The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee today voted to refer the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to the full Senate. If the treaty successfully goes through the ratification processes in the United States and Russia, the treaty will cap deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550 in both countries and establish a set of mutual inspections that have not had a formal framework since the first START treaty lapsed last December.
Paul Ingram, BASIC\’s Executive Director, said: “This Treaty is good for the United States, and good for Europe. It presents a critical first step in building the momentum for cooperative global nuclear disarmament. Once the US Senate ratifies it the possibilities for further bilateral and multilateral action open up.”
The treaty passed the Foreign Relations Committee by a 14-4 vote, with the treaty still facing skepticism in the full Senate where it will need two-thirds approval for passage. Although support for the treaty has been widespread amongst retired and serving military personnel, former Secretaries of State, Republican strategists and others, there remains opposition from some key Republican Senators. With the US election season preoccupying Senators until November 2, it is uncertain whether the full Senate vote will be taken before the end of the year.
For additional background on the New START process in the United States, see BASIC Program Director Anne Penketh\’s analysis: “Stopping New START”, online at www.basicint.org.
Paul Ingram, Executive Director
United Kingdom: +44 (0)7908 708175
pingram (at) basicint.org
Ambassador James Goodby, BASIC Board member
United States: +1 650 725 8560
jpgoodby (at) gmail.com