Ad Hoc Commentary – Wake up America, the Cold War did not end in 1991

“…the [Russian] Ministry of Defense said it would consider stopping international inspections of its nuclear weapons in response to threatened sanctions from the West…”

At first sight, it seems like America and Europe are bungling up on their treatment of Russia. However, the informed public would probably conclude that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) treaty that Russia is threatening to walk-away from was likely ignored and violated even before Ukraine made the headlines. We remember that just a month ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on how Russia violated the Reagan administrations’ Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty:

“…Although Russia has been ignoring the INF Treaty for years—if Russian news reports are any guide—the Obama administration only recently felt compelled to openly take note of what’s going on. The New York Times reported on Jan. 29 that, ‘The United States informed its NATO allies this month that Russia had tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, raising concerns about Moscow’s compliance with’ the INF Treaty. The report said the administration began raising questions with Russian officials last May but was rebuffed…”

The political elites are perhaps finding out what the economic elites have always known about Russia – there is no rule of law. George Soros said it best at the World Economic Forum at Davos:
“…Investing in Russia, I think, is a big mistake. The Putin regime, doesn’t respect the rule of law…”

It is yours truly own opinion that if Russia conveniently ignored the letter of the INF treaty, then it is very probable that they flouted the spirit of the START treaty too. The Americans have sophisticated technical methods to verify and monitor compliance. However, if Russia could ignore INF with virtual impunity, it is probably not unreasonable to ask what if Russia secretly stored the nuclear warheads in friendly countries instead of destroying it under treaty. It is thus probably better for the West to have no nuclear weapons inspectors In Russia than having inspectors that gives them a false sense of security. Wake up from your complacency America, the Cold War did not end in 1991.

Good luck in the markets.