How to Build on the START Treaty

From William Perry and George Shultz, the New York Times: Let’s begin with missile defense. Future arms talks should make a serious exploration of a joint United States-Russia program that would provide a bulwark against Iranian missiles. We should also consider situating parts of the joint system in Russia, which in many ways offers an ideal strategic location for these defenses. Such an effort would not only improve our security, it would also further cooperation in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, including the imposition of consequential sanctions when appropriate.

NATO is a similarly complicated issue. After the cold war ended, Russia was invited to NATO meetings with the idea that the country would eventually become an integral part of European security discussions. The idea was good, but the execution failed. NATO has acted as if Russia’s role is that of an observer with no say in decisions; Russia has acted as if it should have veto power.

Neither outlook is viable. But if NATO moves from consensus decisions to super-majority decisions in its governing structure, as has been considered, it would be possible to include Russia’s vote as an effective way of resolving European security issues of common interest. (photo: AP)

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