National Security Network

Non-Proliferation

Non-Proliferation

Generals Raise their Voices on New START

Report 23 July 2010
Over the past several months, Senators have methodically reviewed and scrutinized the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and its supporting documents.  Multiple congressional committees have held an extensive series of hearings, with two additional sessions slated for next week.  Throughout this process, Senators have heard from our nation's most respected military and national security experts from both sides of the aisle. Their message has been clear:  The United States Senate must ratify this treaty and should do so promptly.
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New Consensus on American Security

News Huffington Post 19 July 2010

Fringe Conservatives Put America at Risk

Report 16 July 2010
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its twelfth hearing on the New START Treaty yesterday.  For months Senators have scrutinized the text of the treaty, its protocol, and its three technical annexes.   Senators have reviewed a national intelligence estimate on the agreement, a State Department report on its verifiability, and an analysis of Russian compliance with past arms control treaties.  Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and others will soon prepare to visit the nation's nuclear weapons labs to further discuss the weapons complex.  Throughout this lengthy process, support for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty has remained overwhelming.  As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "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.  For nearly 40 years, treaties to limit or reduce nuclear weapons have been approved by the U.S. Senate by strong bipartisan majorities. This treaty deserves a similar reception and result-on account of the dangerous weapons it reduces, the critical defense capabilities it preserves, the strategic stability it maintains, and, above all, the security it provides to the American people."
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STARTing with Depleted Arguments

Report 8 July 2010
Bipartisan national security leaders have joined Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, iinsisting that the new START Treaty is in America's security interests and must be ratified.  As George H.W. Bush's National Security Advisor testified, "The principal result of non-ratification would be to throw the whole nuclear negotiating situation into a state of chaos." But conservatives are split, with a rejectionist faction attempting to derail the treaty for political gain, and others' positions unclear.  In today's Wall Street Journal, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the Senate's leading opponent of the new START accord, argues that "Senate should never be a rubber stamp in approving treaties."  Mitt Romney, although he lacks both a vote in the Senate and a clear grasp of the facts, has made up his mind.  Despite the lack of a linkage between missile defense and New START, Romney mistakenly claimed that the treaty would force the U.S. to "get Russia's permission for any missile defense expansion."  His piece and others like it are, are as one commentator put it, "shabby, misleading and... thoroughly ignorant."
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National Security Experts Say Ratify New START

Report 18 June 2010
 Support for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty has been overwhelming.  Every expert witness who has been called to testify on the treaty has endorsed ratification of the accord.  With the full support of the military leadership of the United States behind it, it is, in the words of former Republican Secretary of Defense and longtime nuclear expert James Schlesinger, "obligatory" for the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty.  The men and women who are responsible for defending our country have repeatedly stated that the New START accord will not prevent the United States from deploying the most effective and cost-efficient missile defense system possible.  Our top uniformed officers agree that the New START agreement actually reduces some of the constraints the previous START agreement placed on our missile defenses.  In the future, it may even be possible to expand our capabilities by utilizing portions of Russia's missile defense system.  Such cooperation would strengthen the ability of the United States to protect its allies and send the Iranian regime and other potential proliferators a clear message.  Failure to ratify the agreement would, in the words of George H.W Bush's National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft, throw our efforts to control nuclear threats into a "state of chaos." 
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A 21st Century START

Report 4 June 2010

Every expert witness that has appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during its hearings on the New START treaty has endorsed ratification of the accord.  With the full support of the military leadership of the United States behind it, it is, in the words of former Republican Secretary of Defense and longtime nuclear expert James Schlesinger, "obligatory" for the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty.  The New START accord makes America more secure through its extensive, streamlined verification regime and the strategic stability that the agreement ensures.  This agreement has also helped facilitate broader U.S.-Russian cooperation, leading to valuable overflight privileges for U.S. troops heading to Afghanistan and most importantly, enhanced legitimacy in strengthening the global nonproliferation regime and reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. 

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The NPT and Iran: Not a Make or Break Moment

Report 30 April 2010
When delegates arrive in New York on Monday to begin the month-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, all eyes will turn to the United Nations.  With Iran’s continued refusal to halt its production of enriched uranium and answer questions about its nuclear program, North Korea’s rejection of the NPT and subsequent nuclear tests, and a host of other ailments, challenges to the nonproliferation regime abound.  But the Review Conference is just one of many opportunities to strengthen the international nonproliferation regime, not an end unto itself. 
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Extreme Conservatives versus the Military and National Security Leaders on Nuclear Policies

Report 23 April 2010
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.
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Administration's Nuclear Agenda Keeps America Secure

Report 14 April 2010
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. 
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Administration Confronts Nuclear Terrorism

Report 9 April 2010
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." 
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