Words of Wisdom from America’s Military Leaders. Again.
Posted by Kelsey Hartigan
Over the past week, leading uniformed officials have continued to urge the Senate to ratify New START. There is a reason the tide has turned and additional GOP senators have gone on record to say they will support New START: The treaty has the entire support of the United States military leadership. Despite desperate attempts to drag this debate into partisan waters, New START has the bipartisan support it needs. So take heart, America – there is at least two-thirds of the United States Senate that won't put politics above national security.
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense: “I strongly support the Senate voting to give its advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty this week. The treaty will enhance strategic stability at lower numbers of nuclear weapons, provide a rigorous inspection regime including on-site access to Russian missile silos, strengthen our leadership role in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and provide the necessary flexibility to structure our strategic nuclear forces to best meet national security interests.”
Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “The Joint Chiefs and I are confident that the treaty does not in any way constrain our ability to pursue robust missile defenses… I continue to believe that ratification of the New START Treaty is vital to U.S. national security. Through the trust it engenders. The cuts it requires, and the flexibility it preserves, this treaty enhances our ability to do that which we in the military have been charged to do: protect and defend the citizens of the United States. I am as confident in its success as I am in its safeguards. The sooner it is ratified, the better.”
Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, Commander of Global Strike Command, the command that oversees the Air Force's nuclear enterprise: "I think the START Treaty ought to be ratified and it ought to be ratified right now - this week… I think it's absolutely essential that we reestablish that cooperative, collaborative relationship and the START Treaty is the core, the nexus, around which that dialogue can take place. That's why I'm such a strong supporter and think the treaty ought to be ratified.”
Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “All of the Joint Chiefs are very much behind this treaty, because of the transparency, because of the reality that both the United States and Russia are going to have to recapitalize their nuclear arsenals, both the delivery vehicles and the weapons. To have transparency, to understand the rules by which to put structure to that activity, we need START and we need it badly.”