Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement today following the Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty:
“This is an historic moment. New START is the biggest arms control treaty in 20 years, and the most important foreign policy action the Senate will take this Congress. It is absolutely the right thing to do -- it is important to our national security and our nuclear nonproliferation efforts, and it is critical to upholding America’s place in the world community.
Under this treaty our nuclear warheads are reduced to 1550 – a 30 percent reduction in warheads over seven years – and launch vehicles are reduced to 800 deployed and non-deployed. The real importance of New START comes from the monitoring provisions, the confidence building measures, and the strengthened relationship between two of the world’s major powers.
We have not had inspectors at Russian nuclear facilities for 13 months, or data exchanges on the size and deployment of Russian forces. Russia has had the freedom to block our national technical means to monitor their forces.
With this Treaty, we will benefit from these measures and others. This Treaty greatly strengthens our Intelligence Community’s ability to monitor and assess Russian strategic forces.
With the ratification of this Treaty, the Senate also makes clear that the United States is willing and able to make good on its foreign policy promises and to act in the best interests of our country and of the world.
The ratification also maintains and will build upon the improving relationship between our two countries and our two young presidents. And following ratification in the Russian Duma, the United States and Russia will begin the next round of arms control and transparency.
We’ve enjoyed strong cooperation with Russia this year, over Afghanistan, over Iran, and over the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. In a world of asymmetric threats, we need friends and allies more than ever. This Treaty moves us in this direction – with Russia, the Eastern European nations and our other allies strongly in support of the Treaty.”