For immediate release: Dec. 13, 2010
Media contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director (202-463-8270 x107); Tom Z. Collina, Research Director (202-463-8270 x104).
(Washington, D.C.) The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has been thoroughly vetted and the Senate can and should set aside the 2-3 days of floor time needed to debate and vote on the treaty this year, say experts at the nonpartisan Arms Control Association (ACA). New START has the overwhelming support of the U.S. military and Republican and Democratic national security leaders, including President George H.W. Bush.
"Postponing or rejecting New START would further delay the re-establishment of an effective U.S.-Russian inspection and monitoring system, undermine U.S. nonproliferation leadership, and jeopardize U.S.-Russian cooperation, including joint efforts to contain Iran's nuclear program," said Daryl Kimball, ACA Executive Director.
"Claims by opponents that New START has been 'rushed' are simply false," Kimball said. "The Senate has held 18 hearings and four briefings over the last eight months, and 1,000 questions for the record have been answered. Three months ago the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the treaty by a bipartisan vote of 14-4, and New START has been ready for a floor vote ever since," he said.
For comparison, the Senate held 18 hearings and spent five days debating the original START agreement in 1992, a more complicated treaty negotiated during the Cold War. It passed 93-6. The Senate spent two days debating the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT or Moscow treaty) in 2003, which passed 95-0. Two to three days of floor debate should be sufficient for New START.
"There is ample time to debate and vote on New START before Christmas," said Tom Collina, ACA Research Director. President Obama has said the Senate will stay in session as long as it takes to pass New START.
"Those who say the Senate is 'rubber stamping' New START are engaging in a last-ditch, desperate effort to prevent ratification," said Collina. "It is the overwhelming opinion of U.S. national security leaders from both parties, past and present, that New START should be ratified as soon as possible," he said.
ACA is part of a large, diverse, bipartisan group of national security, arms control, religious, scientific, and environmental organizations that support immediate ratification of New START.
These organizations, representing millions of Americans nationwide, range from the Air Force Association to the Arms Control Association, from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the National Association of Evangelicals, from retired generals to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
They have joined a long list of former Secretaries of State, former Secretaries of Defense, former national security advisers, former presidents, and all major U.S. allies urging approval of the treaty this year. In addition, newspapers in red, blue, and purple states have editorialized overwhelmingly in favor of prompt Senate ratification of the treaty.
For complete information and analysis on New START, please see ACA's comprehensive, all-in-one guide to the treaty, "The Case for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty." It includes:
- An authoritative analysis of the national security benefits of the treaty and responses to concerns that have been raised by skeptics;
- A summary of the key provisions of the treaty;
- A description of New START's impact on U.S. strategic nuclear forces;
- An overview of past and current U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreements;
- A description of the administration's long-range plan and budget for maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal and modernizing the weapons complex; and
- A selection of key statement from U.S. military leaders and senior national security officials on the need for prompt ratification.
You can download the full report at www.armscontrol.org/reports