Five former secretaries of state make Republican case for New START Treaty


Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Colin Powell — secretaries of state under the last five Republican presidents, respectively — co-authored THIS PIECE in today’s Washington Post.

A few excerpts:

Although each of us had initial questions about New START, administration officials have provided reasonable answers. We believe there are compelling reasons Republicans should support ratification.


Although the United States needs a strong and reliable nuclear force, the chief nuclear danger today comes not from Russia but from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea and the potential for nuclear material to fall into the hands of terrorists. Given those pressing dangers, some question why an arms control treaty with Russia matters. It matters because it is in both parties’ interest that there be transparency and stability in their strategic nuclear relationship. It also matters because Russia’s cooperation will be needed if we are to make progress in rolling back the Iranian and North Korean programs. Russian help will be needed to continue our work to secure “loose nukes” in Russia and elsewhere. And Russian assistance is needed to improve the situation in Afghanistan, a breeding ground for international terrorism.



  1. a777pilot

    Why not wait so that this Treaty can be judged by the 112th Congress? We did just have an election. Elections do have consesquences….or so I’ve been told.

  2. Craig Knauss

    For the life of me I understand why some of our Republican Congressmen would oppose a START treaty. And I cannot figure out why some of your local connies supported that position. As your article clearly states, it’s not only about U.S. and Russia nuclear weapons, but also about controlling rogue nations. When I was going to Murmansk, there were 90 retired Russian subs in the White Sea. While presumably all of them had their missiles and torpedoes removed, 70 of those subs still had fuel rods in their nuclear reactors. While the subs were too contaminated for the Russians to use, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t somehow fall into the hands of the North Koreans, Iranians, Libyans, or some other totally renegade group like al Qaida. Even if the vessels were not armed, they could still be dangerous by crashing them in some place like New York harbor.

    And for those chickenhawks who think the treaty would leave us defenseless or some similar nonsense, consider this: each of our Ohio Class submarines has 24 long-range ballistic missiles. Each ballistic missile has 8 independently targetable warheads. Each warhead is 475 kilotons (about 6 times the yield of the Hiroshima bomb). And we normally have about 6 subs at sea at any given time. Each one of those warheads can travel about 1/3 of the way around the earth and totally destroy a city the size of Milwaukee. And the Russians have a similar capability. And that is just the submarine launched warheads. Think about it.

  3. Craig Knauss

    Comment should have said, “For the life of me I cannot understand why some of our Congressmen….”

  4. a777pilot

    Then it will still be a good Treaty for the 112th Congress to review and vote on.

    All those nukes are there today and they will be there in a month, too.

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