Nuclear Threats: Are We Less Safe Than One Year Ago?

Travis Korson
By Travis Korson | November 2, 2011 | 3:40 PM EDT

What have we learned since the passage of the New START treaty? A year into the new regime, it’s clear that it’s preventing modernization of US forces at the very time that recent events show that America adversaries are building up their nuclear capabilities.

Russia is undertaking to place its latest ballistic missile submarine into service before the end of 2012.  In The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens reports that “China is in the midst of a major nuclear modernization effort…”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency will release a report next month expressing concerns Iran is moving forward with developing a nuclear weapon.

Despite these worrying developments, it appears the Obama administration is seeking to cut our nuclear deterrents even further than the treaty stipulates.  In fact, Gen. Robert Kehler of U.S. Strategic Command also stated recently that the United States may decide to move from a “triad” of nuclear delivery vehicles (submarines, bombers, and inter-continental ballistic missiles) to a “dyad” of only two types.

In the backdrop of these security failures, the Center for Security Policy just released its latest study, Mapping a National Security Failure, the Ratification of the New START Treaty, which clearly contradicts statements from the Obama administration - such as the claim that implementation of the new treaty “has been going very well indeed.”

Among the key findings:

MODERNIZATION: the Obama administration convinced key Senators that it was committed to modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, but, now has threatened to veto legislation holding it to that commitment.

MISSILE DEFENSE: the Obama administration successfully persuaded key Senators that New START did not limit the development of U.S. missile defenses, yet the treaty provides them with a "veto" over U.S. missile defense development, which in fact was used.

VERIFICATION: the Obama administration successfully persuaded key Senators that New START had to be ratified in a lame-duck session of the Senate in order to effectively monitor and verify the Russian nuclear posture, despite evidence that the treaty's verification regime was flawed.

The paper provides a thorough analysis of the New START treaty made solely with Russia and reveals the treaty’s threat to national security and the flawed process that led to its ratification.

See the full study at:

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