Updated December 15, 2010The U.S. State Department wants to assure Americans that they can sleep soundly knowing they will be still protected by plenty of nuclear weapons after implementation of the new Strategic Arms Reduction (New START) Treaty.
Under the New START Treaty and Protocol, signed by President Obama and President Medvedev of Russia on April 8, the U.S. is permitted a total of 1,550 nuclear warheads, which Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says "leaves us with more than enough nuclear deterrent capability for the world we live in."
However, as New START critics point out, the treaty reduces to 700 the number of deployed nuclear warhead delivery systems allowed in the U.S. and Russian arsenals.
"Reducing the number of deployed delivery systems in the US arsenal to 700 at a time when emerging nuclear powers are building new warheads and new missiles at an increasing pace would seem imprudent to say the least," says Taylor Dinerman on Hudson New York. "This Treaty gives the Russians a serious warfighting advantage: they will have land-mobile missiles -- possibly a larger number than we know about -- while the US has nothing comparable."
According to Admiral Mullen, New START allows the U.S. to deploy its 1,550 permitted warheads in manner that will best maintain our nuclear "triad" of bombers, submarines, and missiles. "I am convinced that it (the New START treaty) preserves the strength resident in our nuclear triad and that it retains our flexibility to continue deploying conventional global strike capabilities," he said.
General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs agreed. "I think we have more than enough capacity and capability for any threat that we see today or might emerge in the foreseeable future," he stated.
What About Our Missile Defense System?
The State Department also want to assure Americans that the New SALT Treaty will not alter the nation's plans for development of a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, and that no "secret deals" on the missile defense system have been made with Russia.
"I have briefed the Russians, personally in Moscow, on every aspect of our missile defense development," said Lt. General Patrick O'Reilly, head of the Missile Defense Agency. "I believe they understand what that is. And that those plans for development are not limited by this Treaty."
An Old Solider Speaks His Mind
On April 16, 1953, former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during WW II, former General of the Army and 34th President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."