The document signed by the two leaders at a Moscow summit, Obama's first in Russia, is meant as a guide for negotiators as the nations work toward a replacement pact for the START arms control agreement that expires in December. The joint understanding completed by Obama and Medvedev, signed after about three hours of talks at the Kremlin, also commits the new treaty to lower longer-range missiles for delivering nuclear bombs to between 500 and 1,100.
The leaders announced several other deals meant to show progress toward resetting badly damaged U.S.-Russian relations. They outlined other areas in which they said their countries would work together to help stabilize Afghanistan, including increasing assistance to the Afghan army and police, and training counternarcotics personnel. A joint statement said that they welcomed increased international support for upcoming Afghan elections and that they were prepared to help Afghanistan and Pakistan work together against the "common threats of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.
"The United States and Russia have more in common than they have differences," Obama said earlier as he and Medvedev first sat down in an ornate Kremlin room.
There are parts of this I see as a good thing. Russia is a necessary and potentially valuable ally. My problem lies with reduction of our own, and even their nuclear arsenal. Yes, they need to better control some things like the security of their nuclear capabilities against corruption and loss but that doesn't necessarily mean reducing it. Sure we don't really need all of the weapons we have. The problem is that I forsee the left being perfectly fine with ditching everything eventually to the point where we must defend ourselves with sticks if given their own way. Disarming in this capacity, in the world in which we currently live is a bad idea. This is exactly what the Kim Jong Il's and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's of the world want. Impotent superpowers are not superpowers long. This isn't going to cause them to rethink their ways. This is simply going to show them that we are willing to castrate ourselves despite the more blatant threats they throw our way. We need to grow a set of balls not cut them off. We can create positive relations with the russians without beating the dead horse of the cold war.