Ploughshares Fund Experts Applaud Senate Foreign Relations Committee "Yes" Vote to Improve American Security

Date: 
September 16, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 16, 2010
PRESS CONTACT: Kelly Bronk, (202) 783-4401, kbronk@ploughshares.org

Washington, DC – In a strong, bipartisan vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today passed the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), sending the treaty to the full Senate for consideration.

“Today’s overwhelming Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote demonstrates the broad, bipartisan support for the New START Treaty in the Senate,” said Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. “I applaud the members of the committee for putting national security above politics.”

“Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar did a superb job shepherding this treaty through committee in a difficult political environment,” said Rob Leonard, government affairs representative for Ploughshares Fund. “In a year of often fierce partisan debate, it is encouraging to see bipartisan agreement on national security.”

According to Cirincione, “The New START Treaty reduces Russian and U.S. deployed long-range nuclear arsenals to 1,550 warheads each. It is a modest, but important step toward reducing the nuclear threat and protecting America.” He noted that the treaty also contains a robust verification regime that will provide the United States with critical insight into Russia’s nuclear forces.

“The most important thing is getting U.S. inspectors back on the ground in Russia,” Cirincione said. “It has been 285 days without inspections of Russia’s nuclear weapons. This treaty extends and improves the verification regime developed by President Ronald Reagan. It takes ‘trust but verify’ into the 21st century.” Cirincione added that without inspections, over time, the loss of certainty between the U.S. and Russia can breed mistrust, which is especially dangerous when dealing with nuclear weapons.

“Retired military, former national security officials and tens of thousands of concerned citizens from Tennessee to Georgia to Utah joined forces with more than 50 non-governmental organizations in support of New START,” said Naila Bolus, executive director of Ploughshares Fund. “Their determined and persistent efforts helped Senators understand that the American people want this treaty.”

“The full Senate must act swiftly to ratify New START,” Cirincione said. “The national security benefits of the treaty are clear. The time to act is now.”

Ploughshares Fund is the largest grantmaking foundation in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to security and peace funding. For more information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/3m268qm.

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