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  • Top 10 Reasons Why New START Is A Non-Starter

    Obama and Medvedev sign new START

    10. An Unreliable Nuclear Arsenal Is No Deterrent. New START offers no assurance that the U.S. nuclear force will be an effective deterrent in the future. President Obama has already declared he won’t replace and modernize the nuclear arsenal. Yes, he said he would spend billions on the supporting infrastructure and called that “modernization.” But that’s like saying you’ll take your car to Jiffy-Lube and calling it a transportation system “modernization” initiative. Furthermore, Obama’s budget
    still underfunds our nuclear support structure — and delays most of the funding to out-years after the president’s term expires. Obama’s claim to the mantel of nuclear modernization is bogus.

    9. Making Russia a More Dominant Nuclear Power Is Bad Strategy. Why empower a country that invades and threatens its neighbors and works everyday to extinguish the light of democracy within its borders? That’s what this treaty will do. The Russians will not walk hand-in-hand with President Obama the full length of the “road to zero” (a world without nuclear weapons). Nukes remain the cornerstone of Russia’s military and foreign relations strategy. Even before New START negotiations began, Moscow had made clear it planned to reduce its stockpiles of aging, strategic nuclear weapons, replacing them with a combination of upgraded strategic and tactical nukes. New START accommodates that plan quite nicely. Russia’s 10,000-plus tactical nuclear weapons (a 10-to-one advantage over NATO) are not covered by the treaty. Under New START, the U.S. cuts more weapons and launchers than Russia. Indeed, it allows Moscow to build more launchers. Bottom line: The treaty assures that Russia will one day have a qualitative and quantitative advantage over the U.S.

    8. Reagan Would Have Hated New START. Conservatives are for arms control. President Reagan negotiated the largest reduction in nuclear arsenals in history. But Reagan believed in a “protect and defend” strategy, maintaining a first-class nuclear arsenal and robust missile defense rather than leave the innocents of both sides hostage to the threat of nuclear holocaust. Reagan believed that if you devalued nuclear weapons, fewer nations would want them. President Obama explicitly rejects this approach. His strategy repudiates Reagan’s vision for how to achieve a nuclear-free world.

    7. We Could All Die. Again and again, President Obama has cast New START as the first step on the “road to zero.” But by intentionally diminishing America’s stature as a nuclear power, the treaty effectively “lowers the bar” for other nations that might seek to become established nuclear powers. The perverse outcome of Obama’s “road to zero,” then, will be to encourage proliferation of nuclear weapons among more nations, not less. Pursuing nuclear disarmament in a proliferated world without employing missile defense and maintaining credible nuclear deterrence increases instability, which can lead to nuclear war. Moreover, it is likely that New START will fail to protect the U.S. and its allies from attack, to provide verification of existing programs, and to prevent nuclear proliferation.

    6. Compromising on Missile Defense Is Bad. The Russians have publicly stated that the treaty limits future U.S. missile defense options. The president denies that. But when two parties to a treaty disagree as to what it means … that’s not good. Beyond the Russian pronouncements, there is good reason to believe the treaty restricts our missile defense capabilities. After the treaty signing, the White House issued a “fact sheet” declaring that it imposed no limits on missile defense. It then withdrew the fact sheet and issued a new one — one that now omitted that “fact.” President Obama may not be troubled by additional barriers to building a comprehensive missile defense. After all, he has already cut the missile interceptor force for protecting the U.S. by 44 percent. However, future presidents who are serious about missile defense would be hamstrung by this treaty, which would be in effect for 10 years.

    5. Giving Away Secrets is Not Smart. The treaty requires sharing Telemetric Information that includes missile defense test flight data. Russia might use that information to help devise ways to counter U.S. missile defenses. Or Moscow might share the data with countries like Iran.

    4. Compromising on Sovereignty is Not Good. The treaty creates an independent Bilateral Consultative Commission with a broad mandate to promote the objectives of the treaty. This broadly worded mandate could allow the Commission to impose additional restrictions on our missile defense program.

    3. Abandoning “Trust But Verify” is a Mistake. Reagan’s old arms control mantra is as apt and necessary as ever. We know the Russians have been cheating on implementation of arms control agreements for years. We also know that the combination of the Moscow Treaty and the original START agreement would have put in place a more comprehensive verification regime than what is in the New START agreement.

    2. Letting Terrorists Get Their Hands on Nuclear Weapons is Suicidal. Russia has thousands of tactical nuclear weapons that Bin Laden would love to get a hold of. The mass-murdering terrorist calls getting and using these weapons “a sacred goal.” New START does nothing to address Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons or the danger of nuclear terrorism. New START is like painting the house when you are worried about arsonists — investing a lot of effort in something that does not deal with the threat.

