Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mixed Reactions to U.S. ABM Withdrawal

Many Americans, perhaps most, disagree with U.S. President George W. Bush when he cavalierly junks treaties such as the one that covers anti-ballistic missiles. It is good to know that much of the rest of the world joins in my disappointment over his actions. He too will pass, but it will be a long four years.

Frank Bredell
Lincoln Park, Missouri

To Our Readers

Has something you've read here startled you? Are you angry, excited, puzzled or pleased? Do you have ideas to improve our coverage?
Then please write to us.
All we ask is that you include your full name, the name of the city from which you are writing and a contact telephone number in case we need to get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Email the Opinion Page Editor

Vladimir Putin revealed his knowledge of U.S. history by "not being surprised" with the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.

The United States has a long history, dating back to its "dealings" with the American Indians, of not honoring treaties because of its own "interests."

Also, let's not forget that New York's Manhattan island, a.k.a. Ground Zero, was wrangled from the Indians with a handful of bobbles, bangles, and beads.

Michael Pinchot
Anaheim, California

I do not understand Russia's objections to ABM. Far from it, I think you should also be looking at missile defense. Even at 2,000 warheads each, there is no way either of our nations would risk even one warhead getting through to its target. So, what added stability is there by not having ABMs?

Beyond that, Russia and the United States have the same aims, the same worries, the same goals for our people. We are ecstatic that President Putin wants to westernize.

Our ABM system is supposed to be designed to prevent missiles from countries like Iraq from getting through. And, by the way, why does Russia keep on defending that criminal Saddam Hussein? If Russia were to pull its support, I think his government would crumble. Ditto North Korea. These two are led by dangerously unstable regimes that could cause headaches for Russia as much as for us.

Reid Reynolds
Herndon, Virginia

Why the Fuss?

In response to "Going Unilaterally Balistic," a column by Pavel Felgenhauer on Dec. 14.

I don't claim to be familiar with domestic Russian politics, but I was struck by the notion that the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty would be seen as a slap in the face for President Putin. It is clearly a victory for us both.

The ABM Treaty was designed for a world in which the United States and the Soviet Union were staring at each other over loaded guns, with NATO and the Warsaw Pact lined up behind their respective allies, ready for what would likely be a disaster regardless of who won or why it started.

The West no longer sees any reason to fear a flood of hostile soldiers driving westward through the Fulda Gap. Additionally, for those who may not have kept up with recent events, the collapse of the Soviet Union was not followed by a flood of Western armies driving toward Moscow. The West is not hostile to Russia.

Withdrawing from the ABM Treaty is not about getting an advantage over Russia. It is about protecting ourselves and our allies from the kind of people who crash passenger jets into American buildings or use explosives, like the Chechens, to blow up Russian apartment complexes. It is about being able to stop some lunatic national leader from behaving like a lunatic.

This protective shield would cover our allies, so I'm sure the United States would be willing to offer protection to Russia as well, if Russian national pride would allow for such a thing. Imagine that, American taxpayers financing a missile shield that could help protect Russia and that is a slap in the face for Putin?

Anthony Neal
Buena Vista, Virginia

To Russia With Love

All of us in the United States, and in the West in general, owe Russia a huge thank you for its actions in continuing to sell oil and gas to the world markets rather than joining the OPEC cartel in driving the prices of oil and gas up by "shorting" the world's supply.

Faced with a new worldwide war on terrorism that has dampened consumer spirits and harmed the general world economy by its negative psychological impact, the single most important thing we in the United States could have hoped for was holding down the price of gas and oil. Had the Russian government done otherwise, a severe economic disaster for both the United States and the world at large was in the offing, exactly what the terrorists were hoping for.

We also appreciate your military and foreign-policy support of our now joint actions in freeing Afghanistan. I certainly appreciate more than most your need for stability on your southwest Asian front, having lived two years in Pakistan and visited Afghanistan some years ago.

George Singleton
Birmingham, Alabama

Russian Citizenship?

In response to "Last Minute Cramming for INS Quiz," a column by Matt Bivens on Dec. 10.

I read Matt Bivens' view of questions asked of those seeking U.S. citizenship. It seems he feels he should have been the author and then the questions would have been much better.

I have a question: If he had stayed in Russia and gone for Russian citizenship, what would the procedure entail? Time, money, paperwork, questions, hassles? I assume it is not pain-free. My wife, a Muscovite, can tell of a smooth and reasonable process that she undertook to get U.S. citizenship in 1993. I am sorry to hear that, once again, Bivens has problems.

Jeff Smith
Research Triangle Park
North Carolina