Lt. Gen. Castellaw: Listen to Military on New START

Today in the Berthoud Recorder, a Colorado newspaper, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw wrote a powerful op-ed urging members of the Senate to take the advice of military officers and national security experts and ratify New START.

Castellaw is a member of the Consensus for American Security, an American Security Project initiative supported by Ploughshares Fund.  In his op-ed, Castellaw notes:

Over the last several months, America’s military leaders and national security experts—from both Republican and Democratic administrations—have testified before Senate committees, all with the same message: the treaty’s modest mutual reductions and strengthened verification regime improve our national security, and the Senate should ratify the treaty.

Castellaw also urges Senators to put national security above petty political concerns, saying, "The expert consensus is clear, and those who would disregard the facts and the advice of our nation’s military leadership in an attempt to make political hay do so at the risk of our national security."

As Senators weigh the upcoming New START vote, Castellaw asks them to keep in mind Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

For nearly 40 years, treaties to limit or reduce nuclear weapons have been approved by the U. S. Senate by strong bipartisan majorities. This treaty deserves a similar reception and result – on account of the dangerous weapons it reduces, the critical defense capabilities it preserves, the strategic stability it maintains, and, above all, the security it provides to the American people.