The treaty agreement signed by President Obama and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev to scale back the weaponry of the world’s two greatest nuclear powers still requires ratification of both governments. New START has the U.S. military’s full backing and has been endorsed by the country’s leading voices on national security from across the political spectrum, including prominent Republicans. Here are eight statements worth noting:
1. Joint statement issued by George Shultz, former Secretary of State; William Perry, former Secretary of Defense; Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State; and Senator Sam Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
We strongly endorse the goals of this Treaty, and we hope that after careful and expeditious review that both the United States Senate and the Russian Federal Assembly will be able to ratify the Treaty.
2. Statement from Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The treaty enhances our ability to do that which we have been charged to do: protect and defend the citizens of the United States.
3. Statement from Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leader on nuclear reductions with Russia
I look forward to working quickly to achieve ratification of the new treaty.
4. Statement from Richard Burt, former ambassador to Germany and lead negotiator for the original accord under President George H.W. Bush
I was delighted to see the president not only focus on important steps that are contained in this treaty, but also focus on the need of follow-on negotiations to further reduce those weapons and continue toward the long-term goal of nuclear elimination.” Burt also said that Senate votes against the treaty would come from ”obstructionists and outliers in the goal of nuclear weapons reductions.
5. Statement from former Secretary of State Colin Powell in Nuclear Tipping Point, a documentary screened at the White House for President Obama (with many former secretaries of state and defense present)
This is the moment when we have to move forward, and all of us come together, to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and then eliminate them from the face of the earth.
6. Statement by Cardinal Francis E. George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in a letter to President Barack Obama
Based on a moral imperative to rid the world of nuclear weapons, the conference of bishops will be a steadfast supporter of strong and bipartisan action on the new treaty as an important and essential step toward a nuclear-free future. We will urge members of the U.S. Senate to come together across party lines to ratify the new START treaty.
7. Statement from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger also from the documentary Nuclear Tipping Point
Once nuclear weapons are used, we will be driven to take global measures to prevent it. Why don’t we do it now?
8. And finally, a statement from President Ronald Reagan
A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war. We must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of this Earth.