The Obama Administration, while acknowledging that there would be language in the preamble of New START alluding to a link between strategic offensive arms and missile defenses, asserted flatly that it would not impose any restrictions on U.S. missile defense options. The assertions have turned out to be misrepresentations.
The language in the preamble is much more substantive than just an allusion to an undefined link between offensive strategic arms and missile defenses. Basically, the language asserts that missile defense capabilities must come down as the numbers of strategic nuclear arms come down.
Further, this is language the Obama Administration has agreed to in New START. This is not the unilateral statement issued by Russia today regarding its threat to withdraw over advancements in the U.S. missile defense program, which the Administration could have said it does not share.
Whether the Obama Administration wants to admit it or not, it has let Russia use New START to impose not just a direct limit on U.S. missile defense options, but a limit that will impose ever more severe restrictions on these options as time goes on and the number of strategic offensive arms come down under New START’s provisions. It is now clear that New START will render the U.S. unable to defend itself against missile attack, and therefore is inimical to U.S. vital interests.