National Security Network

New START treaty

New START treaty

Military

Ratify and Repeal

Report 3 December 2010
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. 
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New START Moves Forward

Report 16 September 2010

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee took an important step today in ensuring the security of the American people by approving the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and sending a resolution of advice and consent to the full Senate.  After a bitterly divided and partisan summer, Senators rose above the bickering and showed commitment to a core U.S. national security priority - reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. New START has overwhelming support from our nation's most respected military and national security leaders, who all agree that the Senate must act quickly to reinstate the monitoring and verification provisions that have kept our country safe for so many years.  As Connect U.S. Fund president and former UN Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg announced, "Today's vote is an important step forward in making us all safer. It's a smart vote in our national security interest. I urge the full Senate to ratify it as soon as possible."

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New START Moving Forward in the Fall

Report 4 August 2010
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a vote on the treaty in mid-September after Senators return from August recess.  The case for ratification is clear.  After months of hearings, Senators have meticulously reviewed the treaty and its accompanying documents.  An impressive record of bipartisan support has been built by Sens. Kerry (D-MA) and Lugar (R-IN), who have worked with their colleagues on the Committee and elsewhere to answer questions and facilitate the passage of this important treaty.  As the debate comes to a close, a number of key Senators have indicated that they hope to support New START, pending the resolution of specific questions.  These questions do not pertain to New START, and instead focus on issues such as funding for our nuclear weapons complex, an issue to which the administration has been fully committed.  While Senators will have the next six weeks to review the advice of our nation's most respected national security experts, the lack of insight into Russia's nuclear program remains a concern, and only ratification of the treaty will address this.  When Senators return in September and the process moves forward, Senators must therefore move rapidly to ratify the New START agreement.  As Sen. Lugar explained yesterday, it is "no longer a matter of parliamentary debate, it's a matter of national security."
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STRATCOM Support Bolsters Consensus on New START

Report 28 July 2010
As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee moves closer to a vote on the New START accord, another distinguished group of national security officials joined the chorus of support for the New START Treaty.  Seven former Commanders of the United States Strategic Command sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee today, saying, "We strongly endorse its early ratification and entry into force."  As the men who were responsible for America's strategic nuclear forces, their support is pivotal.
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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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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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Russia

A 21st Century U.S.-Russian Relationship

Report 12 July 2010
U.S.-Russian relations will always be complex, at any given time demanding both collaboration on shared priorities and firm stands where our security interests and values diverge.  The ‘reset' back to a stabilized diplomatic partnership allows the U.S. to seize opportunities to advance its interests - as the recent arrest of Russian spies in the U.S. and the subsequent "spy-swap" demonstrates. Since taking office, Obama has worked to improve the relationship and utilized that improvement to advance U.S. interests, obtaining concrete progress on important issues ranging from Iran to Eastern Europe to Afghanistan.  The foundation of the relationship has been the new START accord that increases U.S. and global security by securing nuclear stockpiles and building a stable and transparent nuclear relationship between the world's two largest nuclear powers.  All of this occurs in parallel with the realities of espionage and competition - and is a reminder of why the U.S. needs to use diplomacy to stay in the game, not remain on the sidelines.  This is the type of relationship that best serves America's interests.
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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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Russia

The Cold War is Over: Ratify New START

Report 25 June 2010
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty facilitates reductions in the strategic nuclear arsenals of the world's two largest nuclear powers and has earned overwhelming support from the military, national security experts and, just yesterday, thirty bipartisan national security leaders including Colin Powell.  These same experts have also warned that a rejection of this treaty would put our national security at risk.  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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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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