The Arms Control Association offers some great resources on the New Start treaty, including this list of 10 reasons why Congress should pass New Start now! Please remember to call your senator today and urge them to vote yes, if you haven’t already.
1. New START would make real cuts in Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal.
Today, Russia deploys approximately 2,000 strategic nuclear warheads, not counting bomber weapons in storage, according to the Congressional Research Service. Contrary to assertions by critics that New START would not reduce Russian forces, the treaty would in fact reduce Russia’s force of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 or less, meaning that hundreds of Russian nuclear warheads would no longer be deployed on ballistic missiles that could be aimed at the United States. Moreover, New START would lock-in these limits for the next decade or longer.
At the same time, New START would allow the United States to maintain a devastatingly powerful nuclear arsenal deployed on a “triad” of nuclear delivery systems: intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Nov. 11 that New START would leave the United States with nuclear forces that are “more than enough for us to handle our military responsibilities.” Besides Russia, the United States’ only potential nuclear adversary is China, which has fewer than 50 nuclear-armed long-range missiles.
2. New START would resume inspections of Russian strategic forces.
It has been a year since the United States lost the ability to conduct intrusive, on-site inspections of Russia’s nuclear arsenal mandated by the 1991 START accord. The 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), still in force, contains no verification provisions. The longer New START remains in limbo, the longer this strategic blackout will continue. Continue reading