News / USA

Obama: New Russia Treaty a 'National Security Imperative'

President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting about the new START Treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (r) looks on, 18 Nov 2010
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting about the new START Treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (r) looks on, 18 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Audio

President Barack Obama is mounting an all-out push for U.S. Senate ratification of the New START nuclear treaty with Russia, calling it crucial for U.S. national security. The president summoned a bipartisan group of former White House officials to help efforts to gain ratification before the end of the year.

Seated with the president were Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with the Democratic chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry and Richard Lugar.

Also there were former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, James Baker and Henry Kissinger, former defense secretaries William Cohen and William Perry, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Senator Sam Nunn.

Calling ratification a national security imperative, the president said failure to do so would endanger the entire U.S.-Russian verification framework.

"If we do not, then we do not have a verification regime. No inspectors, no insights into Russia's strategic arsenal, no framework for cooperation between the world's two nuclear superpowers."

New START was signed earlier this year to replace the expired START treaty.  It would reduce U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear arsenals by as much as one third and provide mechanisms for verification by both sides.

During his just-completed Asia trip, Mr. Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that achieving Senate approval is his top foreign policy priority.

Though it has broad bipartisan support, New START has faced resistance from Republicans, such as Senator Jon Kyl, who assert it would harm U.S. missile-defense efforts, and not allow for adequate U.S. verification of Russian compliance.

Saying arms control treaties have not traditionally been a partisan issue in Congress, Mr. Obama noted he agreed to add $4.1 billion to upgrade the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure, to address Republican concerns. Delay, he said, is not an option.

"This is not about politics, it is about national security. This is not a matter that can be delayed. Every month that goes by without a treaty means we are not able to verify what is going on, on the ground, in Russia. And if we delay indefinitely, American leadership on nonproliferation and America's national security will be weakened."

New START ratification also is an important part of the president's "reset" of relations with Russia. Mr. Obama linked the treaty to a range of other issues, including Moscow's support for sanctions against Iran, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, securing vulnerable nuclear materials, and steps to enhance European security.

Senate ratification requires 67 votes in the 100 seat chamber where Democrats still hold a majority. When a new Congress convenes next year, Democrats would need to obtain the support of at least 14 Senate Republicans.

President Obama said he has assigned Vice President Biden to undertake a day-and-night effort to ensure that New START is ratified, adding he is confident in being able to get the Senate votes needed for ratification.



You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid