Pressure Builds for New START Ratification

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged the lame-duck Congress to promptly ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, arguing that the nation’s security depended on it. “Time is running out for this Congress,” they wrote in a joint opinion piece in The Washington Post. They continued, “Until a new treaty comes into force, our inspectors will not have access to Russian missile silos and the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals will lack the stability that comes with a rigorous inspection regime.” Every Senate since the beginning of the Cold War has overwhelmingly supported past treaties, wrote Gates and Clinton. In addition, they said, New START has broad bipartisan support from past top Pentagon, State Department, and national security officials as well as “the entire military leadership” of today. (See also Renewed Pitch for New START Ratification.)