As the Working Group explains, “New START contains many provisions relating to missile defense (including legal prohibitions) and could set the stage for further limitations without the advice and consent of the Senate.” That’s certainly how the Russians see things.
Gen. Yevgeniy Buzinskiy says that Russia wouldn’t hesitate to withdraw from the new treaty if the U.S. tries to expand our European missile defenses. “The sides agreed that the present strategic defensive arms are not undermining the viability and effectiveness of their strategic offensives forces. This makes it possible for us, in case the Americans increase their strategic ABM system, to claim that they are not observing [the terms] of the treaty.”
To get the Russians to sign this START, the Obama administration scrapped plans to build missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, sites that the Bush administration had negotiated long and hard to establish. So it’s safe to assume that we won’t be installing any new defensive positions, out of fear that doing so would cause the Russians to pull out of the treaty.
International agreements can help maintain peaceful relations between nations. But there’s no question that maintaining a strong and capable American military is the best way to keep the peace.
New START would take us several steps in the wrong direction. It would make America more vulnerable, not less. When asked to ratify the treaty, Senators should recognize it for what it is -- a non-starter.
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