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The Case for New START from the Joint Chiefs: "We Need It Badly"

During a briefing following the President, General James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is unequivocal on the the importance of ratifying the treaty on nuclear arms with Russia.

After the President's remarks on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and General James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stayed on to take questions.  Responding to a question about the New START treaty, General Cartwright made his position quite clear:

[O]n START, for me, all of the Joint Chiefs are very much behind this treaty, because of the transparency, because of the reality that both the United States and Russia are going to have to recapitalize their nuclear arsenals, both the delivery vehicles and the weapons.  To have transparency, to understand the rules by which to put structure to that activity, we need START and we need it badly.
I think the last piece of that that oftentimes gets overlooked when you’re thinking about START is that this is a relationship between our countries.  And in the context that Secretary Clinton just put forward, much more than just the nuclear is relying on this treaty.  This is no prohibitions to our ability to move forward in missile defense, which gives us a much better deterrent when combined with the offensive side as we move to the future.  A single mutual assured destruction approach to deterrence is just not relevant as we move into the 21st century.  We need this treaty in order to move in that direction.

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