National Security Experts Urge Prompt Ratification of New START

 “Working at the sharp end of the nuclear spear taught me to respect the skill and wisdom needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation,” wrote Lt. Gen. Dirk Jameson, former commander of the US ICBM force, in a recent USA Today op-ed. “Every day that we delay,” he continued, “is another day we aren't getting the security and intelligence benefits we urgently need. The Senate has done its due diligence; it should offer its advice and give its consent. Listen to America's leading military commanders: It is time to ratify this [New START] treaty.” Lt. Gen. Jameson is also a member of the Consensus for American Security, a Ploughshares Fund supported initiative at the American Security Project.  

In yet another authoritative opinion piece in the Washington Post, former Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and Madeleine K. Albright, and former Senators Gary Hart and Chuck Hagel, gave their own succinct and expert advice: “The Senate should promptly vote to approve the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (New START) with Russia for one reason: It increases U.S. national security.” Albright, Schultz, Hart, and Hagel have also all signed onto an open letter of support for the New START Treaty from the Partnership for a Secure America, a Ploughshares Fund grantee.

The authors of these op-eds all understand the necessity and strategic importance of expeditiously ratifying the New START treaty. In addition to the urgent national security threat, Schultz, Albright, Hart, and Hagel also cited global perception as a further boon to ratification of the Treaty, saying: “Senate approval of New START would send a strong message to the world that the United States can overcome partisan differences and take concrete, practical action to reduce the nuclear threat and enhance our nation’s security.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on the New START Treaty on Thursday.