Last weekend a computer glitch at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming caused a temporary communication disruption with 50 of our nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).With the investigation of the command and control system well under way, Air Force Vice-Chief Gen. Carrol “Howie” Chandler said yesterday that, “The safety of the weapon system was never in doubt.”Gen. Chandler further stressed that the incident does not signal “a degradation of the system.”With 1,968 strategic operational warheads in our arsenal, the computer glitch disrupted communication with about 3% of our operational nuclear force for approximately 45 minutes. This isolated event deserves careful scrutiny, but at no time was the credibility of our nation’s deterrent undermined.
Unfortunately, certain politicians have politicized this glitch by attempting to use it to justify their opposition to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).New START has the “unanimous support of America's military leadership” and the Senate will likely consider it when it returns to work after the elections.This important treaty has deep support from military and national security leaders from both sides of the aisle, and the computer glitch at F.E. Warren in no way compromised that support.New START remains an urgent national security priority as it provides for strategic stability between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.Quick ratification of this treaty will allow U.S. inspectors to once again monitor and inspect Russia’s nuclear arsenal, thereby strengthening American national security.
morning President Obama and Russian President Medvedev finalized the terms of a
new treaty replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that
expired late last year. They will meet
in Prague on April 8 to sign the treaty.
The completion of the agreement, which is the largest arms control
agreement nearly two decades, demonstrates clear and concrete action in both
protecting American security and advancing our global nonproliferation goals
while restoring America's international leadership and standing.
Next week President Obama will travel to Moscow to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. From the outset of his Administration, President Obama has sought to reset U.S.-Russian relations. Over the last eight years, U.S. policy rested on maintaining the superficial personal relationship between Bush and Putin, which failed to result in any tangible achievements and led to growing estrangement in U.S.-Russian relations. The Obama administration has sought to eliminate this superficiality and develop a more business-like relationship that is focused on core issues of mutual interest and concern that produces verifiable results.
US-Russian negotiations for the replacement of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) resumed this week – marking the first time in eighteen years the world’s two largest nuclear powers have negotiated a binding and verifiable agreement to reduce their arsenals. At their July 6th summit, Presidents Obama and Medvedev will review progress – and both have suggested that the new treaty will mark the foundation for cooperation in other important areas such as Iran and North Korea.