Now not the time to stall on nuke treaty

As things heat up again on the Korean peninsula, now is not the time to delay U.S. and Russian negotiations on an expanded nuclear weapons treaty known as the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).

Both countries have condemned the North Korean shelling of a South Korean island and, just last month, U.S. and Russian drug agents joined forces to begin the daunting challenge of clearing out illegal opium operations in Afghanistan.

Stalling on treaty approval by key Republicans in the U.S. Senate, for the purpose of denying President Barack Obama a perceived foreign policy victory, is misguided and even foolhardy.

The best interests of the U.S. and even the world rest in our leading the way on reducing nuclear weapons. In the spirit of the season of goodwill we need — now more than ever — to reach out to former enemies and turn them into strong new allies.

The U.S.  and Russia possess 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, about 20,000 warheads, according to a recent Washington Post report.

The New START would cut about 2,200 to 1,550 missiles, eliminating about a third of the warheads the two countries possess.

As we loudly protest the development of nuclear weapons by rogue governments like Iran's and North Korea's, it is hypocritical not to reduce our own stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

The treaty also would open the door for a new inspection and verification process that allows both the Americans and the Russians to see that these weapons are being destroyed and taken offline at the mutually agreed upon pace.

To be taken seriously on the world stage, both Russia and the U.S. need to lead in their outreach on this issue critical to global safety.

The proposed treaty is the result of years of work, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, and it has undergone more than 20 hearings on Capitol Hill.

For years, Congress has been able to act in a bipartisan fashion on this critical issue. Indeed, the entire START process was initiated by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s and the first treaty was signed by George H.W. Bush in 1991. The chief Republican expert on nuclear issues, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., supports this treaty.

The treaty is familiar to this Congress. Waiting until January will require reacquainting newly elected senators with this highly complex and technical issue, perhaps delaying approval for months.

We can't help but wonder what Maine's child-peace ambassador, the late Samantha Smith, would think of the political foot-dragging going on in Congress on this grave topic.

Both countries owe it to the world and future generations to approve this treaty as quickly as possible. Stalling this process for whatever slight political gain it may hold is just the wrong thing to do.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Good one, Ben...LMAO

Good one, Ben...LMAO

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Ronald Reagan had the right

Ronald Reagan had the right idea. Build 'em bigger, faster and better than the Russians ever could keep up with. The rest is history. You don't negotiate with words and promises; you negotiate from strength and power. The greatest single element in any negotiation is to have strength of purpose to walk away from the table without a deal.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If Putin and oBAMa both like

If Putin and oBAMa both like this treaty, how good can it REALLY be for America?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Putin says that if the treaty

Putin says that if the treaty doesn't pass, Russia will proceed to start rebuilding its nuclear arsenal. It is difficult to see where that statement is consistent with the spirit of the treaty, which is about REDUCING nuclear weapons. Sounds like a threat, or at best, a power bluff on Russia's part. Nothing new there.

SCOTT THISTLE's picture
staff

I don't think Putin really wants it

Pirate,
Just when I was ready to poke you in your one good eye. You write something I think is probably correct. :) Putin's saber rattling sure won't help sell this to on-the-fence conservatives and especially will do little good to push those opposing ratification to Obama's side.
A colleague and I were just saying the same thing. Be nice, in my opinion, if Snowe and Collins, would come out one way or the other on this. I think that would be quite telling as to how this will go.
Cheers,
Scott

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Some day, Scott me Lad, I'll

Some day, Scott me Lad, I'll tell you the story of how I lost my eye, my leg and my arm. The leg and arm were lost during a raid off the coast of Spain. The eye was lost because of a seagull. The rest of the story might have to be told in a different forum.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It certainly would explain

It certainly would explain why YOU'RE still allowed to show up .

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

A little Brie with your

A little Brie with your whine, Mr. T?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Good one, M O4

Good one, M O4

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

SJ states, "The U.S. and

SJ states, "The U.S. and Russia possess 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, about 20,000 warheads"....."The New START would cut about 2200 to 1550 missiles, eliminating about a third of the warheads the two countries possess."
Not to be picky, but neither 2200, 1550, or the two combined, amounts to "a third of the warheads the two countries possess." Last time I checked, a third of 20,000 was 6667.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

6500 still doesn't amount to

6500 still doesn't amount to a third of 20,000. 0O:-)

SCOTT THISTLE's picture
staff

Missiles carry multiple warheads

This is a bit confusing but the number of warheads is more than the number of missiles as the missiles can carry multiple warheads.
The figures are 90 percent of the world's nuclear arsenal and the reduction in delivery systems i.e. missiles -- online -- is the figure we are referring to here. Thanks for understanding the general point of not stalling on this treaty ratification.
Regards,
Scott Thistle
Regional Editor

 's picture

no one

no one is afraid of are abilities as a super power =N Korea ,Iran, even Somali pirates LOL

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Not when we have a president

Not when we have a president who lacks the balls to use 'em.

 's picture

not saying Nuke em, show

not saying Nuke em, show some power

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

oBAMa is about to undo

oBAMa is about to undo everything Reagan did to help dismantle the USSR. He will weaken us to the point of not being able to defend ourselves.

 's picture

The bipartisan support for

The bipartisan support for START has shrunk ever since Our Dear Leader began his campaign to bow down before every tin-pot dictator he could locate, all the while apologizing for everything the US ever did - well, ever did under Republican leadership.

This treaty now is just a written version of Obama bowing down to the New World Order in the person of president-for-life Putin.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'll bet the libs will be

I'll bet the libs will be praising the oBAMa tax cuts for the middle class after the first of the year, though.

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