The Establishment that created the United Nations, constructed NATO, and built a global economic system around the almighty dollar did arms control on the side. These extraordinary accomplishments have been recast or are being cast aside without anything better for replacement. The United Nations bears thin remembrance to its designers original intent. NATO had been expanded beyond recognition and without coherent intent. The dollar is drowning in debt. And the wheels are coming off the U.S.-Russian “arms control” enterprise. There’s one wheel left — the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and it may not have much more mileage.
The Trump/Pompeo/Bolton troika does not have the skills to negotiate something far more complex and ambitious than New START. “Big” deals are the shiny packaging for no deals. Their ‘my way or the highway’ approach compounds nuclear dangers. They believe in the power of subtraction. Trump’s withdrawal from the Arms Trade Treaty at a National Rifle Association conclave is, for now, a new low. Picking up the pieces left by Trump, Bush 43, and Putin will require heroic efforts.