Paul sympathetic to negotiations over nuclear weapons
Curtis Smith on December 11, 2015
On Dec. 11 I asked Rand Paul this question: "I understand the fear of terrorism, but I am apprehensive about an even greater threat, that of nuclear war. Both the U.S. and Russia maintain their nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert, which means they can very quickly be launched. The former Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James Cartwright, has suggested that we start negotiating that away with the Russians, taking some of those nuclear weapons off of hair trigger alert simply to reduce the possibility that there might be a tragic accident, one side thinking it is an attack; it is actually a flock of birds, but the other side presses the button anyway. Would you be sympathetic to that kind of negotiation?" Paul responded that he was familiar with Cartwright and has listened to what he has to say. "This is an incredibly important question" but he would answer the question in another context. Republicans in the debates say they will not talk to Putin, "and this kind of attitude could lead to the situation you are talking about." We have to be open to discussions with people we may not like, Senator Paul said. Some candidates--he mentioned Marco Rubio,Hillary Clinton, and Carly Fiorina--say they will not negotiate with Putin, and they talk of a "no fly" zone which might mean shooting down Russian planes, which might need to a nuclear confrontation. During the Cold War both Republicans and Democratic Presidents exercised restraint. Democrats don't like Reagan, but from a position of strength he talked to Gorbachev. To reduce our nuclear arsenal we have to have open communication. We might not like Putin, but we have to talk to him, Senator Paul concluded.