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  • Department of Misstate: New START Does Contain Limits on Conventional Weapons

    Section 1251 of the fiscal year 2010 Defense Authorization Bill Congress warned President Barack Obama not to include any “limitations” on U.S. advanced conventional weapons in New START. Now that New START has been signed, the State Department is putting out fact sheets on the agreement. An April 8th fact sheet from the State Department is entitled: “Key Point: The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability.”

    So it would appear that President Obama listened to Congress’s concern regarding limitations on conventional weapons system. Unfortunately, appearances deceive. Later in the same release, the following is stated: “Long-range conventional ballistic missiles would count under the Treaty’s limit [emphasis added] of 700 delivery vehicles, and their conventional warheads would count against the limit [emphasis added] of 1550 warheads, because the treaty does not make a distinction between missiles that are armed with conventional weapons and those that are armed with nuclear weapons.”

    Apparently, the State Department believes that words have no inherent meaning and that in this case the words “limitations” and “limit” have no commonality. Contrary to the release’s first assertion, New START very clearly imposes limitations on U.S. advanced conventional weapons. President Obama has ignored Congress’ warning. Further, it never should have come to this because the Obama Administration could have stuck to the 2002 Moscow Treaty on strategic nuclear arms reductions with Russia. The Moscow Treaty — which remains in force today, but will be terminated by New START – avoided limitations on conventional systems by restricting its application to the number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads. Thus, if the Senate rejects ratification of New START, the Moscow Treaty will remain in force. Given President Obama’s decision to ignore Congress’ warning, the Senate has little choice but to consider this option.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Department of Misstate: New START Does Contain Limits on Conventional Weapons

    1. Ken says:

      this clearly has me confused. i see on show after show (left tv….and yes, we should watch those shows (within limits) to know what the "Left"is thnking and saying) where former officials in the Carter or Clinton and even some from Bush 1 and 2 are praising how good of a deal this is and how this will make us safer.etc.etc.

      how can this make us safer? Some people argue that there is no difference between 1,000 warheads and 350 warheads….so why limit ourselves? Does this make the Russians feel safer ? i believe there is a difference.

      one other question…does this new treaty include sea and air launched nukes? or just ICBM ?

    2. Rick says:

      You will also note that the release makes clear there was no such distinction between conventional and nuclear armed missiles in the previous treaty. In other words, NOTHING has changed. So you notion that Obama is ignoring Congress is categorically wrong.

      @Ken.

      The treaty includes limitation on deployed ICBM's, SLBM's and heavy bombers.

    3. Pingback: Totals, Truths, & Treaties : 101 Dead Armadillos

    4. Aaron, Ohio says:

      "You will also note that the release makes clear there was no such distinction between conventional and nuclear armed missiles in the previous treaty. In other words, NOTHING has changed. So you notion that Obama is ignoring Congress is categorically wrong."

      Correction: It says, "The prior START treaty also made no such distinction."

      Our current treaty is not START, it is SORT (aka the Moscow Treaty) which says, "Each Party shall reduce and limit strategic nuclear warheads… so that by December 31, 2012 the aggregate number of such warheads does not exceed 1700-2200 for each Party."

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