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Conn Carroll: No Deal on START

Conn Carroll, assistant director for the Heritage Foundation’s Strategic Communications and editor of The Foundry blog, responded to Mitt Romney’s blog post at NRO’s The Corner, which we blogged about earlier this week. Romney discussed eight problems with new START, and Carroll focuses on three. An excerpt:

“New START Weakens Our Missile Defense Capabilities: The Washington Post editorial board asserted yesterday that ‘attempts by Moscow to insert [limits on missile defense] into the treaty failed.’ This is just plain false. First, even the Post admits that the preamble links missile defense and offensive nuclear weapons. The Post says that this was also true of previous STARTs. But not only is the language in this preamble stronger, and not only has the Russian leadership said that any increase in our missile defense system would be considered a breach of the treaty, but Article V of the treaty specifically limits our ability to convert ICBM and submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers into defensive interceptors. The Post is completely silent about this fact.

“New START Fails to Maintain Our Nuclear Forces: The Post does concede that our nuclear weapons our ‘in need of renewal, as are the laboratories and industrial complex that sustain it.’ But then they claim, “the Obama administration accepts this priority,” which is odd since President Obama has promised not to develop any new nuclear weapons. The Obama administration is promising Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) $80 billion in spending on the ‘nuclear weapons complex’ over the next decade, but no legislation has been produced. Any such promise would have to be passed by the House. Do you trust Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to spend $80 billion on nuclear weapons? Your answer to that question tells you all you need to know about the credibility of New START’s nuclear modernization claims.”

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