MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXIII No. 2
November / December 2010
MIT's Foreign Policy?; S3 & Institute Committees; Landscaping
MIT Promotion and Tenure Processes
Student Support Services:
Reorganized, Reviewed, and Redefined
Support the New START Treaty
MIT150: MIT Open House
Follows a Long Tradition
A Missed Opportunity: Saving Oil and Foreign Exchange with a Great Reducation in Emissions
Looking at the Numbers
Affordable Course Materials
Maintaining our Resolutions: Implementing the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy
Finding Appropriate Support for
Students with Disabilities
From a Whistle to a Hum: Facilities Upgrades Enhance the Resilience of the Campus Steam Distribution System
ICIS: International Center for
Integrative Systems
MIT EMS: A Student-Run Jewel
Stellar Next Generation
Work-Life Resources Now Available 24/7
Cost of Nuclear Energy is Misrepresented
No Mention of Geothermal Energy
Connect with MIT's Global Community
National Research Council (NRC) Finally Releases Doctoral Program Rankings
NRC 2010 Doctoral Program Rankings: Percent Ranked 1 in R or S Rankings
NRC 2010 Doctoral Program Rankings: Percent Ranked in Top 3 in R or S Rankings
Printable Version

Support the New START Treaty

Aron Bernstein

The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement is a critical and essential step in strengthening U.S security.

The new START establishes a state-of-the-art verification process that allows us to track Russia’s nuclear activities and verify the reductions they’ve committed to. These verifications lapsed on December 5, 2009 when the 1991 START 1 treaty expired, and will not resume until the new START treaty is ratified. The on-site inspections and protocols that are part of the new START treaty are essential for our security, as they remove the uncertainty that goes with a lack of knowledge of what the other side is doing.

The new START establishes 30% lower, legally binding, verifiable limits for both sides on deployed strategic warheads, reducing their treaty limited numbers from 2,200 to 1,550.  These are levels not seen since the days of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. This treaty will last 10 years and can be extended for five more.

Even more important, the new START improves U.S. intelligence on Russia’s nuclear capability, while securing and reducing the Russian nuclear stockpile significantly enhances American national security. This Treaty enhances international stability as well; it is a necessary step in gaining the critical Russian (and other international) cooperation needed to prevent nuclear terrorism, forestall more nuclear weapons states, and address hostile nuclear programs in places like Iran and North Korea. Indeed, anyone who supports greater stability, transparency, and predictability of the world’s other major nuclear power should be supportive of this Treaty. This is why Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many former secretaries of state and defense, and European leaders at the recent NATO meeting, have endorsed START.

Recently, Senator Jon Kyle (Arizona, Republican Whip) expressed his opposition to passing this critical treaty during the lame duck session. The schedule has already been delayed, acceding to his previous requests, and over 20 hearings have been held. Another request is an increase in funding for maintenance of the nuclear weapons stockpile. The Obama administration has already gone along with this request, increasing the proposed budget from $6.4 B to $7.0 B (10% increase) for the next fiscal year and from $70 B to $85 B on a 10-year basis (20% increase). The reliability and safety of our nuclear stockpile has been independently verified in studies conducted by the JASON group and the National Academy of Science. There is no further reason to delay passage of this vital treaty, particularly since each day we delay is a day that we are not able to inspect the Russian nuclear forces and get on with our other important business!

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