Gray-haired readers of ACW will remember when the acronym
RSVP was treaty-related. During the first term of the Reagan administration,
arms-control opponents compiled a long list of the Kremlin’s treaty violations
and circumventions, real or imagined. They then commissioned studies on how to
respond. RSVP became shorthand for Responding to Soviet Violations Policy.
The question arises once again after the Obama
administration’s finding that the Kremlin has violated the Intermediate-range
Nuclear Forces Treaty. There has been no shortage of suggestions how to
Let’s start with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page:
One apt response would be to withdraw from New Start. Russia
was already below the limits in this treaty on strategic nuclear weapons and
launchers, obliging only the U.S. to reduce its stockpiles. The White House
should also restore the ground-based missile-defense interceptors that it
abandoned in 2009 in a misguided attempt to appease the Kremlin.
The Reagan administration didn’t take this advice. Rather
than junking the unratified SALT II Treaty, it abided by Treaty limits until in
a position to breach them.
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