The New START Treaty

NFP

On April 8 in Prague, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new nuclear arms reduction agreement—the ‘NEW START’ Treaty. The accord must now be approved by both the U.S. Senate and the Russian Duma before it is binding. Approval by the Senate requires a two-thirds majority vote (67 of the 100 total votes in the body), which will require bipartisan support.

Versions of the following ‘letter to the editor’ outlining Nebraskans for Peace’s position on the treaty recently appeared in both the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star. While the agreement’s arms reduction goals are modest in the extreme, they once again get the world’s two largest nuclear powers back on a course toward abolition. 

Please take an opportunity to contact the offices of both Sen. Nelson and Sen. Johanns and urge them both to the vote in favor of ratification of this important peacemaking effort. Their contact information for phone, email and Nebraska office mailing addresses is listed below.   

To defend ourselves militarily, Americans are willing to do whatever it takes. We’ll spare no expense and go to any lengths to ensure that the U.S. remains the supreme military power on the face of the earth. We’ve convinced ourselves that size is everything—that the more armaments we have, the safer we are.

In the case of nuclear weapons, however, more does not make us more secure. 

When the detonation of just a hundred of these Weapons of Mass Destruction (1/47th of the operational arsenals the U.S. and Russia now jointly possess) would end civilization as we know it, it’s hard to see how being able to destroy the world dozens of times over enhances anybody’s national security.   

That kind of ‘overkill’ capacity, in fact, is contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons worldwide. The more nukes the U.S. and Russia have in their stockpiles, the more there are to keep from terrorists—and the more volatile states like North Korea and Iran are disposed to develop WMD programs of their own.

After years of inaction on nuclear arms reduction, the ‘New START’ agreement between the U.S. and Russia once again sets us on a path of ridding the planet of these horrendous weapons. The treaty mandates strict standards of verifiability (a simpler matter now that the Cold War is over and Russia is no longer an enemy) and incrementally reduces the number of weapons each nation may have (down to 1550 each).

This agreement is a prudent first step toward a more secure world, and there is no reason it shouldn’t merit broad bipartisan support. Nebraskans for Peace urges Sen. Ben Nelson and Sen. Mike Johanns to be two of the 67 bipartisan votes needed to approve the New START treaty when it comes up in the Senate.

Contact

Sen. Ben Nelson 

11819 Miracle Hills Dr.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68154
or:
440 North 8th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508


202-224-6551 

202-228-0012 (FAX) 

402-391-3411 (Omaha) 

402-441-4600 (Lincoln) 

Official Website

Sen. Mike Johanns 

294 Federal Building 100 Centennial Mall North
Lincoln, NE 68508

 9900 Nicholas St., Suite 325
Omaha, NE 68114 

4111 Fourth Avenue, Suite 26 
Kearney, NE 68845
or:
115 Railway Street, Suite C102
Scottsbluff, NE 69361

202-224-4224 

202-224-0436 (FAX) 

402-476-1400 (Lincoln)

402-758-8981 (Omaha)

308-632-6295 (Scottsbluff) 

Official Website

 

 

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