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Kim Holmes: Show START Records

Last week we mentioned that the U.S. Senate was deliberating on whether to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The Heritage Foundation’s Baker Spring said treaty approval “will turn on whether the Obama Administration’s commitment to modernizing the nuclear weapons infrastructure is adequate in the eyes of the Senate and will be sustained after ratification.” (Source)

If the administration provides no clear-cut answers, the Senate may request the negotiating records  between the two countries. The Heritage Foundation‘s Kim Holmes provides an update on those negotiations. From the Washington Times:

“The Obama administration’s drive to win Senate approval of the New START arms treaty with Russia has hit a speed bump. Several senators are asking to see the secret negotiating record from the administration’s official talks with Russia.

“Why? Because U.S. and Russian officials publicly disagree about what the treaty says. Senators have a right to know – before they consent to ratification of a treaty that affects national security – how those terms now at issue were handled during the negotiations.”

“The differences regarding missile defense are stark. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserts that the treaty links arms reduction to restraint on missile defense and that this linkage is legally binding. Russia, he says, can withdraw from the treaty if  ‘the U.S.’s build-up of its missile defense strategic potential in numbers and quality begins to considerably affect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces.’”

One side claims there are no restrictions on our missile defense strategy, and the other side believes there are restrictions. Which is it?

“Only a careful review of the negotiating record can set the record straight,” Holmes writes. The president has undermined our defenses and emboldened a resurgent Russia for “the sake of just getting a treaty.”

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