Support the New START Treaty
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!