Women. Power. Peace.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the AJC

Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) ran a Pro/Con op-ed on the subject of New START. Major General Paul D. Eaton wrote the "Pro" opinion while Vice Adm. Robert R. Monroe wrote the "Con" opinion. Vice Adm. Robert R. Monroe's article is full of fear-mongering language, misleading information, and downright false statements. We refuse to allow Mr. Monroe off the hook for his irresponsible and dangerous article. Here is a list of his false claims with cited facts underneath:

  • FICTION: The treaty constrains the United States while doing nothing to limit Russia.
  • FACT: The treaty has the exact same limits for both countries. Both countries will be limited to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, and 700 deployed delivery vehicles. There are no limits upon either country’s tactical nuclear weapons, one aspect of the treaty which WAND believes should be stronger. Source: White House
  • FICTION: New START would leave the United States without nuclear deterrence.
  • FACT: The United States will still have 1,550 active strategic nuclear weapons which we are capable of delivering in three ways – by bomber, by submarine, or by intercontinental ballistic missile. This is more than enough nuclear deterrence! President Obama and Secretary of State Robert Gates have both said “As long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent.” In addition, the United States will maintain the flexibility to determine for ourselves the structure of our strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty. Source: White House
  • FICTION: The treaty “seriously limits” the United States’ missile defense program.
  • FACT: “The New START treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.” Source: White House
  • FICTION: The treaty “seriously limits” the United States prompt global strike program.
  • FACT: The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability. New START protects the U.S. ability to develop and deploy a Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability. The Treaty in no way prohibits the United States from building or deploying conventionally-armed ballistic missiles. Sources: State Department and White House.
  • FICTION: “New START is unverifiable”
  • FACT: Actually, the status quo is unverifiable! We currently have absolutely no monitoring, inspection, or verification provisions on Russians nuclear arsenal. Since the original START treaty expired in December, we have gone 276 days (as of September 7) without monitoring Russia’s nuclear arsenal. The truth is: New START stipulates that both the United States and Russia must submit to 18 on-site inspections per year. In addition, both countries must exchange data regarding numbers, locations, and technical characteristics of deployed strategic nuclear weapons. The treaty also requires each country to annually exchange telemetric information. Source: White House

All of Vice Adm. Robert R. Monroe's major claims in his article have been disproved. The truth is that New START would make the United States, and the world, safer in two big ways:

  1. By dismantling nuclear weapons we’re all safer; it will be less likely for an accident to occur, or for terrorists to obtain fissile material to build a bomb.
  2. By imposing a rigorous monitoring, verification and inspection process upon Russia’s nuclear arsenal, we'll be more likely to maintain a peaceful and stable relationship with Russia.

The consequences of failing to ratify New START would be disastrous:

  • It would break a precedent of over three decades of nuclear disarmament agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia.
  • We will continue without a verifiable treaty, without rigorous inspections, and without transparency from the world’s largest nuclear powers.
  • We will fail to uphold our duty under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, weakening our negotiating hand against nuclear-hopeful states such as Iran and North Korea.

Help us make our voices heard! The voices for peace must be louder than those for war! Truth must prevail over lies!

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