Today, five former Republican secretaries of state urged Republicans in the Senate to ratify the new START treaty:
"It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago. It reduces the number of nuclear weapons that each side deploys while enabling the United States to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent and preserving the flexibility to deploy those forces as we see fit. Along with our obligation to protect the homeland, the United States has responsibilities to allies around the world. The commander of our nuclear forces has testified that the 1,550 warheads allowed under this treaty are sufficient for all our missions - and seven former nuclear commanders agree. The defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Missile Defense Agency - all originally appointed by a Republican president - argue that New START is essential for our national defense."
Yesterday, however, Kyl, who once complained that the Obama administration wasn't moving fast enough to extend those verification procedures, made ratification of the START treaty contingent on extending $700 billion in tax cuts for top earners, suggesting that if no deal was reached on the cuts by Monday, there wouldn't be any time left to deal with START.
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