Arms Treaty Stalled on Modernization Goals
A New York Times article looks at one of the pressing issues behind the standoff on START: nytimes.com
The standoff this week over ratification of a new arms control treaty centers on a simple phrase: nuclear modernization. Those two words conceal a little known, enormously ambitious plan to do nothing less than rebuild the nation’s atomic complex for the 21st century.
At stake in the stalled negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans is not only how much money to spend on the project but, more philosophically, what purpose should be served by building new complexes that can pump out more nuclear arms than ever.
In seeking Senate support for the so-called New Start treaty with Russia, the White House agreed to spend $85 billion over the next decade upgrading the nuclear weapons system, only to find itself stymied by resistance from unsatisfied Republicans.
The deal-making puts President Obama in the paradoxical position of investing vast sums in nuclear weapons even as he promises to put the world on a path to eliminating them.