How Cold War Weapons Can Nuke the Economy
By MERRILL GOOZNER
Two decades beyond the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia are still brandishing more than 1,000 tactical nuclear weapons on either side of an Iron Curtain that no longer exists. This outdated nuclear standoff at the heart of Europe is costing cash-strapped governments on both sides of the Atlantic billions of dollars, rubles and Euros annually, money that is desperately needed for other things including deficit reduction. And it’s not getting less expensive.
Yet there is little political will in either Washington or Moscow right now to challenge the status quo. Some of NATO’s newest members – who just happen to be Russia’s immediate neighbors and formerly under its boot heels – believe NATO nukes serve as an implicit guarantee that the U.S. and NATO will be there should Russia revert to its old ways.
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