The Obama and Medvedev governments finalized the terms of the new START treaty, a key nuclear arms reduction pact, in late March, but the battle for the possible passage of the treaty through the US Senate is just now starting to pick up, with growing efforts to organize opposition to the reduction of America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
The Heritage Foundation appars to be spear-heading this effort, with a new lobbying wing trying to collect signatures to oppose the effort, claiming that the treaty would be a “sign of weakness and timidity” and would destroy freedom worldwide. The lobby also makes copious references to Iran’s civilian program as a reason that America’s enormous nuclear arsenal can brook no reduction.
The pact as finalized by the two governments would reduce both of their arsenals by roughly 30 percent, and leaves open the controversial US missile defense systems, allowing only non-binding signing statements from both sides on the matter.
The treaty would replace the previous START treaty, which expired in December of 2009. That treaty, though calling for significant cuts in arms in its own right, is largely considered a failure, as neither nation ever got around to completing the cuts by the time the deal expired.