Obama Wants a Timely START

President Obama’s continued push for New START ratification during the Senate’s lame-duck session is running up against opposition from Senators worried that hasty ratification may jeopardize US nuclear modernization. For example, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) issued a release stating that due to “the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization,” he does no support ratification before year’s end. Obama responded in remarks at the White House saying, “Let me be clear. It is a national security imperative that the United States ratify the New START treaty this year.” He added that a delay would jeopardize “American leadership on nonproliferation” and weaken US security. Obama also said his administration was willing to “go the extra mile” to modernize US nuclear forces. Based on consultations with Kyl, Obama said he’s agreed to request an additional $4.1 billion from Congress for modernization over the next five years. (For more, see Wall Street Journal blog report and Biden opinion piece)