The New START Treaty: It's Time for the Senate to Vote
Treaty Makes America More Secure, Has Broad Support, and Is Urgently Needed
The New START Treaty Makes America More Secure. Significantly reducing – by nearly 700 – the limit on the number of strategic nuclear weapons that Russia can deploy; allowing us to keep a close eye on the remaining ones; building stability, predictability, and transparency for the two countries with 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons; and strengthening America’s fight against nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and rogue states.
Urgently Needed. Secretary of Defense Gates has said, “Since the expiration of the old START Treaty in December 2009, the U.S. has had none of these [verification] safeguards,” including no U.S. inspectors on the ground in Russia keeping a watchful eye on Russia’s weapons. General Chilton, Commander of STRATCOM, stressed to Congress, “Without New START, we would rapidly lose insight into Russian strategic nuclear force developments and activities.”
Key Questions Have Been Answered.
- Preserves America’s Triad of land-based and sea-based missiles and bombers and the military’s flexibility to take on any future new threats;
- No constraints on deploying the most effective missile defenses possible nor on developing and deploying conventional prompt global strike capabilities;
- Effective verification and inspection systems leaving Russia unable to achieve militarily significant cheating or breakout; and
- More than $80 billion over the next ten years – including $10 billion in new money – to modernize our nuclear weapons complex.
Wide Bipartisan Support. America’s most respected national security leaders, including secretaries of defense and state, and national security advisers for Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, support ratification – including George Shultz, James Baker, Sam Nunn, James Schlesinger, Bill Perry, Chuck Hagel, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Thomas Kean, Lee Hamilton, Harold Brown, Madeleine Albright, Howard Baker, Frank Carlucci, Kenneth Duberstein, Brent Scowcroft, and Stephen Hadley.
Unanimous Support by Military Leadership. All senior Defense Department officials testified that they support ratification of New START. Secretary Gates stressed: “The New START Treaty has the unanimous support of America’s military leadership – to include the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of the service chiefs, and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, the organization responsible for our strategic nuclear deterrent”. Seven former commanders of Strategic Command support the Treaty, assessing it “will enhance American national security in several important ways.”
Prepared and Ready. The Senate has been provided extensive information – 18 hearings, dozens of briefings and meetings, answers to over 900 questions for the record, and hundreds of pages of reports, analysis and testimony.