News / USA

Obama, Colin Powell Urge New START Approval

President Barack Obama talks with reporters after his meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powel (l) on the importance of ratifying the New START Treaty, 01 Dec 2010
President Barack Obama talks with reporters after his meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powel (l) on the importance of ratifying the New START Treaty, 01 Dec 2010
Kent Klein

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined President Barack Obama in urging the Senate to ratify the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. Powell is the latest Republican to call for a "yes" vote.

As a top official in several Republican administrations, Colin Powell has worked on numerous arms control treaties over the past 25 years.

Powell called on the Senate to ratify New START, as he met with President Obama at the White House Wednesday. He said the treaty will make the world safer, as the previous agreements have.

"As a result of these treaties, we have both benefited, both the Russian Federation now and the United States of America," said Powell. "But the world has benefited by having fewer of these horrible weapons in existence. And we hope that we can continue this process."

If ratified, the New START treaty would limit the United States and Russia to 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 launchers each.

Under the agreement, both countries would resume inspections of each other's nuclear facilities, which stopped last December when the START One treaty expired. The president says the lack of verification makes approval of the new treaty even more urgent.

"We do not have a verification mechanism to ensure that we know what the Russians are doing," said President Obama. "And they do not know what we are doing. And when you have uncertainty in the area of nuclear weapons, that is a much more dangerous world to live in."

Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the treaty last April in Prague.

Some opposition Republicans in the U.S. Senate are refusing to vote for the agreement, due to concerns about some of its provisions. The president says his administration has addressed those concerns, and it is time for the lawmakers to act.

"We have had 18 separate hearings," said Obama. "We have answered over a thousand questions. We have offered to brief every single Senator, Republican and Democrat, around these issues, but now it is time to get this done."

Reluctant Republicans, led by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, say New START does not provide enough money to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and would weaken American missile defense.

Powell says while the treaty is not ideal, it is more than adequate in those areas.

"The president has indicated to the Senate, and especially to Senator Kyl, that a significant amount of money will be invested in the reliability and modernization of our systems and our facilities," he said. "And that is very, very important."

All 42 Republican Senators Wednesday signed a letter to the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying they will not pass any legislation until a bill to cut taxes is passed.

Mr. Obama said he is confident a tax cut deal can be reached.

Powell has joined four other Republican former secretaries of state, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Henry Kissinger, in writing an opinion piece for Thursday's Washington Post newspaper, urging the Senate to ratify New START.

He and the president also discussed North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs