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Sen. Jim DeMint: Why I May Filibuster New START: UPDATED

December 3rd, 2010

Senator Jim DeMint, critical of the Obama administration’s decision to drop Bush-era plans to deploy missile defense shields to Poland and the Czech Republic, is equally critical of START. He believes the treaty will limit how future presidents could pursue missile defense. DeMint asserts that Cold War-era foreign policy is no longer feasible, since the U.S. faces threats from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and START would have no effect on these countries’ capabilities to develop nuclear weapons.

In a recent statement published at National Review Online‘s The Corner blog, DeMint argues why he may filibuster the new treaty. An excerpt:

“Many of us have been concerned that the START Treaty would weaken our national security, and recent revelations of previously undisclosed talks with Russia on missile defense and movement of Russian tactical nuclear warheads only raise more questions that must be answered. I’ve asked for the full negotiating records, as have been provided to the Senate on previous treaties, but the Obama administration has continually denied that request and promised that missile defense was never part of the negotiations with Russia. But we have now learned that the State Department did in fact meet with Russia to specifically discuss missile defense, after months of denying these discussions ever took place.”

Read the rest at NRO.

Update: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney weighs in on START in the Boston Globe. An excerpt:

“Why the hurry, Mr. President? It’s a question we’ve asked twice before. There was a rush to pass his $787 billion ‘stimulus’’ to hold unemployment below 8 percent. Congress obliged, and now we are saddled with higher unemployment and crushing debt. Then there was his health care assault: no time for our representatives to even read the bill. As ObamaCare has been revealed, it has frightened business into retreating from hiring. Now the president is in a hurry again: affirm the New START treaty right away, he insists, during the lame duck session. Fall for his rush once, shame on him; twice, shame on Congress; a third time, shame all around.

“A treaty so critical to our national security deserves a careful, deliberative look by the men and women America has just elected. The president is in a hurry for the same reason he has been in a hurry before: he knows that if his vaunted treaty is given a thorough review by the Senate, it will likely be rejected. And well it should be.”

Jim DeMint on ‘MAD’ START

August 2nd, 2010

Senator Jim DeMint, a critic of new START, believes the treaty would limit how future presidents could pursue missile defense. He recently wrote on article for National Review Online about the treaty.

“If ratified, the New START treaty would force the U.S. to agree to strategic-nuclear-weapons parity with the direct descendant of a nation that threatened our country’s existence for decades.

“MAD was a frightening policy that kept two superpowers paralyzed in a nuclear game of chicken. Both countries knew they would be destroyed if they attacked first, and so neither country attacked. But it’s not a one-on-one game anymore. The U.S. faces threats from China, Iran, Syria, and North Korea in addition to Russia, and the treaty will have no effect on the nuclear-arms-building capabilities of these countries. And New START could hamper our ability to improve our missile-defense system — leaving us unable to destroy more than a handful of missiles at a time and vulnerable to attacks from around the globe.

“Additionally, the treaty favors Russia when it comes to tactical nuclear weapons, which are developed for use on the battlefield. Russia’s stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons, which can be affixed to rockets, submarines, and bomber planes, outnumbers the United States’ by a ratio of 10:1. These are not covered by the treaty — New START covers only strategic, long-range, high-yield nuclear weapons — leaving Russia able to keep its current advantage and produce more of these weapons at will.

“New START also fails on another important front: It doesn’t recognize the fact that Russia and the United States play very different roles in the world. Russia is a threat to many and a protector of none. The United States, on the other hand, is a threat to none and a protector of many. More than 30 nations, many in the former Soviet bloc, depend on the U.S. for their security. The New START treaty does not reflect that obligation. It ignores it.”

Jim DeMint on Friends and Enemies of Freedom

September 23rd, 2009

 
Senator Jim DeMint says President Barack Obama doesn’t have the “moral and strategic clarity” (strong sentiment) to understand that “the friend of freedom is the friend of the United States.”

DeMint notes in his bold memo on Heritage.org that Obama and his administration don’t seem to understand what our leadership in the world requires. Obama caved to Russia’s disapproval of missile defense shields we agreed to install in Poland and the Czech Republic. DeMint calls the people of these countries “friends of freedom,” and the administration apparently thinks otherwise. The president’s foreign policy has neglected the call to freedom and has focused instead on a call to his own ambition:

“There is not supposed to be a ‘Bush’ foreign policy or an ‘Obama’ foreign policy: There is supposed to be an American foreign policy that stands for freedom and against tyranny. The current Administration seems not to understand that a confident, decisive, and assertive America is a stabilizing force for freedom and justice in the world…Nowhere is this problem more pronounced than in Eastern Europe or in the area of missile defense.”

DeMint provides brief background on the whole Russia-hates-missile-defense-shields-plan, and reminds readers about an open letter former leaders of Central and Eastern European countries sent Obama about their sacrifices for freedom and need for our leadership. Obama and “enemies of freedom” are suspicious of missile defense for a reason.

Russia didn’t give up a thing during our “negotiations,” and we’ve gained nothing by turning our backs on Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Nuclear and ballistic programs continue unimpeded in North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere,” DeMint writes. “Russia has announced its opposition to any new sanctions against Iran…If history has taught us anything, it is that freedom is the exception, not the norm. It is not enough for democracies to ‘bear witness’ to threats against freedom: Those threats must be countered. Everywhere and always, liberty must be earned, won, and defended.”

Read the rest of DeMint’s piece at Heritage.org.