OSD Official Says No Free Rides with New START

James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, assured lawmakers last week that any future Russian ICBMs launched from rail cars would be subject to the provisions of the New START Treaty that is now before the Senate for ratification. During the June 24 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the treaty, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking member, asked Miller about this, since, Lugar said, treaty critics contend that the Russians would have a legal loophole to deploy rail-launched missiles and they would fall outside of the treaty’s jurisdiction. Miller responded, “The rail mobile ICBMs are not specifically mentioned in the New START Treaty because neither party currently deploys [them].” However, he added, if Russia chooses to field them while New START is still in force, “they would be counted under the treaty’s limits for ICBMs and for launchers.” (Miller prepared remarks)