Washington: A top Republican leader has appealed to the Obama Administration to initiate steps to contain the increasing military capabilities of China.
"We must invest not only in the delivery systems and
platforms that will preserve our nuclear delivery capability,
such as the next generation bomber, nuclear submarines and a
new Intercontinental ballistic missile, but also in the
strike aircraft and naval forces required to control the
Pacific Rim as economic growth and the military capabilities
of China increase," Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority
"The war on terror has required an expansion of our
nation`s ground forces, the Marine Corps, the Army, and our
Special Operations Forces, and our near-term readiness.
"As we continue the effort to dismantle, defeat and
disrupt al-Qaeda, we must also plan for the threats that our
country will face in the coming decades," McConnell said in
the Senate floor while announcing his opposition to the New
Although the (US) President has decided there is
value in pursuing a disarmament agenda, this country may
determine in the coming years to place a greater reliance upon
the role of strategic arms, and must remain committed to
defense modernisation, he said.
"Our nation faces many challenges in the coming
decades, some economic, some strategic. It would seem
short-sighted to think that as North Korea, Iran and others
work to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities we could draw our
arsenal down to zero," McConnell said.
He said a decision of this magnitude should not be
decided under the pressure of a deadline, referring to the
"The American people don`t want to squeeze our most
important work into the final days of a session. They want us
to take the time we need to make informed, responsible
decisions. The Senate can do better than to have the
consideration of a treaty interrupted by a series of
controversial political items," McConnell said.
The Republican leader said he agreed with the
conclusion that the New START Treaty central warhead limit of
1,550 cannot be conclusively verified.
"It allows the Russians to deploy missiles without a
standard or uniform number of warheads. The limited number of
warhead inspections provided for under this Treaty also limits
the access of our inspectors to an upper limit of three percent of the Russian force.
"It can thus be said that this treaty places higher
confidence in trust than on verification," he said.
As the State Department`s recent reports on arms
control compliance make clear, the Russians have previously
violated provisions of the START Treaty, the Chemical Weapons
Convention, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the
Biological Weapons Convention, McConnell said.
"This is a not a track record to be rewarded with
greater trust. It`s a reason to take our verification duties
even more seriously. Despite my opposition to this Treaty, I
hope the President remains committed to modernising the
nuclear triad," the Senator added.