Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How do we get Republicans to do the right thing on New Start

Every living former Secretary of State has called for the Senate to ratify the New Start Treaty. It restores the power to verify Russian arms limitations, a power that will otherwise expire. It is an important element in the effort to build confidence in peaceful relations with the Russian Federation, relations which are contributing both to our war effort in Afghanistan and to missile defense for Europe.

The Treaty was signed on April 8. 2010, after the announcement by Obama and Medvedev on March 26, that it had been agreed. It was submitted to the Senate for ratification on May 13, and recommended for ratification by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 14 to 4 on September 16. The Treaty itself is 17 pages long. The protocol is longer, but can still be read in an hour.

The treaty calls for modest reductions in the power of the United States to use weapons of mass destruction on other nations. The Obama administration has provided guarantees to the Senate that it would strongly fund missile defense systems.

Clearly any Senator who is interested in the Treaty has had the time to study it and to obtain staff inputs on its acceptability. I can only assume that any Senator that votes to postpone the vote on the Treaty is less interested in the security of the United States than in getting political points. I for one will remember a negative vote and oppose reelection of the Senator casting that vote.

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