Moments ago, the United States Senate voted 71-26 to approve ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as New START. The treaty replaces an expired START that limits the number of nuclear weapons that may be maintained by Russia and the United States, and implements a joint system for verification.

As the Senate continues to debate passage of the START Treaty, the future of the nuclear arms pact with Russia is all but certain. Republican opposition to the treaty has been adamant, but the Democrats vow to see to its passage.

atomic bombAlmost three decades have passed since the film The Atomic Cafe (1982) offered a cynical, and yet vacuous, denigration of the efforts of American civil-defense experts to prepare the populace for the horrific possibility of nuclear war — and other, more malicious, efforts were also at work to undermine the will of the West to continue the Cold War. As a newly inaugurated President Reagan prepared the American people to begin to more actively counter Soviet aggression, Soviet front groups promoted their agenda through a sham "peace" movement, led by the World Peace Council. A generation of citizens has grown up having been propagandized into the belief that any use of “The Bomb” would mean the end of the world. In the words of Prof. T.J. Nelson’s “Duck and Cover” essay at entropy.brneurosci.org:

ABC News reported on December 16 that with the bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts having been passed by the Senate and headed to the House, Senators are now set to consider ratification of the START treaty, as well as passage of the omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next year.

American soldier in AfghanistanThe Obama administration plans to release a review of U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 16. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that “the report will not contain any surprises,” according to Voice of America — which is to say that it will simply rehash the administration’s public position that Obama’s strategies are succeeding. “Gibbs,” added VOA, “says the administration is pleased with progress in several areas,” and “he has no doubt that the war effort is going better than it was a year ago.”