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Obama admn asks Congress to ratify START Treaty

Prz Obama dispatched 3 of his top officials to make a convincing case for a Congressional ratification of the New STRAT treaty.



Washington: President Barack Obama on Tuesday
dispatched three of his top officials, including Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates, to
the Capital Hill to make a convincing case for a Congressional
ratification of the New STRAT treaty with Russia that proposes
to reduces the nuclear stockpiles of the nations by one-third.

Arguing that the new START treaty will make the United
States more secure, Clinton said this treaty also reflects
America`s growing cooperation with Russia on matters of mutual
interest, and it will aid them in advancing their broader
nonproliferation agenda.

"Some may argue that we don`t need a new START treaty.
But the choice before us is between this treaty and no treaty
governing our nuclear-security relationship with Russia,
between this treaty and no agreed verification mechanism on
Russia`s strategic nuclear forces, between this treaty and no
legal obligation for Russia to maintain its strategic nuclear
forces below an agreed level," she said.

It is a treaty that, if ratified, will provide
stability, transparency and predictability for the two Nations
with more than 90 per cent of the world`s nuclear weapons, she
said, adding that by bringing the new START treaty into force,
"we will strengthen our national security more broadly,
including by creating greater leverage" to tackle a core
national security challenge, nuclear proliferation.

Gates said this treaty reduces the strategic nuclear
forces of the two nations in a manner that strengthens the
strategic stability of their relationship and protects the
security of the American people and their allies.

"America`s nuclear arsenal remains a vital pillar of
our national security, deterring potential adversaries and
reassuring allies and partners," he said.

"Under this treaty, we retain the power to determine
the composition of our force structure, allowing the United
States complete flexibility to deploy, maintain and modernise
our strategic nuclear forces in a manner that best protects
our national-security interests," Gates said.

"The chiefs and I believe the new START treaty
achieves important and necessary balance between three
critical aims. It allows us to retain a strong and flexible
American nuclear deterrent. It strengthens openness and
transparency in our relationship with Russia. It also
demonstrates our national commitment to reducing the worldwide
risk of nuclear incidents resulting from the continuing
proliferation of nuclear weapons," Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Senator John Kerry said the New START significantly reduces
the number of warheads, missiles and launchers that the US and Russia can deploy, eliminating surplus Cold War armaments as they turn to face the threats of the 21st century.

The implications of this treaty extend far beyond
US-Russian relations, he said, prominent among these include,
Afghanistan and Iran.

"Today, far more than in recent years, those nations
are rallying behind the United States and its efforts to
lessen the nuclear threat. New START has already helped us to
isolate Iran and deflect its efforts to cast the United States
as the threat to the NPT," he said.

"I firmly believe that the central limits establishing
this treaty and the provision that allows each side the
freedom to determine its own force mix provides us with the
necessary flexibility to field the right force structure to
meet the nation`s needs," Mullen said.

"We plan to retain our triad of bombers, ballistic-
missile submarines and land-based intercontinental ballistic
missiles in sufficient diversity and numbers to assure
strategic stability between ourselves and the Russian
Federation. We will also maintain sufficient capability to
deter other nuclear states," Mullen said.

Post new START, US to start negotiations with other N-powers

The US is contemplating
engaging China and other atomic powers for an arms reduction
treaty on the lines of the new START nuke cut agreement it
recently inked with Russia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
said on Tuessday.

"We want to explore beginning with other nuclear
nations starting with China and see what kind of opportunities
for discussions could exit," Clinton said in response to a
question at Congressional hearing on New START treaty convened
by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"We believe that the treaty history between the United
States and Russia is the bedrock of disarmament.
We believe that in the current environment, in which
we are putting forward this treaty, it strengthens our hand in
talking with other countries that have nuclear weapons," she
said.

"The fact is that as far as we know in the world, we
got a pretty good handle on it, the United States and Russia
have got 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world.
We want to, as we said in the NPR posture review, we
want to explore beginning with other nuclear nations starting
with China and see what kind of opportunities for discussions
could exit," Clinton said.

The US and Russia have a pretty good history of
these discussions. But we need to begin similar discussions
with others. We go into those with a credibility that this
treaty gives us, Clinton argued.

"The treaty is now not only on its merit, but also
it gives us the credibility to go and talk with others nuclear
armed countries.

It also gives us the credibility to reach agreement
as we now have on a resolution in the United Nations with
countries that are concerned about proliferation as
represented by Iran," Clinton said.

PTI

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