This week Capitol Hill, the White House and national media have been largely focused on two national security issues: ratification of the New START treaty and repeal of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy. START, which has the broad support of a wide range of national security experts, is awaiting ratification in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Pentagon released a report this week that surveyed military personnel about on the effects of repealing DADT, finding that "the risk of repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to overall military effectiveness is low." Throughout the week, bipartisan military and national security experts as well as public polls continue to affirm the strong support for both ratification of the New START treaty and repeal of DADT.
The Senate returns to Washington this week with an important opportunity to demonstrate seriousness about U.S. national security by supporting the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in the Foreign Relations Committee this Thursday.
The dual threats of nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation are at the top of the national security agenda for the United States and its allies. As a result, the U.S. is leading international efforts to both prevent nuclear terrorism and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. In particular, the Administration advanced three significant initiatives this month - the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia, the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), and the recent Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) - in order to address these threats. These efforts will serve to reverse the worsening state of the global nonproliferation regime, help to deal effectively with proliferators, such as Iran and North Korea, and focus the global community on preventing vulnerable nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists. Not surprisingly however, extreme conservatives continue to ignore the advice and support of America's military and national security leaders, choosing instead to mischaracterize this comprehensive approach for short term political gain at the expense of our country's long term security.
The Obama administration is taking unprecedented action to protect America and its allies from the dual threats of nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The United States is the only country capable of forging international consensus for taking on these threats, and by reasserting American leadership on these critical issues, the Administration has demonstrated that it can mobilize global actors to confront global threats. The Administration's comprehensive actions have broad support from across the political spectrum, have generated tangible positive outcomes, and have set the stage for future progress on securing our country from the prospect of nuclear terrorism.
Next week, President Obama will host an international Nuclear Security Summit in Washington - an unprecedented gathering of world leaders and the largest Washington summit since World War II. The summit comes on the heels of a vibrant set of achievements by the Administration to advance American national security by reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. Earlier this week, the Administration unveiled its new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which outlines the country's long-term nuclear security policy. Then, the President signed a treaty with Russia to reduce the American nuclear arsenal, locking in a transparent nuclear relationship with Russia while bolstering U.S. leadership in the arms control sector. And as President Obama said yesterday when he signed the new START treaty alongside Russian President Medvedev in Prague, while this was an important milestone, it was "just one step on a longer journey."
Today in Prague, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed an historic new arms control treaty. The New START agreement, which replaces the original 1991 agreement that expired in December 2009, is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades as it reduces the amount of both countries' strategic warheads. The treaty is part of the President's commitment to reduce that dangers posed by nuclear weapons to the world in order to advance American security in the 21st Century.
Tomorrow in Prague, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev will sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which will be the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades. This will take place almost one year to the day from when President Obama unveiled his historic vision for reducing the threat of nuclear weapons in the 21st Century. This historic agreement stands on its own as a significant arms control achievement, the result of many months of effective diplomacy carried out both by the President and his team to advance our country's security. Following the tradition of leaders on arms control, such as Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, President Obama has demonstrated that his Administration will protect the United States by reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. The signing of tomorrow's treaty represents a major step in that direction.
The Obama administration announced today the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy by releasing its much anticipated Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). This is only the third such document of its kind, and unlike its predecessors, focuses on preventing both nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation-the most serious nuclear threats of the day. Importantly, by clarifying the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy, this statement sends a clear signal to the international community that the U.S. is committed to maintaining international security by strengthening the global nonproliferation regime.