Foreign Policy Blogs

New START Comes to the Floor

Today the U.S. Senate will finally take up New START. There will be a lot of activity on this issue until the final vote as amendments are considered. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) believe they have enough votes to secure passage (which is to say, enough to prevent a filibuster), and The Hill reported last night that enough committed “yes” votes have been declared to justify that belief.  The treaty has come a long way in a short period of time; just a month ago its prospects appeared much weaker.

(Credit: Life; Google Images)

(Credit: Life; Google Images)

The effort by supporters to overcome resistance to the deal was significant and continued right up until today; just yesterday, a classified briefing was held on the subject for the benefit of undecided senators, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a letter endorsing the agreement to try to grease the bill through the Senate.

The Obama Administration considers New START the centerpiece of its Russia Reset policy, and the timing of this treaty was fortuitous for their plans to this end. New START was negotiated as a successor agreement to START I, which expired on December 5, 2009 as slated.



Ryan Haddad

Ryan Haddad is the Senior Blogger for U.S. Foreign Policy at FPA. A foreign affairs and national security analyst based in Washington, D.C., he worked in European and Eurasian affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Bush Administration and is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Providence College. He can be followed on Twitter at @RIHaddad.