Obama’s trip to Prague is a case of pomp and circumstance meeting pomp and circumstance. To his credit, the President is a master of the elaborate show. Not to be outdone, the organizers in Prague provided a magnificent event, set in golden elegance befitting the coming together of the world’s two superpowers. Nothing wrong with that.
Both sides are claiming victory with this treaty. Here is what David Satter at NRO had to this to say about it.
[Russia] stands to benefit most from a treaty that allows it to maintain strategic parity with the U.S. while retiring large numbers of weapons it cannot afford to replace.
The U.S. sees [the treaty as] a means of cementing U.S. – Russian relations and gaining Russia’s cooperation whereas Russia sees it as precisely the kind of inexplicable strategic concession that Russia will now seek to elicit on other issues as well.
When Obama visited Russia last year he was given a cordial but chilly reception as one might have expected for any U.S. President. However, I think Vladimir is warming up to Barack. As any poker player will tell you, a run of concessions beats a single Texas barbeque.
The real question is, is Putin smiling or grinning.
Earlier this morning this post was premised on the assumption the meeting was in Moscow. I apologize for my embarrassing error.