The Heritage Foundation Morning Bell has a great explanation about the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and how it is a bad deal for the United States.
The Heritage Foundation has identified twelve flaws of New START, including the following:
- Unacceptable Limits to Missile Defense. The Obama Administration claims that New START contains no limits or constraints on our ability to protect ourselves through missile defense. This is false. There are at least five sections that limit missile defense:
- Inadequate Verification Regime. Those who are pushing a rush to judgment appear willing to ignore the long-held standard “trust but verify” by overlooking the monitoring gaps created by the treaty.
- Tactical Nukes Ignored. While the exact numbers are not public, Russia reportedly has a several-fold numerical advantage over the U.S. in tactical nuclear weapons like the ones moved close to our NATO allies this spring. Proponents of the treaty argue that New START is essential for keeping nukes away from terrorists. There is a real threat that terrorists could get nuclear weapons. But the nukes that are most vulnerable to terrorist threats are tactical nuclear weapons—which are not covered by New START!
- Rail-Mobile ICBMs Exempted. The definitions of rail-mobile ICBMs and rail-mobile ICBM launchers established in the expired START, which applied to the associated restrictions and limitations in START, are not in New START.
Further information in this Wall St. Journal article: Russia Positions Warheads Near NATO Allies, Fueling U.S. Concerns
At least the Republicans are skeptical of START:
UPDATE 12/5: The Republicans are split on START:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Key Senate Republicans reflected divisions in the party Sunday over ratifying a new treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons before year-end. Sen. Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he's more optimistic now about GOP backing for the agreement, which President Barack Obama says is key to cutting the most dangerous weapons in the arsenals of both countries and promoting better relations with Russia.
But Sen. Jon Kyl, who has been demanding concessions from the administration including major funding for the American nuclear arsenal, said that he did not believe his concerns could be overcome in the remaining weeks of the lame-duck session of Congress.
The new START treaty was signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April, and needs the support of 67 of 100 senators to be ratified.
While Lugar supports the treaty and is a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate, Kyl has a strong following among conservative Republicans who are following his lead on the pact, which is meant to replace a U.S.-Russia treaty that expired in 2009. Read more...