• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Fact Checking the Fact Checker: A Response to Senator Kerry

    Senator Kerry (D–MA) penned an op-ed in the Washington Post making the case that ratification of the New START Treaty is in the best interest of U.S. national security. His article is in response to former Governor Mitt Romney’s (R–MA) recent op-ed calling the treaty Obama’s biggest foreign policy mistake. Sen. Kerry refers to Mr. Romney’s objections as “uninformed” and “political” as he engages in a “footrace to the right against Sarah Palin.” Opposing this treaty is not political and there are several informed reasons to not support ratification.

    1. Missile Defense

    The Administration has stated from the beginning that this treaty in no way impedes upon missile defense. Then they backed off, admitting that Article V of the treaty prohibits conversion of ICBM launchers into missile defense launchers. Now, as the Senate continues to scrutinize the treaty it has become clear that the treaty as is limits ballistic missile defense test target missiles. As noted by Baker Spring, “Any missile defense target that includes the first stages of the specifically identified existing ICBMs and SLBMs or new ICBMs and SLBMs will be subject to restrictions—including the first stages of the Minuteman II and Peacekeeper ICBMs, despite the fact that they are retired.” That the treaty will impede upon America’s missile defense system is undeniable.

    2. Less than Full Public Disclosure

    Senator Kerry said there is a clear public record from 10 committee hearings outlining support for treaty ratification. What has not been made available to the Senate, however, is the most important document of all, the negotiating record. The Senate has a constitutional duty to fully vet any treaty, yet this Administration has consistently denied the Senate an opportunity to do so. Releasing this document is not without precedent. It was provided to the Democratic-controlled Senate under President Reagan. Given all that is at stake, this case clearly warrants the release of the negotiating records.

    3. New START Will Make Nuclear Weapons More, Not Less, Important

    The New START treaty is sending all the wrong messages to the international community. Instead of working toward a “world free of nuclear weapons,” the START Treaty encourages Russia as a nuclear power. It will make them more dependent on nuclear weapons as a way of keeping a seat at the table and driving more concessions from the United States. The negotiations were nothing but atomic diplomacy at its best. And who was watching? You guessed it, Iran and North Korea.

    4. U.S. National Security Is Compromised

    If we were really serious about cutting nukes we would have stuck with the more drastic limits imposed by the original treaty. Even with the modest cuts, the treaty does nothing to address tactical nuclear weapons, something the Russians have in vast supply. According to the bipartisan Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, Russia holds a 10:1 advantage in tactical nuclear weapons over the United States. Beyond this, the verification regime touted by the treaty’s staunchest supporters is less than robust. Out of the seven provisions in the original START treaty, only two have survived. Most worrisome are the elimination of restrictions on the encryption of telemetry as well as the reduction of both the number and effectiveness of on-the-ground inspections, both of which will severely decrease our knowledge of the Russian arsenal.

    Overall, this treaty is nothing short of an effort to “re-set” U.S.-Russian relations. The only problem is that we are giving everything and getting nothing. Opposing this treaty is not political. It is right thing to do for America.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Fact Checking the Fact Checker: A Response to Senator Kerry

    1. Brad Kelley, Marylan says:

      And so O'Bama's race from first to second place goes on. That John Kerry doesn't know what he's talking about is certainly nothing new.

    2. joan ct. says:

      Who would put credence in anything John Kerry says? Is this the same John Kerry, who testified to congress, that fellow soldiers tortured innocent people during the Viet Nam conflict? , Is this the same man, who swore he was a swift boater, and who's questionable story was exposed by other swift boaters? Last, but not least is this the John Kerry, who was so angry at the USA, that he threw his Purple heart, over the White House fence. That was a lie too ,for Kerry didn't throw the real medal,just a fake one. Everything is for show with Kerry, with no substance. There is also info about how Kerry got the Purple Heart, but I won't go into that. I trust Mitt Romney's and John Bolton's counsel, regarding the Start program, along with members of the committee. America, should think long and hard before taking Kerry's advice. Sorry , but Kerry has not made many good decisions,and this is too important to the safety of the USA.

    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.