New 'START' Treaty needs to be STOPPED!

Giving President Obama a victory:
Unfortunately, on December 21, 2010, the US Senate invoked cloture to move forward the ratification of the new START Treaty. The vote was 67-28-5 (only 60 votes needed.) TN Senators Alexander and Corker voted YES.  You can email them by clicking on their names:
Senator Lamar Alexander; Senator Bob Corker


New START Treaty ratified 71-26-3.
TN Senators Alexander and Corker voted YES.


The Obama Administration is pushing for the US Senate to ratify the START treaty during the expected Lame Duck session in November. Our first goal is to prevent that action and to postpone any discussion of the treaty until at least after the new congress is sworn in next January.  It is our preference that the treaty not be ratified at all.  Subscribers will be kept up to date on this important issue.

Russian parliament revokes START treaty ratification

07 November, 2010

Russia's State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee has repealed an earlier decision to ratify the latest Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the US after the American Senate made around 30 amendments to the original version.

Among them are clauses stipulating that the treaty does not cover deployment of a US missile defense system, or ballistic missiles with conventional warheads. Read more here.



Pres. Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both signaled their hope that the Senate will ratify New START during the lame-duck session, before a larger Republican minority can be sworn in. It is vital to our national security that the Senate disappoint them.

The president's priorities on nuclear arms should be the pursuit of comprehensive missile defense, the modernization of America's nuclear arsenal, and the prevention of rogue states from acquiring WMD. New START does nothing on the last two goals and is actively hostile to the first.

Instead, what the treaty does is limit the number of deployed "delivery vehicles" - missile silos, aircraft, submarines - to 700 per side, approximately the level the aging Russian nuclear infrastructure is already struggling to maintain. But it does nothing to limit the Russians' massive stockpile of undeployed warheads - by one estimate, some 8,000 of them - or to cut into their advantage in tactical nuclear weapons designed for use on the field of battle. Meanwhile, it encourages the Russians to "MIRV" their platforms, packing multiple warheads onto a single vehicle, at the same time the Obama administration has unilaterally discontinued that practice in an effort to "to increase stability." Read more here.


Don't Rush New START
The Senate should review the negotiating record before approving the treaty's ratification.

The Senate may address the New START Treaty - an arms-control agreement between the U.S. and Russia that President Obama would like to ratify - in its upcoming lame-duck session. But it should not rush to consent to ratification. The clear lesson from past negotiations and arms-control agreements is that senators should carefully review the negotiating record before giving the president the go-ahead, particularly regarding possible limitations on ballistic-missile defenses. As of now, senators do not have access to the negotiating record, and they should wait until they do before taking up the issue - even if that means postponing action until the new Congress convenes next year.

The mid-1980s debate over "broad" and "narrow" interpretations of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which was negotiated as a key part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), made very clear the importance of careful review. This debate, which led to legislated tight (or "narrow"), and I believe unilateral, constraints on U.S. missile-defense development, can be traced to ambiguities in such key terms as "development" (which was prohibited for mobile systems) versus "research" (which was permitted).

The U.S. position at the time of the SALT negotiations - what later became the "narrow" interpretation - defined "research" to exclude the testing of prototype ABM systems and/or components, placing such testing instead in the realm of prohibited "development." This key U.S. position, never provided in an Agreed Statement or even a Treaty Unilateral Statement, can be traced to a unilateral declaration during the negotiations by Dr. Harold Brown, an adviser to the SALT delegation who was then president of the California Institute of Technology. Read more here.


Obama STARTS to Disarm America

Phyllis Schlafly, May 28, 2010

Would you be satisfied if your only access to a computer was to try to boot up one that hadn't been used or tested since 1992? That's the predicament of our nuclear deterrent on which we depend for our ultimate physical survival.

On April 8 in Prague, President Obama signed what is called the New START bilateral arms control agreement. It reads like it was written by the Russians and has nothing good in it for the United States.

Obama is demanding a rush to ratification, after which we can then discover the details of what the treaty requires. Does that remind you of the procedure used for Obamacare?

If there ever were a need for the Senate to read the bill and for the Senate to use its "advice" power as well as its "consent" power, this is it, including reading the treaty's protocols and annexes. Harry Reid's Senate promptly held one hearing, but heard only from treaty advocates, not from its critics.

