Military and National Security Leaders Tell Senate to Ratify New START Quickly

The Consensus for American Security - a prestigious group of 43 military and national security leaders - sent an open letter today to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, urging them to prioritize the New START Treaty on the Senate agenda and to ratify it before the end of the year. The signatories clearly emphasize that the United States will be safer and more secure with the START Treaty in place, and that failure to ratify the Treaty would weaken the security of all Americans. These 43 national security leaders join a broad bipartisan consensus of leading experts and advisors on the merits of New START and the necessity of swift Senate action.  

The contents of the letter and the names of the signatories are reprinted below:

Dear Senator Reid and Senator McConnell,

As retired military officers and national security experts who have spent our careers dedicated to protecting the security of the United States, we respectfully request you commit to a full Senate vote on ratification of the New START Treaty before the end of this year.

Building on the vision of previous presidents from both parties, New START allows us to invest in the nuclear security priorities necessary to confront the threats of today and tomorrow. The treaty offers a streamlined and modern verification system that demands quicker and more transparent inspections and information exchanges, bringing new weight to “trust but verify.” With New START in force, America will be safer.

Currently, we have no verification regime to account for Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons. Two hundred and ninety seven (297) days have elapsed since American teams have been allowed to inspect Russian nuclear forces, and we are concerned that further inaction will bring unacceptable lapses in U.S. intelligence about Russia’s strategic arsenal. Without New START, we believe that the United States is less secure.

As part of the vast consensus of national security professionals who have endorsed New START, we respectfully call on the Senate to ratify the New START Treaty in 2010.


The Consensus for American Security

Brigadier General John Adams (U.S. Army)
Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State
Dr. Graham Allison, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense,
Mary Catherine Andrews, former Special Assistant to the President
Scott Bates, former Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee,
Samuel Berger, former National Security Advisor,
Dr. Coit Blacker, former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs,
Dr. Barry Blechman, former Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency,
Mark Brzezinski, former Director for Russian/Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council,
Ambassador Richard Burt, U.S. Chief Negotiator in the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks
Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw (U.S. Marine Corps, Ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney (U.S. Marine Corps, Ret)
Joe Cirincione
Nelson Cunningham, former Special Advisor to the President for Western Hemisphere Affairs,
Dr. Sidney Drell, former Deputy Director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory,
Major General Paul Eaton (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard Jr. (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Dr. David Gormley
Vice Admiral Lee Gunn (U.S. Navy, Ret.)
Chuck Hagel, former Senator (R-NE)
Dr. Morton Halperin, former Special Assistant to the President
Major General Marcelite Harris (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Gary Hart, former Senator (D-CO)
Lieutenant General Arlen “Dirk” Jameson (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, PhD (U.S. Army)
Dr. David Kay, former IAEA/UNSCOM Chief Nuclear Weapons Inspector
Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Dr. Geoffrey Kemp, former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs,
Colonel Richard L. Klass (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Dr. Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Rear Admiral Rosanne M. LeVitre (U.S. Navy, Ret.)
General Merrill “Tony” McPeak (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Dr. Janne E. Nolan, Director of Nuclear Security for the American Security Project
Admiral William Owens (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Lieutenant General Norman Seip (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Ambassador Steven Pifer, former Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia of the NSC
George P. Schultz, former Secretary of State
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs,
Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs,
Strobe Talbott, former Deputy Secretary of State,
Lieutenant General James M. Thompson (U.S. Army, Ret.)