About the Author: Jamie Mannina is a Special Assistant to Rose E. Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.
In September, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty by a 14 to 4 bipartisan vote.
President Obama commended the work of the SFRC and urged the full Senate to give its advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty.
“Leaders from across the political spectrum, including Secretaries of State and Defense from Republican and Democratic administrations have endorsed this Treaty. They recognize that it is in our national security interest,” President Obama said after the Committee voted. “It reduces the deployed nuclear forces of both the United States and Russia, provides strong verification measures, and continues to improve relations between our two nations -- the world's two largest nuclear weapon powers, and key partners in global security. Indeed, ratification of this Treaty will reinforce our cooperation with Russia on a range of issues, including one of our highest priorities -- preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. I urge the full Senate to move forward quickly with a vote to approve this Treaty. I encourage members on both sides of the aisle to give this agreement the fair hearing and bipartisan support that it deserves, and that has been given to past agreements of its kind. For like those efforts, this Treaty will advance American leadership in the world, while strengthening our national security in the 21st century."
Since the New START Treaty was submitted to the Senate in May, Senate committees held 18 hearings and Administration officials conducted four additional briefings, during which the senior representatives of Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and members of the intelligence community all voiced unequivocal support for the Treaty.
In addition, the most distinguished foreign policy and nuclear security experts from both sides of the aisle -- including Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger -- have endorsed the agreement. Past military commanders, including five former Secretaries of Defense and seven former heads of U.S. Strategic Command and Strategic Air Command, also support the Treaty.
The Senate has the information it needs to make an informed decision on the New START Treaty. Every day that passes is another where the United States lacks the ability to verify and inspect Russian strategic nuclear forces. President Reagan said we must “Trust but verify” -- and the New START Treaty will allow us to do just that.