In the globalist world that Obama inhabits, he dreams of a nuclear-zero world. But his "world without nuclear weapons" would be a world where the United States is a sitting duck for nukes fired by a rogue nation.

The treaty allows Russia to build new and modern weapons to reach New START limits, whereas the United States is locked into reducing its current number. That means Russia will have new and tested weapons, but the U.S. will be stuck with its current, out-of-date, untested warheads. Read more here.

Time to START Standing Up for America

Phyllis Schlafly, September 3, 2010

Among the dangers lurking in Congress's fall session and Lame Duck Session will be Obama's demand that the Senate rush to ratify the treaty called New START, which he signed with the Russians in Prague last April. This treaty is not only a bad idea; it's downright dangerous to U.S. national security.

For the first time in the long record of U.S.-Russian treaties, New START links offensive and defensive weapons. Obama's advocates of ratification say that doesn't matter because the link is only in the preamble and that doesn't bind us.

But this interpretation hasn't been cleared with the Russians, who assert that the preamble puts a binding limit on the U.S. missile defense program. The Russian government issued a statement that the New START treaty "can operate and be viable only if the United States refrains from developing its missile defense capabilities quantitatively or qualitatively."

The Russians are salivating at the thought that the New START proclaims their victory in their long-running battle to kill U.S. missile defenses. For decades, Russia's primary goal was to stop the United States from building any anti-missile capability.

Ronald Reagan's adamant refusal to give up his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was the principal reason he won the Cold War (without firing a shot, as Margaret Thatcher said). But now Barack Obama is casually willing to abandon our right to build defensive weapons.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) accurately warns that New START revives the Cold War policy known as MAD, a label that famously served as a double entendre. The acronym stands for Mutual Assured Destruction, the policy that was supposed to deter nuclear attack because of the threat that the United States was committed to retaliate and dump massive destruction on the Soviet Union.

In the years of the Cold War, we assumed we were dealing with a rational enemy who, even though dedicated to world conquest, dared not risk such devastating retaliation. That may not be true of today's potential adversaries, who have trained their younger generation to believe that suicide is noble and their key to Heaven. Read more here.


The New START Rubberstamp Threat to National Security

Today at 9:30 AM [1], [Sep. 16, 2010] the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will take up the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). President Barack Obama's allies on the committee, including committee chair John Kerry (D-MA) and ranking member Richard Lugar (R-IN), both support the treaty, so the treaty is all but guaranteed to pass out of the committee [2]. But the agreement also needs 67 votes for approval in the full Senate, which is why the White House is desperate to get at least one conservative to vote for the treaty in committee. But New START is still seriously flawed and the only viable solution for senators troubled by the agreement's flaws is to amend the treaty.

Contrary to popular belief, the Senate does not "ratify" treaties. Its constitutional role is to give its "advice and consent" to the President. The Senate fulfills this mandate by considering a resolution of ratification. This document can contain reservations, conditions, understandings or declarations to a treaty. The Senate may also amend the text of a treaty. New START is so deeply flawed on the issues of missile defense and verification that amendment to the treaty is the best possible route for protecting our national security.

Missile Defense: The treaty's most serious impact is the limitations it imposes on the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems. The Obama administration has sworn up and down [3] that New START does not "contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs." This is just plain false, as subsequent White House backtracking has established [4]. The fact is that both the treaty's preamble and Russia's unilateral statement at the signing of the treaty explicitly link missile defense and offensive nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Article V specifically limits our ability to convert ICBM and submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers into defensive interceptors [5].

Given the trends in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and rapid improvements in the means to deliver them (think Iran and North Korea), the U.S. government must maintain its right to defend the people, territory, institutions and infrastructure of both the United States and its allies. New START fails to do this as it limits missile defense and encourages a return to a Cold War retaliation-based policy where U.S. cities and people were held hostage. This is unacceptable. At the very minimum the Senate should add a reservation on missile defense stating unequivocally that U.S. options for improving and expanding its missile defense capabilities in any way it chooses are preserved.

Verification: The Obama administration is telling [6] skeptical senators that "rejecting the treaty would leave the two countries dangerously uncertain about each other's arsenals." But New START's verification terms are so weak that they add little informational value. Paula A. DeSutter, the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance and implementation, noted in a Heritage lecture in June: "The Russians can do so much under this treaty to advance and expand their strategic forces... [yet] our ability to determine whether or not they are doing that and whether it violates the treaty is very, very low. The degree of verifiability is very low."

