December 19, 2010

Statement from Senator Manchin Regarding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

Sen. Joe Manchin today released the following statement after he voted against the Risch amendment to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START):
“I did not support the Risch amendment because it needlessly put at risk the important strategic goals of the START Treaty. I am confident the Senate will advise the President on legitimate concerns about defensive weapons systems and not allow politics to kill this important treaty.
“Overall, I support the START Treaty because I believe it is vital to our national security, and I’m proud to join the strong bipartisan and public support for this treaty, which includes military and national security experts from both Republican and Democratic administrations.

“Finally, I urge all of my colleagues to support the START Treaty as it is a hallmark of the determination shared by the United States and Russia to improve international peace and security by reducing the number of nuclear weapons on both sides. The treaty will not impact our missile defense capabilities, and it will allow our inspectors access to pertinent information about Russia’s nuclear capabilities."
Additional Background Information Regarding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START):
·         New START provides the parties with seven years to reduce their nuclear arsenal, and the treaty will remain in force for a total of 10 years.
·         New START does not limit current or planned U.S. missile defense programs.
·         The treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the treaty. Measures under the treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the treaty also provides for the exchange of    telemetry.