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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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A S.T.A.R.T. But Still A Ways To Go

Hiding under a desk.

This is what our parents were taught to save them from a nuclear strike during the Cold War. At the height of the Cold War, each superpower possessed enough of a nuclear arsenal to destroy every inch of the earth many times over.

The world began to operate under the idea of M.A.D. or mutually assured destruction, where each side knew that any type of agressive nuclear action would ensure the destruction of themselves as well as their enemies. This fear has seemingly kept our world intact.

The scary part is it only takes one weapon to start a war. Recently, on April 8, President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as  S.T.A.R.T., into existence.

It builds on previous S.T.A.R.T. treaties and limits both nations to a total of 1,550 warheads apiece. Keep in mind that one of these warheads is hundreds or even thousands of times the power of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Both nations are still allowed more than enough to destroy the world several times.

While this might not be a heartening fact, we have to look at the reduction in nuclear arms since the Cold War, a time when both nations possessed tens of thousands of such weapons. Along with the treaty, the United States revised its nuclear protocol and limited greatly the conditions under which it could respond with nuclear force.

The document reflects the state of the modern world, where small-scale guerilla conflicts are abundant and large-scale, nation-on-nation wars are less and less common.

The real significance of this to us, however, is the precedent that it sets and the message it sends. The U.S. and Russia both feel that nuclear weapons falling into extremist hands are the sum of all our fears.

Sometimes it is hard to feel connected as students in Stony Brook to all of these events. It seems that no matter what treaty is signed or war started around the world, our life consists of going to school and other normal activities.

What we need to regain is that sense of connection with the world and what our nation  is going through . The people who are going to war are our neighbors.

A close childhood friend of mine is a Ranger in the U.S. Army and has already completed an eight-month tour in Afghanistan and is returning for another 11 months this summer.

I have not been able to spend much time with one of my best friends since he left for boot camp two years ago.

So next time we hear about our government making a significant accomplishment such as this, we should take some time to be appreciative, whether it be democrat or republican in office progress is progress, and it affects all of us and the people we  care about.

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