“The ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is a significant political victory for the global disarmament agenda and efforts to secure the world from nuclear dangers,” said Paul Ingram, Executive Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC). New START is the first arms control treaty to win ratification under a Democratic president.
“This is a modest arms control treaty, but anything that reduces the number of deployed nuclear weapons by the two states with the largest arsenals is to be welcomed. The importance of this particular treaty is in the message that it sends about the renewed cooperation between Washington and Moscow on arms control and beyond,” said Ingram. “The Senate has demonstrated that it is capable of rising above petty politics in the interests of American national security,” he added. The Senate gave its advice and consent to ratify New START with 71 in favor, and 26 against. A two-thirds majority is required to pass a treaty.
New START, which will be in force for 10 years after Russia also ratifies the treaty, provides for a ceiling on the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 for each side. It also limits each side to a total of 800 delivery systems - launchers and heavy bombers.
BASIC will be actively encouraging both sides to maintain the momentum in the next stage of negotiations that should include deeper cuts, non-deployed warheads, so-called ‘sub-strategic’ warheads, and nuclear posture. BASIC will also be encouraging the Administration to press on with the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a more important step in the process of reducing nuclear dangers worldwide. Ingram concluded: “Above all, it is crucial that the Administration does not hold back in the complacent belief that 2011 is a year for consolidation.”
Paul Ingram, Executive Director:
+44 (0)7908 708175 (mobile)
pingram at basicint.org
Anne Penketh, Program Director:
+44 (0)7710 613975 (mobile)
apenketh at basicint.org
Please see PDF version below.