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senate Bill S. 845

Should the U.S. Extend the New START Treaty for Five Years?

Argument in favor

It’s unclear how long it’ll take to negotiate a New START Treaty, and waiting too long, allowing the current treaty to lapse, or signaling that the U.S. isn’t committed to New START could be disastrous for the global nuclear order. Perceived lack of American commitment to START could also embolden Russian military adventurism, risking more situations like Crimea.

jimK's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
Absolutely, extend the START treaty. I grew up in the days of weekly “duck and cover” drills and within walking distance of MinuteMan missile silos, built within residential and highly populated city limits of Cleveland suburbs. I absolutely do not want my grandchildren to ever have to live under the doomsday mentality that dominated our country in those days- knowing that a nuclear conflict could, in mere minutes, easily become a life-extinction event. I don’t much care if one side or the other “cheats”, there are numerous ways to catch those that do. Nuclear weapon testing of any type is monitored globally and cannot go unnoticed. Anything we can do to prevent a re-escalation of this threat to humanity is mandatory. I never again want to hear that our defining defensive strategy is “mutually assured destruction”.
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IllWill's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
Maybe we should focus on reducing the number of weapons in the world such as nukes instead of increasing them. Everyone should want to live on a planet that isn’t endangered by the threat of nuclear Armageddon, but apparently this moronic President is only interested in building up our amount of weapons of war instead of promoting peace and stability.
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08/24/2019
Extending New Start buys the United States 60 more months, which should make the prospect of new, more comprehensive talks realistic. The six-and-a-half years until February 2026 is enough time to determine whether China will meaningfully engage in an arms control discussion, decide which new technologies should be in the scope of a new agreement, and agree on a new inspection regime. If potential Russian violations are of concern, an extension could be made conditional on Moscow’s compliance and engagement with the new process. However, the extension is not a substitute for other necessary steps that maintain the nuclear balance, including investing in nuclear modernization—recapitalizing the infrastructure to keep the U.S. triad safe and reliable. Extending the New Start Treaty until 2026 is the choice that will best serve long-term goals, as the extension can be used to improve the nuclear arms reduction regime, strengthen nuclear control and verification systems, and deliver important U.S. national security goals.
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Argument opposed

Since the New START Treaty took effect in 2011, Russia has developed new nuclear weapons that aren’t covered by it and adopted an aggressive nukes-first military policy that needs containment. Both of these issues need to be addressed in a new treaty that has more enforcement authority to verifiably reduce Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Gregory's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
You can not trust the Russians the Chinese or the Iranians or even the socialist democrats they are not looking out for the best interest of the american people. WIN Win win 2020 KAG
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Rick 's Opinion
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08/24/2019
What sense does it make to follow a one sided treaty?!?!
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Gopin2020's Opinion
···
08/25/2019
President Trump will negotiate a new treaty not just with Russia but China and possibly North Korea to. We don’t need Senator Menendeze’s Bill and I don’t recommend passage of it. Trump is the great negotiator and secure a far better treaty which can be enforced and monitored for violations. #MAGA
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 845?

This bill — the New START Policy Act of 2019 — would call for a five-year extension of the New START Treaty until February 2026. Were the president to determine that Russia is in material breach of the New START Treaty, this extension wouldn’t apply.

Impact

Nuclear proliferation; Russia; and the New START Treaty.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 845

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced this bill to keep the U.S. in the New START treaty as an effective arms control measure. In floor remarks at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing titled “The Future of Arms Control Post-Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty” in May 2019, Sen. Menendez said: 

“[I]t is vital the U.S. government re-emphasizes effective arms control as an integral part of nuclear deterrence and strategic stability.  That is why I, along with Senator Reed and Senator Warner, introduced the New START Policy Act of 2019 which calls for a five year extension of the treaty until February 2026 unless the President determines Russia is in material breach of treaty… Extending New START should be, in my mind, an easy decision. Intelligence Officials have explained how the Treaty's verification regime, including short-notice, on-site inspections at military bases and facilities, provide the United States with important insight into Russia’s core capabilities including its strategic nuclear delivery systems, warheads, and facilities.  The Commander of the United States Strategic Command, General John Hyten testified that he was a ‘big supporter of New Start’ and that the treaty ‘provides insights into the Russians capabilities which are hugely beneficial to him.’ It is very difficult to understand why the administration would discard the robust constraints, transparency, and verification measures of New START with nothing to replace them… To be clear - I welcome the administration’s efforts to expand the scope of arms control negotiations...[h]owever, given the challenges inherent in reaching new agreements with Russia and China, I strongly believe the limitations and verification measures of New START must remain in place while any such negotiation occurs, and this new initiative must not serve as an excuse for suddenly withdrawing from another international agreement. If new agreements can [be] reached[,] they should add[,] not subtract[,] from our existing arms control architecture.”

Arms Control Association director Daryl Kimball advocates for a five-year extension of New START. Kimball argues that there’s no chance a new agreement including China can be negotiated before the treaty expires in 2021 and adds

“It would [be] malpractice to discard New START in the hopes of negotiating a more comprehensive, ambitious nuclear arms control agreement with Russia and China and getting it ratified and into force.”

