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  • He’s Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: A Response to Senator Kerry

    Sen. Kerry (D–MA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, took to the pages of U.S. News and World Report again trying to make the case for ratification of the New START treaty. He continues to tow the Administration line in attempts to demonstrate how the treaty is in the national security interest of the U.S. After posing a series of questions, he concludes, saying, “The opponents of New START cannot provide good answers to these questions. All they can do is stand in the way of common sense—and of our nation’s security.” Presented with the opportunity, here are common sense reasons why this Administration has it all wrong on the New START treaty.

    Question 1: “Why is this treaty less deserving of approval than, say, the original START treaty, whose reductions were significantly more dramatic and which was signed in 1991, at a time of great international upheaval?”

    There are a number of areas to address in answering why this treaty is less deserving of approval than its predecessor. The verification regime is one such area. When negotiations for New START began, it was believed that it would largely be a continuation of the 1991 START treaty. Nevertheless, out of the seven provisions in the original START treaty that dealt with verification, only two have survived. Most worrisome are the elimination of restrictions on the encryption of telemetry and 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. Furthermore, compliance reports from the State Department in both 2005 and 2009 demonstrate that the Russians cheated numerous times under the provisions of the START treaty. In response to the reports, General Chilton, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, testified to the Senate that he was not concerned with the prospects of Russian cheating under the new treaty. In other words, this Administration has tossed the Reagan mantra of “trust, but verify” out the door.

    Question 2: “Why, nearly 20 years later, when relations with Moscow are far better, would we not agree to modest reductions in our nuclear arsenals?”

    Senator Kerry acknowledges that decades have past since the history of U.S.-Russian nuclear agreements began, but fails to realize that the role these two nations play around the globe is vastly different. This is a Cold War treaty in the post-Cold War era. Nuclear parity should not be the standard by which the United States negotiates treaties. Maybe in the world sought by this Administration where the United States is a country among equals, but most certainly not one in which the U.S. is that exceptional nation defined by President Reagan as the “shining city on a hill.”

    Question 3: “Why, when the fight against proliferation is ever more crucial, would we not approve a treaty that will encourage international cooperation in the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states like Iran?”

    The thought that this treaty is going to be held up as a great landmark moment in the history of the non-proliferation regime is naive. What is similarly confusing is whether the treaty will negatively affect Iran in any way. If anything, it reinforces the pivotal role nuclear weapons play in getting a seat at the negotiating table. It also demonstrates that, once there, the U.S. is willing to make concession after concession while getting nothing in return (witness the failure to address tactical nuclear weapons and a ceiling on launch vehicles well above the number Russia possesses, meaning they must reduce nothing in that respect).

    In the end, it is not the opposition that is threatening U.S. national security, but rather the actual ratification of this ill-conceived treaty.

    Ricky Trotman is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to He’s Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: A Response to Senator Kerry

    1. Billie says:

      Really! America has no protection domestically or internationally from the government who's duty is just that…

    2. Robert, Edmonton Alb says:

      US deterrent strategic posture should be based not on some notion of parity with one other nation but on the security requirements of the US and her allies, period.

      The nuclear weapons arsenal has been reduced by over 80% from Cold War highs and even more distressing is the the entire nuclear weapons infrastructure has been left to atrophy (this includes neglected delivery systems like ICBMs) for close to 20 years.

      As I have stated before real US leadership would insure that the US retain its present arsenal under the SORT Agreement and at the same time will seek to fully modernize the force while working to eliminate proliferation especially programs under rogue regimes.

      Part of the modernization plan would include funding for a MMIII replacement along with advanced research into future weapons technologies to maintain America's lead in all things nuclear.

    3. Steve S. California says:

      Amazing to me is the fact that people of John Kerry's ilk, having proven themselves to be incompetent, untrustworthy political hacks, are even involved in this arena.. That is what poses an incredible risk to this country in many shapes and forms.

    4. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      John Kerry is just another lackey! A Democrat hack and mouthpiece for Obama. When he speaks, he is saying exactly what Obama has instructed him to say thus deflecting the spotlight and blame away from Obama. Just as other in Congress and the Obama administration, Kerry has been bought and paid for by the socialist that is attempting to take over our nation.

    5. ken mcclellan las vegas, nv says:

      Now you know why it’s very important to wipe out the Democrat leadership in congress. Nancy and Harry are the ones who determine who get to be the chairmen of the various committees, who then decide what to bring to the floor. It’s not just the body as a whole, but the people in the chairmanships that need to be changed. With the progressives in power, treaty’s like these will continue to get rubber-stamped until our country is unrecognizable.

    6. Mack , Virginia says:

      This country is in trouble.. As much as I hope that I'm wrong, I'm not we have become a country of fools and cowards. We have a Democrated Party that is turning this country into a socailist regime and WE THE PEOPLE are letting it happen. If WE THE PEOPLE do not stand up now, we will be just another Rome. And the world will be a darker place if we let that happen, we will never ever get our freedom back . We are at our weakest time and our enemies are coming and they are not coming to shake our hands.

    7. Ace Sez Bishop, Cali says:

      Kerry is just one of the fools (bordering on tratorious conduct) that are weakening this Nation under the Obama regime

      We can only hope that the T-party candidates will come on strong and reverse a lot of the damage already done in this past 2 yrs.

      Remeber November and vote out all incumbents–every one of them both parties!!

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