New START: How It Favors the Russians
Editor’s note: Late last week, Heritage Action began sending direct mail to ten states urging Senators to oppose the New START Treaty. Throughout the week, we’ll examine the claims made in the mailer, one-by-one.
Today, let’s look at perhaps the most important claim we make in our mailer:
Russian negotiators are good – perhaps better than our own. Yesterday, Heritage Action examined how New START limits America’s missile defense systems, a longtime a Russian goal. Unfortunately, that is not the only aspect of the treaty that benefits the Russians.
Back in July, Yuri Savenko, first deputy chairman of the Russian Duma’s Defense Committee, made an alarming statement:
Whether the Americans want it or not, they, after adopting the New START treaty, will give us a breathing space that we can use to reform and modernize the country’s nuclear missile potential.
This “breathing space” will allow Russia to modernize their strategic nuclear weapons, bringing them to parity with America’s rapidly aging stockpile.
Then there are the tactical nuclear weapons. Former Undersecretary of State Joseph and former Undersecretary of Defense Edelman addressed that concern:
As for “tactical” nuclear weapons — as though any nuclear weapon can be tactical or “non-strategic” — the agreement is silent; which is exactly what Moscow wanted, to preserve its estimated 10-to-1 advantage in this category of weapons.
Finally, it is unclear if the Russians will actually hold up their end of this bargain. As the State Department noted earlier this year, they have a history of cheating on treaties. And, New START’s verification measures are weaker than the original START. Paula DeSutter, former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, explained it this way:
The Russians can do so much under this treaty to advance and expand their strategic forces over the length of the New START treaty and our ability to determine whether or not they are doing that and whether it violates the treaty is very, very low.
Why would Senators ratify a treaty that builds in clear advantages for the Russians?
Fact 1: New START: Could it lead to more nuclear weapons? (11/8/2010)
Fact 2: New START: Undermining America’s Missile Defense (11/9/2010)