Starting up START Treaty Politics


psa start image.jpg
When groups start buying full page ads in Politico or any of the other leading political papers like The Hill or Roll Call, it’s a sure sign that folks see a policy battle ahead.
The bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America has today purchased a page in Politico calling for the Senate to ratify the newly negotiated START Treaty. (here is pdf)
This begs the question of the consequences of not ratifying this treaty. I’m expecting former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and his fellow travelers to be the most hyperbolic opponents to the Treaty. Sarah Palin will probably offer her own softer version of Ann Coulter demonization of the treaty.
But seriously, the world becomes a much more dangerous place — on lots of levels — if this treaty is not ratified. Most important I think would be a collapse of confidence by China and Russia in the ability of the US to lead in creating and revitalizing the institutions that help make the global system safer than would otherwise be the case.
The progress Obama has made in getting broad international commitment to getting nuclear materials under lock and key and better controlled would come undone if this Treaty does not pass.
Here are the signers of the PSA letter published today:

Madeleine Albright Secretary of State 1997-2001
Howard Baker US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger National Security Advisor 1997-2001
Linton Brooks Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, 2002-07
Harold Brown Secretary of Defense 1977-81
Frank Carlucci Secretary of Defense 1987-89
Warren Christopher Secretary of State 1993-97
William Cohen Secretary of Defense 1997-2001
John C. Danforth US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95
Kenneth M. Duberstein White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
Chuck Hagel US Senator (R-NE) 1997-2009
Lee Hamilton US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
Gary Hart US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita E. Hauser Chair, International Peace Institute
Carla Hills US Trade Representative 1989-93
Nancy Kassebaum-Baker US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean Governor (R-NJ) 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair
Richard Leone President, The Century Foundation
Donald McHenry US Ambassador to the UN 1979-81
Sam Nunn US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering Under Secretary of State 1997-2000
Colin L. Powell Secretary of State 2001- 05
Warren Rudman US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
Alan Simpson US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
George Shultz Secretary of State 1982-89
Theodore Sorensen White House Special Counsel 1961-63
John Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Timothy E. Wirth US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner Under Secretary of State 1992-93

— Steve Clemons


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