News / USA

    European Support for New Nuclear Treaty More Certain than Senate Ratification

    Robert Raffaele

    U.S. President Barack Obama's push for ratification of a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia by the end of the year faces an uncertain future. European leaders at the recent NATO summit in Portugal offered their support. But here in Washington, Mr. Obama faces resistance from opposition Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

    The White House says the clock is ticking on America's security.

    "It is a national security imperative that the United States ratify the new START treaty this year," said President Obama. "There is a no higher national security priority for the lame duck session of Congress. The stakes for American national security are clear and they are high."

    Several former U.S. secretaries of state and defense back Mr. Obama's effort to finalize a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia.

    Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also described the need in stark terms.

    "For anyone to think that we can postpone it, or we can avoid it, is, I'm afraid, vastly underestimating the continuing threat that is posed to our country," she said.

    Last April, Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new START treaty.  
    It would reduce each country's long-range nuclear arsenal by as much as 30 percent.

    The president has urged the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty by the end of the year, but he is not certain of the 67 votes needed in that chamber.

    Recent victories in mid-term elections helped Republican lawmakers to narrow the Democratic Party's majority in the Senate.

    Some say those numbers make Senate ratification of the treaty even less likely, once the new Congress convenes in January.

    Roy Blunt is among incoming senators seeking to delay a vote until then.

    "This is a critically important issue for the country," he said. "If it was so important it should have gotten done,  they should have gotten it done."

    The European Union and Russia are urging the United States to ratify the new treaty, which replaces the 1991 START agreement that  expired in December.

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    "A delayed ratification of the START treaty will be damaging to the overall security environment in Europe," he said. "So we strongly urge both parties  to ratify the START treaty as early as possible."

    But James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says those European voices do not give Mr. Obama any leverage in the Senate.

    "First of all this treaty's been out there for months. If people in Western Europe were really excited about this treaty, they would have said something before now," said Carafano. "In terms of the calculus of shifting how senators will vote on this treaty, I don't think anything that happened in Lisbon really matters."

    Carafano says the treaty gives Russia too much freedom to modernize its weapons - an advantage he says Washington does not seek.

    "This president [Obama] has never, ever said that he is going to modernize the American nuclear arsenal," he said. "As a matter of fact he has openly declared that he is not going to do that. Now what he's talked about is putting money into the nuclear infrastructure that supports the nuclear arsenal. That's not modernization."

    Carafano also dismissed NATO's announcement in Lisbon that Russia agreed to cooperate with the alliance on missile defense.

    President Medvedev stopped short of fully endorsing the Europe-U.S. missile defense shield, aimed at protecting Europe against a possible attack by Iran.

    He said the Kremlin needs more details about the system.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.