Washington D.C. – February 9, 2017 – In response to reports that President Trump denounced the New START treaty as one of President Obama’s “bad deals” in a call with President Putin, Jon Rainwater, the executive director of the United States’ largest peace organization, Peace Action, released the following statement:
“The President always imagines he can can artfully negotiate a ‘better deal.’ But New START enjoyed broad bipartisan support when it was ratified into law by the U.S. Senate. It’s made us all safer by reducing the number of nuclear weapons deployed by the two countries with by far the largest nuclear arsenals. To argue that this deal favors Russia is absurd. New START has identical obligations for both countries and garnered broad support from U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic officials.
“The fact that President Trump was unaware of New START is troubling. That Trump denounced the treaty as another one of Obama’s ‘bad deals’ just moments after needing to be told what the treaty was is nothing short of outrageous. Paired with statements like ‘let it be an arms race,’ President Trump’s remarks to Putin point to a dangerous and ill-informed attitude towards nuclear weapons that threatens to undermine decades of hard work to reduce the risk of nuclear war.”
Background: The New START Treaty has enhanced U.S. national security through targeted reductions in deployed nuclear weapons. The Treaty established lower limits for U.S. and Russian nuclear forces of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 700 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. It also limited to 800 the total number of deployed and non-deployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. The New START Treaty’s verification provisions has also given the U.S. visibility into Russia’s nuclear forces that enhances U.S. and global security.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.PeaceAction.org.