Amb. Pifer: "New START is in the U.S. National Interest"

Ambassador Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution, a Ploughshares Fund grantee, appeared yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing about the New START Treaty.

In his testimony, Pifer explains how the New START Treaty is in the national interest of the United States and urges the Senate to provide its consent to ratification.  According to Pifer, the New START Treaty benefits the United States by:

  • limiting the number of strategic warheads that could target the United States
  • providing greater transparency regarding Russian strategic forces
  • allowing the United States to maintain a robust deterrent
  • strengthening the U.S. hand in pressing to constrain proliferation
  • contributing to a more positive U.S.-Russia relationship

Beyond highlighting the critical national security benefits of the treaty, Pifer also points out the dangers of not ratifying New START:

A failure to ratify would carry substantial costs for the United States. Lack of New START’s verification regime would deny us valuable insights into Russian strategic systems, and unpredictability would grow. The U.S. effort to curb nuclear proliferation would suffer. And a failure to ratify would deal a major blow to U.S.-Russian relations, resulting in less cooperation from Moscow on problems such as Iran.

As Pifer sums it up, "New START is in the U.S. national interest. The Senate should provide its consent to ratification."

To read Pifer's written statement for the record, please click here.  You may also watch the full hearing here (fast forward to 49:29 for Pifer's testimony).