Let’s Get a New START!

In a handful of days, Idaho Senator James Risch can play a key role in ratifying the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty—New START—between Russia and the US to verifiably cut their nuclear arsenals. We will all be more secure if he does. And you can help—today!

The first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) was signed in 1991 and expired last winter. START I led to substantial nuclear arms reductions, but the US and Russia still have more than 90% of all the world’s nuclear bombs.

In April, Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the New START Treaty, which reduces deployed, ready-to-use strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 for each country—30% below existing ceilings. The US and Russia can each have no more than 700 launchers. New START includes streamlined, stronger verification measures than START I. Right now, we have no ironclad way of verifying what Russia is doing with its nuclear arsenal.

Mr. Risch sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is set to vote the week of July 26 or August 2 on whether or not to ratify the treaty. Please contact Senator Risch today and urge him to vote in favor of ratifying the New START Treaty.

See statements of support for New START from an extraordinary number of national security experts and military leaders.

• Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, said on June 10 that “the reason this treaty is important is over the decades we have built up all these counting rules, all these verification procedures and so on, so that each side feels, ‘Yes, we can take these steps.’ If you wipe those out, you’re back to zero again.”

• New START will give us vital mechanisms to monitor the Russian nuclear arsenal, and we will be more secure with New START than we are today. It permits 18 short-notice inspections per year and allows us to track missile launchers.

• On June 14, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a far-reaching resolution calling on the US Senate to “ratify the New START without conditions and without delay.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, of which there are 1,204 in the US.

• New START does not affect our missile defense plans at all. In has only one restriction on missile defense: we can’t use existing ICBM silos or SLBM launch tube for missile defense interceptors. But the most senior military leaders say they do not want to use them anyway because converting is more expensive and less effective than building new facilities.