Worse, the administration admitted in Congressional testimony in July that they don't even care if the Russians cheat on the treaty [7]. The treaty even permits concealment activities at ICBM bases. The best possible solution to this serious flaw is to amend the text of the treaty as necessary. Read more here.

The Burden Is on the Full Senate to Provide Due Diligence Regarding New START

On September 16, 2010, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted to report New START, a strategic nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, to the full Senate for consideration. Accompanying the treaty is a draft resolution of ratification penned by the committee. In taking this action, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has failed to provide due diligence in exercising its portion of the advice and consent responsibilities the U.S. Constitution grants to the Senate in the making of treaties. The Founding Fathers set a high procedural bar for ratification and entry into force of treaties, expecting that the Senate would serve as a quality control mechanism in the treaty-making process.

There are two reasons why the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's forwarding of New START to the Senate was ill-advised. First, the committee did not have the knowledge necessary to make an informed judgment regarding the full ramifications of the treaty for U.S. national security. This lack of knowledge is the direct result of the Obama Administration's refusal to provide Senators with access to the treaty's negotiating record.[1] Second, the committee's resolution of ratification identifies a number of significant flaws in, or associated with, New START. Rather than insisting on fully and reliably redressing these flaws, the committee chose to apply partial solutions that are also unreliable in terms of their effectiveness.[2]  Read more here.

Twelve Flaws of New START That Will Be Difficult to Fix

Abstract: President Barack Obama has transmitted a deeply flawed arms control treaty to the Senate for its con�sent to ratification. While withholding consent is the sim�plest and most likely approach, the Senate may try to fix the treaty piecemeal, but this approach has inherent, serious risks. Fixing some of the serious flaws will require amend�ments to the text, and fixing others will require compelling the Administration to change some of its policies. Regard�less of what the Senate chooses, the stakes are high. As with all major arms control treaties, if New START enters into force, it could profoundly increase the likelihood of nuclear war and increase the number of weapons in the world.

New START is a deeply flawed arms control treaty with Russia. It is the product of a contradictory and wrong-headed approach to strategic nuclear arms control by the Obama Administration. The Adminis�tration's approach to strategic nuclear arms control combines the worst aspects of Cold War arms control, which resulted in a nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, with the worst aspects of President Barack Obama's stated policy of seeking a world without nuclear weapons, which car�ries the serious risk of generating a nuclear conflict.

Because the President transmitted New START to the Senate for its advice and consent on May 13, 2010, the question arises as to whether the Senate can fix the flaws in or associated with the treaty. The procedural and legal answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. Read more here.

The Illusory Verification Gap

President Obama and a fellow Democrat, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, are demanding that the Senate ratify the New START arms-control treaty with Russia during this year's lame-duck congressional session. They argue that the absence of inspections since START I expired on Dec. 5, 2009, is creating holes in U.S. information on Russia that could give Moscow significant advantages over us in coming years. The real reason for the rush, however, is that Mr. Obama fears that New START is not holding up well in the ratification process. If the November elections follow current projections, they will doom the treaty once and for all.

But the "verification gap" is a red herring, a problem of Mr. Obama's own making. During Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's January 2009 confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican, stressed the importance of not having a hiatus in treaty-based verification measures. A five-year extension was possible under START I's terms, pending entry into force of a new agreement. In early November 2009, Mr. Lugar proposed legislation enabling START inspections to continue while a new agreement was negotiated, saying: "It is incumbent upon the United States and Russia to maintain mutual confidence and preserve a proven verification regime between Dec. 5 and the entry into force of a new agreement."

Initially, the Obama administration's negotiators confidently predicted they would have START I's successor negotiated in ample time to avoid a verification gap. When it became clear they would fail, their line changed. Within days of Mr. Lugar's proposed legislation, The Washington Post reported that "senior U.S. officials" would create a "bridge mechanism" between the expiring and prospective treaties "to allow for the continuation of inspections, exchanges of data and notification about the testing and movement of weapons and other changes." A week later, a White House spokesman said "we have a bridging agreement that we also are working with the Russians. I fully suspect we'll be able to get that in place by Dec. 5." On Dec. 5, however, START I expired without any provision for ongoing verification. New START was not submitted to the Senate until May 13.  Read more here.