    1. Iran and North Korea Are the Real Danger. These countries would love to have America in their nuclear cross-hairs. They are willing and able to proliferate materials, technology, and assistance to other adversarial countries. Their actions could well provoke nations friendly to the U.S. (countries no longer confident that our shrinking nuclear umbrella is sufficient to protect them) to develop independent nuclear weapons programs of their own as a countermeasure. President Obama’s myopic focus on hashing out a New START treaty that will have the Nobel Awards committee high-fiving ignores these greater threats. Russia has done nothing of substance to help slow the Iranian nuclear program. And China is using Russia’s revitalization of its strategic nuclear arsenal as an excuse to step-up its own modernization program. Just last week we learned that North Korea has a lot more nuclear capability than we thought.

    New START is a deeply flawed, counterproductive treaty that demonstrates this administration’s failure to keep its eye on the nuclear ball. Conservatives oppose the treaty not because they are “partisan” (as the White House routinely claims) but because they see the treaty as useless in limiting proliferation, detrimental to missile defense, and counter to the purpose of defense treaties — defending and protecting America from her enemies.

    Cross-posted at The Daily Caller.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Top 10 Reasons Why New START Is A Non-Starter

    1. Jamie, DC says:

      Thank you for this illustrative piece. Now, when I look down and see "We could all die" as #7 on a top 10 list I'm writing, I will know I should probably start over.

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    4. Sonja Craythorne says:

      Obama's lack of political savvy is obvious. I voted for him, and regret it. He does not protect the U.S. interests. Try a world without strong U.S. military capabilities, and you will see a world without the U.S. Has Obama not studied Realpolitik?

    5. Bernice Howell, 6703 says:

      and, so, have the Russians repudiated their long-standing policy that "treaties are like pie crusts. They are made to be broken" ?

    6. Don says:

      If we can somehow survive Mr. Obama perhaps, just perhaps, we can survive in the future by undoing his follies.

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    8. Phil, Texas says:

      I've always been republican, always voted republican, never should global interests surpass national interests. but this publication goes to show how ridiculous the Heritage Foundation is.

      all ten reasons are nothing but a bunch of malarkey aimed at influencing public opinion towards disrupting progress made by the administration. let's not forget it was our beloved Bush who signed START II Treaty.

      let it be clear people – the new START treaty will not affect missile defense systems, the President will not allow for it, nor will it give Russia the nuclear upper-hand, the Western world will not let it. The Reagan defense?! Give me a break. What respect is Reagan today? Do not be blinded by false economic prosperity of yesterday when in reality all it did was bolster the long standing stratification and corruption amongst corporate society and good American people. this social stratification i speak of is what has led to the terribly poor state of the global economy today. The "we will all die" reason?!?! Who are you people to love your country and freedom so much you would degrade our safety and security, not just the president, but the military alike, to the point of trying to SCARE Americans into agreeing with you? The reason given in defending states secrets in that "giving away states secrets is not smart" – well, the cat's out of the bag on that one and it wasn't Obama, and he is not happy with it! In fact, ask Secretary of State Clinton or Secretary of Defense Gates how they feel about it, probably not happy, probably don't think its smart either. BTW state secrecy breeds stupidity, transparency all the way! "letting terrorists get there hands on nuclear weapons is suicidal" – - Do you really think in light of everything Obama has fought through in picking up the pieces of Bush's weak transition from Iraq to Afghanistan, implementing a surge, making headway with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and increasing special operations forces to combat terrorists, he would let something like that happen? Even the greatest respects of foreign policy see that nuclear proliferation amongst terrorist organizations is still far off the scale of liklihood.

      everything else I agree with – - Russia must be heavily scrutinized through the process as should we be scrutinized. In addition, we must remain in heavy scrutiny of North Korea and Iran, especially considering the apparent aspirations of such countries. This is not about letting Russia take the upper hand or letting North Korea and Iran blow us up, it is about sending a strong global message of American principles of peace and prosperity (a message that has recently been suffering, along with international public opinion). It is with this opinion that groups like Al Qaeda flourish. This is about saving money too. If we can already blow up the world several hundred times, what would hurt in bringing that number down to several dozens of times while simultaneously saving billions and billions of dollars. We often speak of the Presidents outlandish and underestimated budget. Yet, ironically we speak of underfunded budgets for things like nuclear weapons and the military. In addition, upon trillions of dollars of deficit we want to increase tax cuts for the wealthy. But more than all, we want the economy to get better? I Question the rationale of Republicans these days. I question whether you people actually know what you want, or you simply play the political battle, just to play it.

      I am not a huge fan of President Obama, but I am in favor of non-nuclear proliferation and global peace/ This gives me the opportunity to worry about work and pleasure. The Cold War is over and it should be in US interests to adapt and reconcile the nuclear race. I feel like the Heritage foundation is just saying this stuff to sabotage the administration via public and political influence, which i know is legal, and in some cases necessary. I am sure I will be immediately disregarded. And I am sure that I have been a bit ignorant to the actual provisions of the START treaty. But it scares me when the most American people, the die hard bleeding republicans who love nothing more than the red, white, and blue lose faith in the country to the point of presenting the ultimatum of death! I mean, come on, really? it is not fair to the American people to use scare tactics as a means of political advancement. grow up.

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