At today’s Senate Foreign Relations hearing on the START Treaty (a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms pact) that President Obama is seeking Congressional approval for, I asked Senator Kerry a simple question. Should it be the goal of the U.S. to have a missile defense system that renders nuclear threats by other nations useless, including Russia? To my disappointment, but not surprisingly, Senator Kerry said no.
And with his response, Senator Kerry proved why Americans have a hard time fully trusting the left to put American interests first in foreign affairs. While the goal of reducing global levels of nuclear weapons is noble, it cannot take priority over our duty to protect Americans.
It seems the goal of this administration and liberals in Congress is to condition American security into parity with Russia, which makes no sense. Russia and the U.S. are not equal, we have different roles in the world. America is a protector of many nations and a threat to none, while Russia is a threat to many nations and a protector of none.
President Reagan fought to achieve peace through strength. And in doing so he led the U.S. to win the Cold War and put in place the beginnings of groundbreaking missile defense technology to protect our nation from rising threats. And ever since, the left has sought to stop, block, and defund our critical missile defenses that are continually proving to be successful and necessary.
Now, President Obama’s administration and this liberal Congress are trying to push through a new arms reduction treaty which seeks to lower the number of strategic nuclear weapons in both nations. However, it states clearly in its preamble that U.S. missile defenses will be linked to offensive weapons. And Russia has stated clearly that they will walk away from the treaty if the U.S. continues to build up our missile defenses around the world that protect Americans and our allies.
When Secretary Clinton was asked to provide the full treaty negotiating record to Senators, for full transparency of U.S. compromises, Secretary Clinton refused, stating that the treaty negotiating record had not been provided all the way back to President Washington. Senator Kerry corrected her testimony, pointing out that the full negotiating record had been provided to the committee as recently as the INF Treaty under President Reagan.
The U.S. should not sign a treaty that weakens our ability to protect Americans and our allies from nuclear weapons. While our missile defense systems are currently engineered to deter threats from rogue nations like Iran and Syria, our goal should be to continue to improve and expand those defenses to protect our people from any nuclear threats.
As President Reagan said when addressing the nation in 1983 on the proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (which would later be known as “Star Wars”),
“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”
The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.