April 4, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Senate Poised To Ruin Obama’s Treaty Party:

The United Nations yesterday approved the first ever global arms trade treaty in an effort to regulate the multibillion-dollar international weapons trade. The treaty is supposed curb the ability of countries like Iran and Russia to sell weapons to countries like Syria, though implementation of the agreement is still years away and no actual enforcement system has been drawn up. As of now, the treaty’s only real effect is enabling some countries to flag other countries’ weapons sales as illegal under international law.

President Obama has backed this treaty, but for the US to actually become a party at least 67 Senators will have to get on board. And as we’ve noted before, this is a long shot. Over half the Senate has already signed an amendment pledging to defeat the treaty, citing concerns about ceding authority over US interests to foreign governments. And while the treaty does not grant the UN jurisdiction over any domestic sales, the NRA has also been active in stirring up opposition, capitalizing on the parallels with gun control measures at home.

President Obama may come to regret pushing for a global treaty that has little hope of passing the Senate.

It certainly won’t make life easier for swing-state Senate Democrats.