Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama Seeks Foreign Arms Control Entanglements

The Obama Administration has reversed a Bush Administration policy stating it would back talks to develop a treaty regulating arms sales under the condition that the talks “operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.” While it’s certainly no surprise that the current administration is willing to entertain a treaty which limits armaments, the precondition is a little surprising. By requiring a consensus to move forward, an actual treaty agreement resulting from these talks may be unlikely. Looking at the decision in that light, perhaps this is an attempt by the administration to appear to be taking actions without having to take a strong stand on a controversial issue.

The goal of the treaty is to “tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons.” According to the article:

“Supporters say it would give worldwide coverage to close gaps in existing regional and national arms export control systems that allow weapons to pass onto the illicit market.

“Nations would remain in charge of their arms export control arrangements but would be legally obliged to assess each export against criteria agreed under the treaty. Governments would have to authorize transfers in writing and in advance.”

Critics of the treaty believe that rogue states would still be able to arm themselves at will while other smaller nations with a tenuous military balance (like Israel) would suffer a reduced ability to defend themselves. The treaty is also opposed by gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

Honestly from where I sit, this treaty could lead to a fair amount of mischief and limitations on things like parts kits and imports of firearms into the United States. The administration stance on the issue seems to be little more than throwing a bone to the international community while expending as little political capital as possible.

Until next time!!!


Troy said...

It's like they're trying to turn the whole country into California... :-\ Meh.

btw, seems you've gotten some comment spam lately from "my bebo".

Fingolfen said...

Yeah, I agree, they're pretty much trying to turn the U.S. into California... before they turn it into the UK.

Yeah - saw the spam - gonna take care of it...