The president has signed the START Treaty with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev but the Senate still has to ratify the treaty before it means something. Heritage has laid out all the problems of the treaty in a new paper. Here are some of the “highlights”, or “lowlights”, of the current treaty.
The Administration claimed that there would be a 30% reduction in strategic Warheads is not true. The Administration likes to point out that Russia will be limited to 1,550 warheads, but, according to the treaty, they can have 2,100. Not a 30% reduction at all. Another flaw in this treaty is that the supposed “limits” on Russian launchers are not very rigid. Under the treaty Russia can deploy aircraft loaded with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). Under START only the U.S. has to cut launchers.
Built into the treaty is an application for limits on conventionally armed strategic weapons. This is curious because when Obama signed the Nuclear Posture Review, he stated that we would rely on more conventional responses as opposed to nuclear retaliation. Does this treaty make us more, or less safe than we currently are?
Perhaps the most alarming facts about this new treaty are the fact that it limits our own nuclear weapons and it does nothing to Russia’s, and it limits our ability for a robust missile defense program. Limiting our nuclear weapons is alarming because they have a 10 to 1 numerical advantage on tactical (short-range) nuclear weapons. Why sign a treaty that only limits one party? Aren’t treaties supposed to be a compromise with two nations? Would a peace treaty give one nation the power to invade the other signing nation? No, they usually don’t. It also limits our ability to obtain a robust missile defense system. Why is the Obama administration so deeply against protecting America?
This is not Reagan’s START Treaty that helped topple the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s. This is a treaty that severely limits our ability to defend against foreign attacks.