Mike Needham
Despite all their highly paid consultants, pollsters, advisers and politicos, the Washington Establishment has a unique, almost uncanny ability, to be completely tone deaf. They are also wrong with stunning regularity. Take, for example, what President Barack Obama considers some of his greatest successes – Obamacare, the so-called stimulus and a hopeful reliance on alternative energy. He’s wrong on each and every one of them.

Now, basking in the light of a post-bin Laden bump in the polls, his administration feels emboldened. The bounce, of course, is related entirely to the killing of Osama bin Laden, not President Obama’s larger, failed foreign policy agenda.

As is often the case, however, the President’s team appears to be misreading their mandate. Last week, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher delivered a speech at the Arms Control Association Annual Meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In the speech, Ms. Tauscher touted the success of the New START Treaty, a severely flawed treaty with Russia that unilaterally weakens America. She then turned to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) intimating ratification would be a priority for the administration.

What is the CTBT? It is a treaty that would permanently prohibit explosive tests of nuclear weapons by the United States. That may sound fine, until you realize such a restriction would jeopardize America’s vital national security interests by undermining our nuclear deterrent.

By running against our national interest, it does not meet the basic standards of a good arms control agreement. If an agreement is not in the national interest, it cannot be successful. That, among many additional reasons, is why the Senate wisely voted to reject ratification in October 1999.

Yet, Ms. Tauscher believes, “we have a strong case for Treaty ratification. In the coming months, we will build upon and flesh out these core arguments.” Ratifying CTBT, Ms. Tauscher argued, would “strengthen our leverage with the international community to pressure defiant regimes like those in Iran and North Korea as they engage in illicit nuclear activities.” The same argument was made during the New START debate. Last March, Ms. Tauscher said if we ratified New START, “the more it calls out people like North Korea and Iran.”


Mike Needham

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Action for America, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legislation that promotes freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.