Before the June Group of 20 summit in Japan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he planned to push President Donald Trump for an extension to New START. Putin said that Russia was willing to agree to an extension, but that the Americans hadn’t shown any initiative on this issue. Simultaneously, administration officials say that Russia has also expressed an interest in multilateral arms control deals

Major General Vladimir Dvorkin, Chief Researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy, says it would be a “huge mistake” for the U.S. to not extend the New START Treaty:

“[If the U.S. doesn’t extend New START], they will lose access to full information about the state of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, for one. Second, the lack of an agreement on strategic weapons between the largest nuclear superpowers will undermine all the principles of global strategic stability. Given Washington’s possible withdrawal from the INF Treaty, it will mean the end of the nuclear proliferation control system.”

General Dvorkin stresses the need to not only prolong New START, but also to take the time to draw up a new document based on the changes that have occurred, and are anticipated to occur, to both Russia’s and the U.S.’ weapons stockpiles.

Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy at the Arms Control Association, argues that a strong administration commitment to New START is critical to the global nuclear order’s stability:

“Any effort to undo the agreement or suggest the administration is not interested in an extension or negotiating a new agreement to replace New START when it expires in 2021 would negatively impact U.S. security and negatively impact an already shaky global nuclear order.”

President Trump’s commitment to New START is tenuous. Since taking office, he’s described it as a “one-sided deal,” maintained the position that the U.S. should have more nuclear weapons than any other nation, and argued that the U.S. should be “top of the pack” in nuclear weapons capability until the world “comes to its senses” on nukes.” As of May 2019, Trump had committed the U.S. to withdrawing from the Treaty

According to two senior Trump administration officials, delegations from the U.S. and Russia met in late July to discuss arms control and the possibility of negotiating a new three-way nuclear weapons pact between Russia, China, and the U.S. Currently, while China is a signatory to various international weapons agreements, it isn’t part of any agreements limiting nuclear weapons.

Last Congress, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) argued that a renegotiation of New START is needed to limit Russia’s nuclear buildup:

“Under no circumstances should the United States agree to extend the New START Treaty beyond the current expiration in 2021 without drastic improvements to the deeply flawed deal negotiated by the Obama Administration. Over the past few years, we have seen Russia tout several new nuclear weapons delivery systems and it is unclear whether those systems will be bound by the limits of the treaty. Russia’s large stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons and belief that these weapons can be used as a part of an ‘escalate to de-escalate’ strategy is also extremely concerning. When these concerns are then viewed through the lens of Russia’s long-term violation of the INF Treaty, it is clear that extending the New START Treaty is not currently in the national security interest of the United States. That is why I introduced the Stopping Russian Nuclear Aggression Act. This bill prevents funding to extend the New START Treaty until the President certifies to Congress that Russia has agreed to verifiably reduce its stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons and include its new systems under the limits of the New START Treaty.”

This bill has two Democratic Senate cosponsors in the current Congress. Last Congress, it also had two Democratic cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. The Friends Committee on National Legislation supports this bill.


Of NoteThe New START Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011 and was supposed to reduce the nuclear arsenals of both America and Russia by a third by 2018. Under New START, the U.S. and Russia needed to meet the Treaty’s central limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018 (seven years from the date of its enactment into force) — which they achieved. The aggregate limits in the New START Treaty are:

  • 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments;
  • 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
  • 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

However, despite the New START Treaty, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review noted that Russia continues to possess significant nuclear and non-nuclear weapons capabilities in violation of the INF Treaty:

“Russia possesses significant advantages in its nuclear weapons production capacity and in non-strategic nuclear forces over the U.S. and allies. It is also building a large, diverse, and modern set of non-strategic systems that are dual-capable (may be armed with nuclear or conventional weapons). These theater- and tactical-range systems are not accountable under the New START Treaty and Russia’s non-strategic nuclear weapons modernization is increasing the total number of such weapons in its arsenal, while significantly improving its delivery capabilities. This includes the production, possession, and flight testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the INF Treaty. Moscow believes these systems may provide useful options for escalation advantage.”

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review further warns that Russia’s aggressive nuclear weapons use policy could lead to a conflict that ends in Russia’s, rather than the U.S. and NATO’s, favor:

“Most concerning are Russia’s national security policies, strategy, and doctrine that include an emphasis on the threat of limited nuclear escalation, and its continuing development and fielding of increasingly diverse and expanding nuclear capabilities. Moscow threatens and exercises limited nuclear first use, suggesting a mistaken expectation that coercive nuclear threats or limited first use could paralyze the United States and NATO and thereby end a conflict on terms favorable to Russia.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / rusm)

AKA

New START Policy Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to establish as United States policy that, pending confirmation of the Russian Federation's continued compliance with the New START Treaty, the United States should extend the Treaty through 2026.

