Key Quotes for New START Treaty
The following quotes support the ratification of the New START Treaty, and can be included in letters to Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. To read more of entire article that the quote came from, click on the article name. More background information on the New START Treaty can be found here.
General Kevin Chilton, Commander, STRATCOM
“There [are] no restrictions in START with regard to our missile defense capability.”
James Schlesinger, Former secretary of Defense for Presidents Nixon and Ford
“The treaty does not limit U.S. missile defense in a serious way.”
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on “The Historical and Modern Context for U.S.-Russian Arms Control”, April 29, 2010.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
“The key question… has always been the same: Is the United States better off with an agreement or without it? The answer for each successive president has always been “with an agreement”. The U.S. Senate has always agreed, approving each treaty by lopsided, bipartisan margins”.
“The same answer holds true for the New START agreement: The U.S. is far better off with this treaty than without it. It strengthens the security of the U.S. and our allies and promotes strategic stability between the world’s two major nuclear power”.
“[New START] limits significantly U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals and establishes and extensive verification regime to ensure that Russia is complying with its treaty obligations. These include short-notice inspections of both deployed and nondeployed systems, verifications of the numbers of warheads actually carried on Russian strategic missiles, and unique identifiers that will help us track- for the very first time- all accountable strategic nuclear delivery systems.
“There are no constraints [in the treaty] on missile defense.”
“America’s nuclear arsenal remains an important pillar of the U.S. defense posture, both to deter potential adversaries and to reassure more than a dozen allies and partners who rely on our nuclear umbrella for their security.”
The reductions in this treaty will not affect the strength of our nuclear triad. Nor does this treaty limit plans to protect the United States and our allies by improving and deploying missile defense systems.”
Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staffs
“I, the vice chairman and the Joint Chiefs, as well as our combatant commanders around the world, stand solidly behind this new treaty, having the opportunity to provide our counsel, to make our recommendation and to help shape the final agreements.”
“[T]hrough the trust it engenders, the cuts it requires, and the flexibility it preserves, this treaty enhances our ability to do that which we have been charged to do: protect and defend citizens of the United States. I am as confident in its success as I am in its safeguards.”
"The chiefs and I believe the New START treaty achieves an important and necessary balance between three critical aims. It allows us to retain a strong and flexible American nuclear deterrent. It helps strengthen openness and transparency in our relationship with Russia. It also demonstrates our national commitment to reducing the worldwide risk of nuclear incident resulting from continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons."
George Shultz, Former Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan
“President Barack Obama shares President Ronald Reagan’s desire to ride the world of nuclear weapons. He also shares Reagan’s conviction that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States must maintain its deterrent capability through a stockpile of nuclear weapons that are secure, safe and reliable”.
“The new treaty calls for modest but significant reduction in strategic weapons, accompanied by verification and transparency measures made necessary by the expiration of the original START last December.”
“The treaty helps move our relationship with Russia in a more constructive direction, and it sets the stage for work with other nations in getting the nuclear threat under control”.
Richard Burt, Chief START Negotiator during the George H.W. Bush Administration
“[T]aken together, [New START and the NPR] could be transformational, spurring a shift in American nuclear strategy from an outmoded Cold War focus on deterring a Russian-American nuclear conflict to a 21st century emphasis on curbing nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Such a shift is long overdue, and opens the door to new opportunities for further international cooperation, with Russia, China and others to reduce nuclear risks”.
“I can say as a former political appointee of two Republican administrations, it will be very difficult for anybody to come up with a strong set of coherent arguments against this treaty. This treaty itself does not take sweeping steps to reduce either the United States or Russian deployed arsenal… It’s a very small step toward further reductions…Anyone who would vote against [the treaty] needs to think about the consequences of the signals we would send to the rest of the world… What would be the impact on proliferatin?..What would it do to the U.S. leadership… on a whole range of international order issues?”
Charles Hagel, Former Senator, R-Ne
“I don’t think [the Treaty] needs to be divisive at all. This is clearly in the interest of both countries and world.”
Linton Brooks, Former Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration for President George W. Bush
“The treaty does not limit missile defense at all.”
Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush
"The New START Treaty makes a modest but nonetheless useful contribution to the national security of the United States and to international stability."
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
"New START is an important part of President Obama's nuclear security agenda. If ratified and entered into force, the treaty will commit the United States and the Russian Federation to lower levels of deployed strategic nuclear weapons in a transparent and verifiable way. This will increase stability between our countries, while demonstrating our joint commitment to a nuclear nonproliferation treaty."
Former Secretary of State James Baker
"Although I am not an expert on nuances of the proposed New START Treaty, it appears to take our country in a direction that can enhance our national security while at the same time reducing the number of nuclear warheads on the planet. It can also improve Washington's relationship with Moscow regarding nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, a relationship that will be vital if the two countries are to cooperate in order to stem nuclear proliferation in countries such as Iran and North Korea."