• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • This Treaty was Over Before it STARTed

    Shortly after Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev signed the New START agreement this morning, the Kremlin released the following statement:

    The Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms signed in Prague on April 8, 2010, can operate and be viable only if the United States of America refrains from developing its missile defence capabilities quantitatively or qualitatively.

    Consequently, the exceptional circumstances referred to in Article 14 of the Treaty include increasing the capabilities of the United States of America’s missile defence system in such a way that threatens the potential of the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation.

    Section 3 of Article 14 reads:

    Each Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests.

    So basically Russia has already informed the United States that this Treaty is dead letter if the Obama administration develops missile defense capabilities in any way. The Obama administration may have scrapped land based missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, but Defense Secretary Roberts Gates’ 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review has made it clear that “further developing proven” missile defense capabilities is “a critical national security priority.”

    As New York University professor of Russian Studies and History Stephen Cohen told MSNBC just seconds after Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the agreement: “Politically it is an unstable treaty.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to This Treaty was Over Before it STARTed

    1. Endrunlv Las Vegas says:

      Via Ria Novosti “The United States is revising the role and the place of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy and emphasizing high-precision weaponry, which allows the U.S. military accomplish practically the whole range of tasks,” Korotchenko said.

      The analyst added that U.S. missile defense plans in Europe remained the major irritant in Russian-U.S. relations.

      “It is obvious that the sides will not be able to reach a compromise on this issue in the next five to seven years and Russia will be either forced to find an adequate, but less costly response or it will have to agree on joining the global missile defense network controlled by the United States and NATO,” he said.

    2. Thomas Draper, Idaho says:

      I have contacted my two Senators as well as Minority Leader Sen McConnell to oppose the START Treaty. This Treaty is not in the best interests of the USA. I urge everyone to contact their Senators to oppose ratifying this Treaty.

    3. laura henning says:

      This treaty seems to be fraught with contradictions and if it is so politically unstable, as you put it, why did Obama bother to sign it in the first place?

    4. Pingback: AP Ignores Major START Stops | National Review Institute Blog

    5. Pingback: Guest Blogger: Will START Treaty Weaken U.S. Missile Defense? Senator Kerry Seems to Hope So | Conservative Principles Now

    6. John Doe, USA says:

      Because it's Obama. Duh.

    7. Pingback: » Ratify the New START Impact

    8. Jonathan Flack, Geor says:

      Mr. Carroll,

      Thank you for bringing to my attention the Russians view of US Missile Defense as it relates to Article 14 of the START treaty. However this is no reason to forgo ratification of the START treaty. We should ratify it because it still allows us to have a robust and flexible nuclear posture. In addition, we will be able to vigorously monitor and verify the Russians nuclear reductions. For both of these reasons, the United States will be safer if the START treaty is ratified.

      I lament the fact that Russia is threatened by our Missile Defense System which is explicitly geared against missiles emanating from Iran. It is in the United States' interest to continue with our Missile Defense Policy, and we will not hesitate to do so.

      If the Russians wish to withdraw from a legally binding international treaty, so be it. Let them suffer the international opprobrium which would result from such an ill-advised decision. However, speculation on Russia's future actions is an extremely poor reason for the US Senate to refuse to ratify a wise treaty our President has signed.

      I support the START Treaty along with foreign policy experts such as Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Sam Nunn, William Perry and James Schlesinger. I am contacting my Senators to support the START treaty, and I hope you all will too.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×