Photo: Signing of START Treaty
With the Senates ratification of the new START treaty, bipartisan endorsement is given to the pact, which President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed in Prague in April.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty many argue is outdated and unnecessary. Pointing to the fact that we are dealing deals with a different threat today than we had when the first treaty was signed in 1991. Whereas Russia was out initial concern, today the primary threats are from international terrorists Iran and North Korea.
“With this treaty, we send a message to Iran and North Korea that the international community remains united to restrain the nuclear ambitions of countries that operate outside the law, ” said John Kerry (D), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a pre-vote statement.
Today the Senate ratified the new nuclear arms treaty between the US and Russia.
Summary of the Treaty:
• Limits on nuclear weapons: Each side will have to reduce their ready-to-launch nuclear arsenals to a mere 1,500 warheads. This is a decrease in 30% from the country’s last deal in 2002.
• Limits on delivery systems: Each side will be limited to 800 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, heavy bombers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and only 700 can be nuclear armed. Those levels are half of what the 1991 START deal laid out.
• Inspectors: Both sides can once again send inspectors to ensure the other side is sticking to the treaty, something that stopped a little over a year ago when an old treaty expired. The inspection system has also been revamped in ways the Obama administration says will make it cheaper and easier.
• What it doesn’t do: The treaty doesn’t regulate stored warheads that aren’t ready to launch, and doesn’t regulate short-range tactical nuclear weapons. President Obama says he’d like to negotiate another treaty covering both of those.