The New START Treaty, a treaty signed between the United States and Russia is promoted by the Obama Administration as a means toward a reduction of nuclear weapons between the nations. The problem is that President Obama was a terrible negotiator and made concessions that will harm American national security. The most important factor in assessing whether a Senator should support the idea of a treaty is whether the treaty will increase or decrease the national security of the United States. Sadly, this treaty would devastate missile defense and provide a strategic victory to a traditional strategic enemy – Russia. Some Senators are sounding the alarm that this treaty, pending before the United States Senate, may do irreparable harm to the national security of all Americans.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) authored an Op Ed in U.S. News & World Report arguing that “the concessions President Obama made to Russia to get the New START signed are precisely why the Senate should not ratify it.” Sen. DeMint made four great points regarding the failings of the New START Treaty:
- Russia locks in an advantage in tactical nuclear weapons. “The treaty mandates strategic nuclear weapons parity with the progeny of an old Cold War foe, yet allows the Russians to maintain a 10-to-1 tactical nuclear-weapons advantage. Whether in warhead and launcher limits, verification, or missile defense, America loses.” A Treaty has the force of law and would allow Russia to force the United States into a position where the Russians would have less of a deterrent to nuclear hostilities.
- Missile defense would be harmed. “The treaty dampens the U.S. ability to defend against missile attacks and makes America and her allies vulnerable to rogue nations while receiving nothing for our concessions.” Missile defense is for the purposes of defending America from a missile attack. Any reduction in those capabilities would degrade the technology developed to shoot down a rogue missile pointed at the United States or its allies.
- Russia will modernize nuclear weapons, yet America will not. “Another concern about the treaty is that the Russians are modernizing their arsenal and manufacturing new weapons. We are the only nuclear superpower that is neither modernizing nor capable of producing new nuclear weapons.” The Russians can modernize under the Treaty while the US has declared it won’t build new nuclear weapons.
- Russia has a history of cheating on treaties. “Worse, the New START was crafted without a serious review of past treaty violations. A recent compliance report shows that Russia continually violated the original START. But the administration has turned a blind eye and is permitting even more lax procedures.” It makes no sense for the Senate to legally bind America to a treaty that we know the Russians are likely to violate.
Sen. DeMint is correct in arguing that the Obama Administration and the Senate have a constitutional duty to protect citizens and a moral duty to protect allies. Senators need to make sure that they are not putting President Obama’s diplomacy ahead of national security. Any reduction or abolition of missile defenses should be a non-starter for the New START Treaty. The United States Senate may be voting on this Treaty in the fall and citizens should be aware that the New Start Treaty contains many flaws that may harm these same citizens security.