Haney: No to Flying Solo beyond New START

Adm. Cecil Haney, President Obama’s nominee to lead US Strategic Command, said on Tuesday he’d oppose the United States making unilateral reductions in the size of its strategic nuclear arsenal beyond New START levels. “I think it’s very important that any further reductions are negotiated,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his July 30 confirmation hearing. “My advice would be that we negotiate a bilateral agreement [with Russia] that also has verifiable components,” said Haney, who is currently commander of US Pacific Fleet. Haney said he supports New START since it provides for “the adequate numbers of nuclear weapons and launchers to address the threats now and into the future.” That treaty requires the United States and Russia to reduce their respective strategic nuclear forces to no more than 1,550 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers (i.e. heavy bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles), and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers by February 2018. President Obama announced in June his intent to negotiate additional reductions with Russia that would go beyond the New START-defined inventories by up to one-third. (Haney’s responses to advance questions)