Despite the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons remain a persistent danger. It is less likely that we will be attacked by Russia if we can verify their weapons programs and build robust systems of confidence between Russia, America, and NATO. It is in this structure of weapons verification that we create mutual confidence in our intentions and an understanding that war is self-destructive and the worst of all possible outcomes.
Yet, the sad fact is that the Republicans in the Senate, with the sole exception of Senator Richard Lugar, are bent on creating a “blind spot” in our understanding of Russian nuclear actions. They simply have no interest in building long-term confidence measures between the U.S. and the Russians, which would bolster the security of both parties.
Yet for the good of the nation we need to move swiftly to ratify the New START treaty to ensure that both verification and inspection of our nuclear capability is reinstated. Each side already has enough weapons to destroy not only each other but the rest of the world. On September 16th, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee will be discussing up the New START treaty and move towards voting on it with the aim of reaching the floor of the Senate before the end of the year.
Your voice is needed in this debate which will impact greatly not only on our bilateral security but also the overall trend of proliferation of these weapons throughout the globe.
By Harry C. Blaney III, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy