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Isakson Supports START
Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 21-- U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced he will support a procedural vote to end debate on the strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia known as New START and will vote to ratify the treaty.

“Only through setting the example, without giving in or capitulating a thing, do we give hope to the future that my grandchildren and yours can live in a world that will not be free of nukes but will be secure; that loose nukes are not in the hands of bad people; and we have transparency and accountability while still having the capability to secure ourselves both offensively and defensively to ensure the security of the people of the United States of America,” Isakson said.

Isakson supports the New START treaty, because it in no way hinders the ability of the United States to move forward with a robust missile defense system. Furthermore, the Russian unilateral statement made on April 7, 2010, does not impose a legal obligation on the United States. The resolution of ratification also ensures modernization and maintenance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal as well as the unfettered ability of the United States to deploy missile defense.

“From 1991 to 2009, the United States had transparency. It had verification. It had cooperative communication back and forth between the two countries that controlled 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world,” Isakson said. “Verification is better than no verification at all; that inspections and transparency are what prohibit things like what happened on 9/11 from ever happening again, and that you can never expect multilateral negotiations with other countries that have some degree of nuclear power if the two greatest powers refuse to sit down and negotiate and extend the understanding they have had since 1991.”

Isakson actively participated in all Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on this issue. He also met with numerous experts on both sides of the issue to discuss the New START treaty and the Obama administration’s nuclear posture review.

The New START treaty has received support from many current and former members of the United States defense community. Former national security leaders from the past seven administrations have voiced their support for New START, including former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and James Baker. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush all signed and ratified arms control treaties with Moscow during their administrations. 

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