A Close Look at New START Critiques

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue

In a recent op-ed for National Review Online, former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Paula DeSutter offers some critiques of New START. She writes:

the Obama administration’s dismissal of the consequences of losing telemetry is misleading at best.… Had the administration deemed the data provided under START to be critical, they could have extended the START treaty until negotiations on New START were completed and it was ratified by the U.S. and Russia. Instead, they let START expire and negotiated against a deadline after making clear their desperate desire for getting an agreement…The lack of effective verification in New START is dangerous enough, particularly in light of the administration’s empty bluster regarding counting warheads for the first time and having identification numbers on missiles.

In a new ACA Issue Brief, Greg Thielmann rebuts DeSutter’s criticisms of New START:

  • Remember SORT?: DeSutter helped negotiate SORT, which did not have any verification procedures, and was “dismissive” of extending START I verification.
  • On-site Inspection: New START’s provisions for on-site inspection are both effective and efficient.
  • The Role of Telemetry: Due to New START’s different counting rules from START I, telemetry data is not required to verify Russian compliance.
  • Criticism of the Value of New START Rings Hollow: DeSutter’s critiques of New START and the Obama administration belie her and the previous administrations negotiating record.

Read the full Issue Brief here.

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