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Trouble for the Treaty with Russia?

Thursday, April 8, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Here is the text of a statement released by senators John Kyl and John McCain on the new nuclear arms treaty with Russia. It spells big trouble for the treaty, and the start of the push-back against President Obama’s agenda, including his radical pledge to halt the development of all future nuclear warheads, weapons, or missions:

Statement by Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain on START Treaty

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) today made the following joint statement today regarding the President’s signing of the follow-on agreement to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START):

“We appreciate the long hard work of U.S. negotiators. We have just received the text of the treaty and have not had an opportunity to review the annexes, which, in many respects, are the real operational details. We look forward to that review and constructive discussion with Administration officials as we carefully engage in the Senate’s constitutionally mandated duty of advise and consent.

“Under the treaty, Russia and the United States have reduced the number of warheads and verification procedures significantly. Both of these changes will have ramifications on our force structure and intelligence that we will need to evaluate.[# More #]

“While we were initially advised that the only reference to missile defense was in the preamble to the treaty, we now find that there are other references to missile defense, some of which could limit U.S. actions. Further, the Russians have unilaterally declared that the article which allows either Russia or the U.S. to withdraw from the treaty is intended to allow Russian withdrawal if it believes new U.S. missile defense capabilities pose a threat to its strategic nuclear forces. This has the potential to constrain improvements to U.S. missile defenses, if objected to by the Russians.

“Whatever our ultimate conclusions on the START follow-on treaty, we continue to believe it will be difficult for it to pass the Senate without the fully funded robust nuclear weapons modernization program required by section 1251 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010.

“Finally, we agree with the President’s statement in the Nuclear Posture Review that: ‘today’s most immediate and extreme danger is nuclear terrorism…today’s other pressing threat is nuclear proliferation.’ We look forward to working with all concerned parties to ensure that U.S. and allies’ long term interests are fully addressed.”

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