One of the things that that has not received very much attention in connection with New START is the probable reaction to the treaty’s failure in Europe. European governments support U.S. and Russian arms reduction, and as the quote from August indicates it did not seem possible to them that the treaty might not succeed. The treaty was particularly important to non-nuclear European states that want to remove remaining U.S. nuclear weapons from their countries. As Bruno Lete’s report for the German Marshall Fund explained:
Any U.S.-Russian arms control agreement brings new opportunities to denuclearize the European continent. The strongest advocates of this idea are the European “non-nuclear weapon states” who are hosting U.S. warheads under a NATO flag. These countries—Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Turkey—together host an estimated total of 150 to 220 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons. In 2006, the Belgian Senate passed a bill to remove U.S. weapons from Kleine Brogel Air Force Base. Last year, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle singled out the issue of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Germany during his first visits to NATO and the United States. Parliamentarians of all host countries have urged Obama to withdraw U.S. warheads from Europe, and foreign ministers have written to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen asking for the issue to be placed higher on the alliance’s agenda. These European “abolitionists” fear that, without New START, Russia will be more reluctant to negotiate further arms limitations, giving fewer reasons for Washington to remove its weapons from Europe.The news that U.S. tactical nuclear weapons will remain in Europe means that relations with these governments are about to become more difficult. The leaked document ahead of the Lisbon summit means that the Europeans that had hoped New START would lead to the withdrawal of these weapons would have been disappointed no matter what happened in the Senate here.
But it's made all the worse by Republicans acting like fools. Their nihilism has a price, ladies and gentlemen.