The issue is a dramatic lag of the United States in hypersonic weaponry and anti-air and anti-missile defense. In other words, the US lost arms race in these and other key fields of military (or dual use) technology. There is simply nothing out there which can compete with something like S-400, not to speak of S-500, forget about Nudol, US has NO supersonic missile weapons, it certainly doesn't have any viable hypersonic technology and I can continue with this list for a long time.
In one of the more remarkable demonstration of the depth to which US military-industrial complex fell in the last decades is the fact that the US Navy for years hasn't been able to come up with a viable design for a frigate and was forced to resort to an Italian (Finkantieri) design of what essentially is a FREMM class frigate. It is a nice ship and the US Navy made a choice in favor of this ship. These are unprecedented developments which can not obscure the fact, that even with the most of hulls and equipment of the American origin, this frigate follows in the wake of a technological and fighting doctrine catastrophe of a ship-class known as LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) known in US Navy as self-propelled 57-mm gun. If that wasn't enough, latest revelations about F-35 not being capable to fly super-sonic without damaging itself, only underscore a major clusterfvck that US technological "expertise" has become and underscores neurotic, delusional and arrogant statements from US political top, which was, most likely, briefed on a simple fact that the only default position for the US in a new world is to build as many nuclear ICBMs as possible and even this position is untenable, once one takes a look at the US economy.
As is often the case, under such circumstances US "elites" resort to lying and stealing, so much so that even Russia's Foreign Ministry today officially demanded from Trump Administration to stop lying about WW II (in Russian). Daniel Larison may lament the upcoming death of the START and Trump's China "diversion", but behind all this hustle in D.C. ranging from perpetual sanctions' war, to losing one war after another, to killing START to lying about WW II is a reaction of sore losers who desperately want to see and feel themselves important and powerful. Same as Barbara Jean Trenton from Twilight Zone Episode "Sixteen-millimeter Shrine", in which aging movie star still pretends to be a young starlet capable to play roles of young lover, forgetting that she lives not in 1934 but in 1959. I know, reality is a bitch and US political top has neither class, nor competence, nor education to understand that making grandiose demands and statements they increasingly look like clowns or Barbara Jean Trenton. But I am on record, for years now, that most of those people have no concept of causality and that every act has consequences.