American Politics and Foreign Policy - Essay Example

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This discussion will provide detailed analysis on the reasons why Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened a moratorium on the 1990 Conventional Arms Forces in Europe treaty during April earlier this year. It will also analyze the extent to which Putin's actions were justified in the context of current global political issues.
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American Politics and Foreign Policy
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Download file to see previous pages The concluding section will draw upon all of this information and the global arguments will be considered when making a finalization about the matter.
In April this year, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will consider withdrawing from Europe's key arms control treaty in response to United States' plans to install missile defense systems in Eastern Europe (Danilova, 2007). The Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which was signed in the last few months of the Cold War, has been considered as the foundation of stability in Europe. It places limits on the number of conventional weapons and foreign forces that can be deployed among member nations (Navosti, 2007). This particular aspect provides the backbone to the matter.
In the first indication that the United States was losing patience with Moscow's inflexibility on the issue, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, described Russia's fears simply as "ludicrous" (Columbia Tribune, 2007). "The Russians have thousands of warheads," she told a press conference in Oslo prior to a NATO meeting. "The idea that somehow you can stop the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent with a few interceptors just doesn't make sense" (Columbia Tribune, 2007).
Mr. ...
Mr. Putin said he had decided to declare a moratorium on an updated version of the treaty because NATO powers had failed to ratify it (Danilova, 2007). The United States and its NATO allies said they would not ratify the treaty until Russia withdrew its troops from Moscow-backed seceding republics in Georgia and Moldova - an argument the Russian Kremlin dismisses as a pretext to allow Washington to boost its military presence in Eastern Europe (Navosti, 2007).

Background on the Treaty

Negotiated and signed during the final years of the Cold War, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty is often referred to as the "cornerstone of European security" (Crawford, 2002). According to the Reuters Fact box (2007) the treaty, signed on November 19, 1990, eliminated the Soviet Union's overwhelming quantitative advantage in conventional weapons in Europe by setting equal limits on the amount of tanks, armored combat vehicles, heavy artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters that NATO and the former Warsaw Pact could deploy between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains (Crawford, 2002).

Designed to prevent either alliance from concentrating forces for launching a blitzkrieg-type offensive, the treaty employs a system of concentric zones mandating smaller deployments of tanks, ACVs, and artillery the closer one moves toward the center of Europe (FAS, 1999). While the threat of such an offensive all but disappeared with the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the CFE Treaty's weapons limits and inspection regime, which provides an unprecedented degree of transparency on military holdings, continue to play an important role in Europe (FAS, 1999). CFE states-parties overhauled the treaty in November 1999, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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