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

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid