The Case for the New START Treaty

Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. Richard Lugar and Sen. Susan Collins leave a START briefing by Obama Administration officials

From Robert Gates, the Wall Street Journal: The key question then and in the decades since has always been the same: Is the United States better off with an agreement or without it? The answer for each successive president has always been "with an agreement." The U.S. Senate has always agreed, approving each treaty by lopsided, bipartisan margins.

The same answer holds true for the New START agreement: The U.S. is far better off with this treaty than without it. It strengthens the security of the U.S. and our allies and promotes strategic stability between the world’s two major nuclear powers. …

[T]he treaty will not constrain the U.S. from developing and deploying defenses against ballistic missiles, as we have made clear to the Russian government. The U.S. will continue to deploy and improve the interceptors that defend our homeland—those based in California and Alaska. We are also moving forward with plans to field missile defense systems to protect our troops and partners in Europe, the Middle East, and Northeast Asia against the dangerous threats posed by rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.

Finally, the treaty will not restrict America’s ability to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities—that is, the ability to hit targets anywhere in the world in less than an hour using conventional explosive warheads fitted to long-range missiles. (photo: Getty)

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