Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Daily Strike-4/8/10-A New START

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Yes, that title is a bit cliche.

START TREATY: Before we woke up this morning, President Obama flew to Prague to sign a new nuclear arms agreement with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev. The treaty advances the long-term U.S. goal, endorsed by President Ronald Reagan, to cut our nuclear arsenal. The plan calls for each country to reduce its arms by about 1/3rd. Don't worry: we'll still have enough nukes to defend ourselves against an unexpected attack. But it starts the slow, arduous process of getting us to a nuclear-free world.

The agreement represents a significant foreign policy agreement for the Obama administration for a number of reasons. First, it accomplishes a goal he outlined on the campaign trail and in a speech last year. Second, it could help us establish a stronger relationship with Russia. We will desperately need Russian assistance if we want to impose strong sanctions on Iran.

The treaty will have to be ratified by a 2/3rds majority vote in the United States Senate. The GOP may try to make the pact an election year issue, but I don't anticipate the treaty actually failing to pass.

ON THE RADAR: The President is also paying close attention to a couple of other issues. When he gets back the U.S., he will hold a meeting with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and the Mine Safety Administrator Joe Main to talk about this week's coal mine explosion in West Virginia. The President will also be keeping an eye on the situation in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, where the opposition party has overthrown the government, and the President is hiding somewhere near the capital. The situation has implications for the strategic interests of the United States because we operate a military base there. It also has implications for yours truly, since a friend of mine is doing the Peace Corps there. Let's all hope she's doing ok.

That's it for tonight, we'll be off tomorrow and back on the air Monday morning.

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