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

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border From Mexico

    In remote areas of the Sonoran Desert, which straddles the US-Mexico, thousands of migrants face arid desolation

    Video Recycling is Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    It's an ancient craft that stretches back millennia - but despite Lebanon’s trash crisis providing a lifeline, remaining glass blowers face an uncertain future

    Meet the Alleged Killer of Cambodia’s Kem Ley

    What little is known about former soldier, troublesome Buddhist monk and indebted gambler, raises more questions than answers

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora