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Baker Spring on DeMint’s Critics

Last week we excerpted James Carafano’s op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner about Senator Jim DeMint’s criticism of the new START. Among other things, the senator believes START won’t help protect the country from rogue nations like Iran, and he offered amendments to fix the treaty’s problems.

The Heritage Foundation’s Baker Spring weighed in on the topic. At The Foundry, he writes:

“The Obama Administration has stated on numerous occasions that there is ‘no way, no how’ the New START treaty, a nuclear arms control agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States, will limit U.S. ballistic missile defense options. However, ongoing exchanges of opinions on this question show that the issue is far from clear.

“Reporter Josh Rogin, in his recent critique of an amendment that Senator Jim DeMint (R–SC) offered to the resolution of ratification for New START in the Senate Foreign

Relations Committee (SFRC) disparages the Senator’s effort. DeMint also offered a similar amendment to the defense authorization bill for the FY2011. Rogin’s criticism is, at its core, based on a single, fallacious argument: If you can’t defend against every possible missile that could target America, why even bother? Rogin’s critique also implies that some proponents of New START want to limit missile defense.

“Even if Rogin doesn’t understand why we should make sure we are able, under New START, to deploy the best missile defenses possible, the SFRC obviously does. That’s why it included a modified version of the amendment in its resolution of ratification by voice vote backed by Senator Jim Webb (D–VA), Senator Bob Corker (R–TN) and others.

“As it stands, New START does little to ensure that the United States and Russia are able to protect and defend the people, territory, infrastructure, and institutions of both countries, and of their respective allies. Both amendments attempted to fix this flaw. The version of the amendment adopted by the committee states that a paramount obligation of the U.S. government is to provide for the defense of the American people, its forward-deployed troops, and U.S. allies. Moreover, it states that arms control policies based on the theory of mutual assured destruction (MAD) can be contrary to the safety and security of both the U.S. and Russia.”

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