I listened to the Assistant Secretary of State, Rose Gottemoeller, discuss and answer questions about the new SALT treaty on Washington Journal this morning.
I think the Republicans should rise above their political 2012 agenda and fulfill their oath of office via studying this treaty and deciding solely on the merits of the treaty which way they want to vote.
The most important aspect of the new SALT treaty is that it gives us the capability of having instant inspections wherein the Russians do not know when our inspectors are coming and do not know which site or which missile will be inspected. The US has a list of facilities in Russia that will be subject to inspections. There is support for this new SALT treaty in Russia.
This is extremely important and will prevent a cold war environment wherein actions are taken based on suspicion rather than on fact. It will also reinstate the inspections that have not been performed in over a year. I disagree with some Republicans who claim the treaty does not go far enough.
Many people may question the reason for the new SALT treaty since Russia is not a threat. The majority of the globally deployed nuclear weapons are owned by the US or Russia.
The other half of the equation is the combined effort of the US and other nations around the world to prevent nuclear material and weapons from ending up in the hands of terrorists. This is the topic of the international agreement achieved at a summit attended by President Obama.
During the past year, Russia has agreed to UN sanctions against Iran and has placed tighter controls on exports to Iran. Russia is currently engaged with the United States and NATO in providing a unified defense against nuclear threats.
Although I agree that Russia is on nobody’s side but it’s own, I think Russia’s cooperation is critical in the effort of global nuclear proliferation and the effort to prevent nuclear weapons from reaching the hands of terrorists.
This requires a world wide regulation of commerce to prevent the exportation of nuclear weapons and parts. There is a concern over the amount of nuclear parts being exported from North Korea to Iran.
The new SALT treaty was submitted to the Senate in April. Senate hearings were initiated in May. Over the summer, numerous Senate committees studied the SALT treaty. The full Senate must now consider the SALT treaty. If the SALT treaty is not voted on during the lame duck session of the Senate, the treaty will go back to the committee in January thus pushing the vote off for years. This would only deepen the suspicions that might lead to war.