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  • Linkage Between Nuclear Modernization and New START Inappropriate

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has recently published a summary of the continuing resolution (CR) that would allow continued government operations through March 4, 2011. The vote on the document is expected on December 21, as the current CR is set to expire the very same day. Senators should not fall for the promise of modernization money proposed in the CR in exchange for their vote on New START, a strategic offensive arms reductions treaty with the Russian Federation.

    The CR adjusts the current rate of operations for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) weapons program to $7 billion, a $624 million increase over the fiscal year 2010 appropriation, in conjunction with New START. This is a quid pro quo to make sure that Republicans in the Senate are pressured, by millions in nuclear modernization monies, to vote for the ratification of New START.

    The treaty must stand on its own merits and be judged according to whether it is beneficial to U.S. security or not. It is a good thing that the Administration has acknowledged this. James Miller, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, recently stated: “The Administration’s strong view is that the treaty makes sense on its own merits, and the Administration’s strong view is that additional funding for NNSA makes sense on its own merits. So no, we don’t support that linkage.”

    The U.S. nuclear infrastructure needs a comprehensive overhaul and is in need of urgent attention. The White House has proposed $85 billion in spending over the next decade, but this money is modest compared to the need. Furthermore, most of the money is proposed to be spent well beyond the President’s term. Importantly, the nuclear modernization plan ignores the fact that it is Congress that has the final say in formulating the budget, not the White House.

    Trading U.S. nuclear modernization funding for a New START vote is a bad idea at any time and would set a dangerous precedent. The treaty is seriously flawed and needs to be fixed before the final vote on the Senate floor.

    In addition, the vote should not be scheduled during a short lame duck session. In a recent Heritage Foundation report, Matt Spalding, Ph.D., notes that never in the history of the United States has a lame duck Senate given its advice and consent and voted on a major treaty. The ratification of New START by a lame duck Senate would not only ignore the message sent by voters in November but also break a significant precedent, consistent with the principle of consent, maintained by Presidents and Congresses since the passage of the Twentieth Amendment in 1933.

    Co-authored by Michaela Bendikova.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Linkage Between Nuclear Modernization and New START Inappropriate

    1. G-Man, Virginia says:

      First DADT, now New START. This Administration and Senate will stop at nothing to weaken United States national defenses.

      DADT is flawed because 1) the decision doesn’t strengthen the Country’s national defenses, 2) the Armed Forces will suffer from yet more social experimentation, 3) it creates a special class of individual within the Armed Forces, and 4) it works against formulation of a cohesive fighting force capable of protecting our freedom and liberty. Time will prove these reasons TRUE. I don’t glorify my sin, but it saddens me that the persistent minority want protected status, and legal justification for theirs.

      Secondly, it is clear from history and the recent Rianovosti articles that the Russians clearly see us as their adversaries and they are acting upon that understanding. The New START places maniacal, self-imposed limits on America's ability to advance its missile defense programs, and fails to deter proliferation. Only the naive would think that we should attempt to change the Russian world-view by weakening our nuclear arsenals or missile defense programs by ratifying New START.

      Further, based on facts from our Founding and our history America is more trusted to possess nuclear weapons than the former Soviets. Because of the Christian values that America was founded upon a case can be made that America places a high/er value on human life than the majority of Russians. It is possible to cite examples where America has gone astray [E.g. Roe v. Wade], but in the case of Roe v. Wade the sanctity of life was denigrated by an un-elected, activist Court – NOT – by the majority of Americans!

      The Russians understand one thing and one thing only: STRENGTH. Only when the United States is strong can it influence the world for liberty and freedom.

      U. S. Senate, you vote to ratify New START at your own political peril. Freedom loving Americans won’t stand for the weakening of their Country. We can't wait until 2012 to hold YOU accountable, and to help complete the restoration of our Country!

    2. Nunya, Washington DC says:

      Owen and Michaela,

      Please be consistent. No more than a few weeks ago, your mentor Baker Spring wrote on here that a "Rocket Modernization roadmap [is] needed before New START vote." If this is not linking modernization and the passage of New START then I don't know what is. I sense that the talking points are beginning to run out as the vote on New START approaches…

    3. Pingback: New START Ratification Looking Likely | Con Games

    4. Thank you for sharing this article, this is nice one…. I like it a lot and Hope others might like it as well.

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