    Absolutely, extend the START treaty. I grew up in the days of weekly “duck and cover” drills and within walking distance of MinuteMan missile silos, built within residential and highly populated city limits of Cleveland suburbs. I absolutely do not want my grandchildren to ever have to live under the doomsday mentality that dominated our country in those days- knowing that a nuclear conflict could, in mere minutes, easily become a life-extinction event. I don’t much care if one side or the other “cheats”, there are numerous ways to catch those that do. Nuclear weapon testing of any type is monitored globally and cannot go unnoticed. Anything we can do to prevent a re-escalation of this threat to humanity is mandatory. I never again want to hear that our defining defensive strategy is “mutually assured destruction”.
    Like (85)
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    You can not trust the Russians the Chinese or the Iranians or even the socialist democrats they are not looking out for the best interest of the american people. WIN Win win 2020 KAG
    Like (9)
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    Maybe we should focus on reducing the number of weapons in the world such as nukes instead of increasing them. Everyone should want to live on a planet that isn’t endangered by the threat of nuclear Armageddon, but apparently this moronic President is only interested in building up our amount of weapons of war instead of promoting peace and stability.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Extending New Start buys the United States 60 more months, which should make the prospect of new, more comprehensive talks realistic. The six-and-a-half years until February 2026 is enough time to determine whether China will meaningfully engage in an arms control discussion, decide which new technologies should be in the scope of a new agreement, and agree on a new inspection regime. If potential Russian violations are of concern, an extension could be made conditional on Moscow’s compliance and engagement with the new process. However, the extension is not a substitute for other necessary steps that maintain the nuclear balance, including investing in nuclear modernization—recapitalizing the infrastructure to keep the U.S. triad safe and reliable. Extending the New Start Treaty until 2026 is the choice that will best serve long-term goals, as the extension can be used to improve the nuclear arms reduction regime, strengthen nuclear control and verification systems, and deliver important U.S. national security goals.
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    Let’s solve the problem by addressing the root cause. Get the amateur out of the White House. Enough of the childish games, we need adults who aren’t obsessed with their own egos and pocketbooks running the country.
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    An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Was going to give you tax cuts but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    I grew up in the fifties where we would all in school go out into the hallways and sit away from doors, class rooms pulled their shades. Students waiting for the drill to end. Never knowing when the real bomb would drop. At least negotiating nuclear armament is a starting process bringing intelligent people to the table, so hopefully we will never have to run these drills again.
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    👍🏻👍🏻 Senate Bill S.845 AKA the New START Policy Act of 2019 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in agreement with and recommend the passage of the Senate Bill S.845 AKA the New START Policy Act of 2019 which would call for a five-year extension of the New START Treaty until February 2026. Were the president to determine that Russia is in material breach of the New START Treaty, this extension wouldn’t apply. It’s unclear how long it’ll take to negotiate a New START Treaty, and waiting too long, allowing the current treaty to lapse, or signaling that the U.S. isn’t committed to New START could be disastrous for the global nuclear order. Perceived lack of American commitment to START could also embolden Russian military adventurism, risking more situations like Crimea. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻S.845👍🏻👍🏻. 8.24.19..........
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    Why not give peace a chance?
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    Why is this even a question? Of course it needs to be extended. But my stupid and inept senators-tillis and burr, along with Moscow Mitch, blowhard Graham and idiotic Hatch with all their minions and henchmen will likely screw this up too!
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    Extend the START treaty.
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    Any treaty is better than no treaty. With something in place it may be easier to renegotiate. And, I don't trust trump not to antagonize and threaten.
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    Nuclear energy has not been harnessed safely and nuclear waste as well as proliferation of weapons irresponsible create an existential threat to humanity! Eliminating the use of nuclear energy until it is harnessed safely must be a priority for all governments world wide!! E& D should continue because technology will sooner or later render nuclear energy wastes inert and safe!! The non-proliferation treaties are good stop gaps ! But the reality of nuclear energy is that it poses a greater risk to our life on the planet than climate change!! As the vanguard of democracy in the free world it is up to us to lead by example!!
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    What sense does it make to follow a one sided treaty?!?!
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    A no brainier. Strumpfy, of course, will destroy this too.
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    I’m in agreement with IIIWiII statement below. With only one modification, tRump will never be a President, he’s proven over and over again he’s a Presidunce. Maybe we should focus on reducing the number of weapons in the world such as nukes instead of increasing them. Everyone should want to live on a planet that isn’t endangered by the threat of nuclear Armageddon, but apparently this moronic Presidunce is only interested in building up our amount of weapons of war instead of promoting peace and stability.
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    President Trump will negotiate a new treaty not just with Russia but China and possibly North Korea to. We don’t need Senator Menendeze’s Bill and I don’t recommend passage of it. Trump is the great negotiator and secure a far better treaty which can be enforced and monitored for violations. #MAGA
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    Hopefully the administration will have changed!! So we should save it so it would be one less thing to reinstate...
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    No arms race!
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    Keep the existing treaty while working to amend for new weaponry.
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