The legendary Daniel Ellsberg has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In a March 1 email to friends, Dan wrote, “I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live … it might be more, or less.” He will turn 92 on April 7. Dan displayed uncommon courage in 1971 when he publicized the 7,000-page top-secret Pentagon Papers while working at the Rand Corporation. As a consultant to the Department of Defense, Dan drafted Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war.
Arms control and disarmament are on life support, and John Bolton and the Washington Post have predictably come along to try to prevent any resuscitation. The Post masthead daily proclaims that “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” but the paper fails to recognize that there are seminal issues that affect the interests of democratic regimes. Arms control is one of these issues.
News that Russia will suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms pact, which arrived Tuesday via Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly, had to land hard.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was suspending participation in the U.S.-Russian New START Treaty, stressing that the country was not withdrawing from the treaty. “Before we come back to discussing this issue, we must have a clear idea of what NATO countries such as France or Great Britain have at stake, and how we will account for their strategic arsenals, that is, the Alliance’s combined offensive capabilities,” he said.