The U.S. Senate voted 67-28 to end debate on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and proceed to a final vote. They have enough support to proceed to a final vote and ensure the two-thirds majority necessary for ratification.
President Barack Obama has a lot at stake in the ratification vote because he made nuclear disarmament a cornerstone of his presidency. Furthermore, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a speech declaring America’s “moral responsibility” to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The treaty was signed in April of 2010 by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It would cut strategic nuclear arsenals by one-third leaving each country with some 1,550 warheads, cut from the current limit of 2,200.
At the surface it seems that Russia has softened its previously stance against allowing U.S. missiles in European countries. After the signing of the Treaty, it also adjusted its stance on Iran and Afghanistan. On the surface it looks good for world peace right? Hmmm….lets take a closer look.
Have you heard of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It is ranked as the nighth largest country in the world, is the world’s largest landlocked country with a territory of 2,727,300 km², which is greater than Western Europe. The country is neighboured Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. It is a former state of the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). It was the USSR’s primary nuclear weapon testing site.
Something else you should know is that Kazakhstan is that over the last few years, from a production perspective, Kazakhstan has aggressively promoted its Uranium mining activities to the point where their mines in 2009 produced over 14,000 tonnes of Uranium, followed by Canada with over 10,100 and Australia with almost 8,000. They are now looking to be the world’s largest exporter of Uranium.
Now let me tie it together for you:
– Russia’s strategy is to focus on energy supply and control as much supply into Europe as possible.
– Kazakhstan is a former Soviet state, still very heavily influenced (or controlled) by the controlling political class in Russia.
– Kazakhstan has aggressively promoted its uranium mining activity to become a world leader, fast tracking projects at fractions of the time that they would be approved in Canada or Australia.
– Kazakhstan is manipulating circumstances to take control of Uranium projects developed by foreigners. (Take a look at Uranium One: UUU and how they tried to arrest company officials and take over the local operations of a Canadian-based exploration company)
– Kazakhstan has more uranium than it knows what to do with and is looking for buyers (most likely China, but also anyone that will pay for it)
Given the above, of course Russia wants the U.S. to sign an agreement to reduce uranium supplies. Meanwhile, Russia works through its puppet state (Kazakhstan) to develop and export as much uranium as possible. It is just another way to take over another energy source. Meanwhile, the U.S., lead by a naive politician is totally oblivious to the consequences, not just on the U.S. economy but also on the geopolitical implications.
Could you imagine a world where you had to get your uranium for our reactors (not to mention weapons) from a Russian puppet state? Forget about $50 per pound pricing. Look more at $100-$200 per pound pricing. Also forget about becoming an innovator in the development and use of clean energy and energy supply security.
I don’t think Barack Obama is thinking past the next election. Where is his 10 year, 25 year, 50 year plan to assure the success of the United States into the future. No wonder Americans are cashing in their greenbacks and buying gold bullion or taking their money offshore.
What do you think?
By the way, if this agreement is approved the 95% grade uranium in the war heads will have to be removed and disposed of, usually by putting it into the fuel supply for nuclear reactors. However, reactors take a 6% concentration, therefore the uranium has to be de-graded. Analysts were predicting a spike in uranium prices by 2013 because of the ending of the previous agreement by which Russia was dismantling their weapons and selling the uranium into the fuel supply. This treaty would in fact be a type of extension of this supply. Also, I wonder how well regulated and secure the uranium stocks are in that part of the world, especially when last year someone in India was found walking around with a case of uranium.
On a positive note, I’m glad that atleast on the surface the politicians are agreeing to reduce the nuclear weapons. We have way more than we need and too much to assure our security.
Peace to all.