USA/Russland — Gates to Brief Senate on New START Treaty

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2010 — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates is slat­ed to go to Capi­tol Hill today to brief the full Sen­ate on the Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty that Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Dmit­ry Medvedev signed last month, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell told reporters today.

Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton, Ener­gy Sec­re­tary Steven Chu and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also are slat­ed to attend the brief­ing, he said.

“As demon­strat­ed by that brief­ing team, this treaty has broad inter­a­gency sup­port,” Mor­rell said.

Oba­ma and Medvedev signed the so-called “New START” treaty April 8, with both coun­tries pledg­ing to reduce their deployed, strate­gic nuclear weapons stock­piles. The treaty sets new lim­its on ready-to-use, long-range nuclear weapons and estab­lish­es com­pre­hen­sive ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures for both coun­tries to ver­i­fy which weapons the oth­er pos­sess­es. The goal of today’s brief­ing is to pro­vide sen­a­tors with an overview of the treaty and to answer ques­tions, Mor­rell said, not­ing the brief­ing is closed to the media. In a pod­cast record­ed ear­li­er this week, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the treaty “sig­nif­i­cant.”

Should the treaty be rat­i­fied by the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia, “it will result in a reduc­tion of nuclear weapons,” the chair­man not­ed.

From a mil­i­tary stand­point, the Unit­ed States will retain a strong nuclear capa­bil­i­ty based on the tri­ad of bombers, inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles and bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­marines, Mullen said. “That is sus­tained,” he added.

“We’re still able to deter; we’re able to sus­tain a very strong nuclear tri­ad,” the chair­man said. “I’m very sup­port­ive of how the treaty came out.”

The pro­posed treaty is a step toward Obama’s long-term goal to reduce and even­tu­al­ly elim­i­nate nuclear

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)