Stimson in the News

Impeachment and Arms Control by Michael Krepon

in Program

Donald Trump has floated above the din he habitually creates. His cunning is so great that he has been able to move through life absent guardrails and wise council. One of his secrets of success/ extrication is that he creates conditions where punishment is just too much of a bother.

Until now. Until his recorded and transcribed phone call to the Ukrainian President asking for “a favor” to advance his election prospects while withholding military assistance to help in pushing back against Russian “advisers” and proxies in eastern Ukraine.

Where does this leave us in terms of efforts to reduce nuclear dangers and weapons? This is already the third case of impeachment proceedings in the Nuclear Age. The previous two don’t provide a clear roadmap. In the first (Richard Nixon), arms control was modestly advanced. In the second (Bill Clinton), it was retarded.

With Trump, a third path seems most likely — that  impeachment proceedings will have little bearing on prospects for new agreements. These developments are unlikely to change Trump’s nature. Neither he nor those around him have demonstrated a capacity for positive outcomes in national security negotiations.

Shall we take a walk down memory lane?

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