George Bush says if elected he will reduce the nuclear arsenal of the US. None of these promises has anything to do with any real interests in eliminating nuclear weapons.
Washington is merely seeking to restructure modify the character of its nuclear capability in line with developments in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War. This entails Russia having to face the harsh reality of its decreasing role as a nuclear power. Russia as it currently stands is no longer capable of developing its nuclear capability and strategic military arsenal in the way that the SU had. The argument between Washington and Moscow over anti-ballistic defence systems reflects this reality. Russia is in no position to mount an anti-ballistic defence system on the scale of Washington.
Bush's public discussion of strategic matters perhaps constitutes a change in the quality of the Presidential race in the US. By raising this issue in public Bush is investing the campaign with a matter of substance. To a large extent the campaign has been apparently lacking substance. Insignificant issues have dominated it. Now the matter of the character of strategic offence and defence introduces an issues which opens debate, in some form, on the character of international relations in the aftermath of the cold war. This makes the campaign more interesting.
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