Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Guardian: US Senate approves nuclear arms control treaty with Russia

Vote on new strategic arms reduction treaty passes 71-26 after 13 Republicans and two independents vote with Democrats
The US Senate ratified an arms control treaty with Russia today that reduces the number of both countries' nuclear weapons, giving President Barack Obama a major foreign policy success in the closing hours of the outgoing session of the current Congress.

Thirteen Republicans broke with their top representatives in the upper house and joined 56 Democrats and two independents to provide the necessary two-thirds vote to approve the treaty. The vote was 71-26.

The accord, which still must be approved by Russia, would restart weapons inspections as successors to President Ronald Reagan have embraced his edict of "trust, but verify".

Calling the treaty a national security imperative, Obama had pressed for its approval before a new, more Republican Congress assumes power in January.

The Obama administration has argued that the United States must show credibility in its improved relations with its former cold war foe, and that the treaty was critical to any rapprochement. The White House is counting on Russia to help pressure Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

The new strategic arms reduction treaty (Start) – signed by Obama and the Russian resident, Dmitry Medvedev, in April – would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would establish a system for monitoring and verification. US weapons inspections ended last year with the expiry of a 1991 treaty.


  1. This is good for Obama. Especially as the article states: 'giving President Barack Obama a major foreign policy success'. Less nuclear weapons for both nations also means less chance of nuclear weapons being used!

  2. I agree with Rian, the reduction of military power can only be a good thing, and should help counteract the Security Dilemma, a further reduction of military strength can be seen in this link, as the Pentagon decides to cut $78bn from it's military budget over the next 5 years