Better late than never? Sen. John Kerry comes out in defense of the Obama administration’s new START treaty with Russia following the drubbing by Mitt Romney, opening up what we expect will be a long, targeted offensive from the Republicans against the government’s Russia policy. From the Washington Post:
Romney’s claim that Russia can mount an unlimited number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on bombers is a strategic concept that was rejected in the 1960s because submarine-launched missiles were deemed far more effective. If Russia were foolish enough to pursue this path, we could either get the new weapons incorporated in the treaty or withdraw. His argument that the treaty abandons limits on multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles, known as MIRVs, is equally flawed; the Bush administration decided it did not care what missiles Russia retained when it negotiated the 2002 Moscow Treaty. Similarly, concerns about restrictions on converting launchers for ICBMs and those launched from submarines for missile defense purposes are misplaced because those conversions would be more expensive and less effective than alternatives and thus unnecessary.
New START will not constrain our ability to defend ourselves. On the contrary, it will improve our national security by reducing the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia, and by improving relations with our old adversary. Ratification will also show the international community that we are honoring our commitments on nonproliferation.
And then of course, the humor of someone with no plans to run for higher office again:
I have nothing against Massachusetts politicians running for president. But the world’s most important elected office carries responsibilities, including the duty to check your facts even if you’re in a footrace to the right against Sarah Palin.