News / USA

US Defense Department Backs Quick Ratification of New START Treaty with Russia

Multimedia

Chris Simkins

Top Pentagon officials on Wednesday urged U.S. lawmakers to ratify a new nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty last April in Prague, to replace a 1991 treaty between their two countries.

Defense Department Undersecretary James Miller told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the new START treaty will not limit the U.S. from developing a missile defense system to guard against missile attacks by Iran, North Korea or any other country.

"The new START treaty does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses as possible nor does it add any additional cost or inconvenience. It enables this president and his successors to develop the missile defenses needed to defend the nation, our deployed forces abroad and our allies and partners from the threat of ballistic missile attacks," said Miller.

The treaty, if ratified by both sides, would reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals by 30 percent, leaving each side with about 1,500 strategic nuclear weapons. But opposition Republican Party Senator James Risch expressed doubts. He asked Patrick O'Reilly, the director of the missile defense agency, if Russia believed that under the treaty the U.S. could not defend itself or its allies using certain missile defense systems.  

RISCH: "Would you agree with me that is what that unilateral statement says?"
O' REILLY: "My understanding of the statement is that we would not develop a ballistic missile systems to counter their strategic balance of forces with us. The treaty does not limit my ability to develop the most cost effective missile defense as possible."

The Pentagon officials also told lawmakers that the longer it takes Washington to ratify the new arms control treaty with Moscow, the greater the uncertainty with understanding Russia's strategic weapons systems.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid