Even with those events in recent memory, Foreign Relations chairman Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is ushering the treaty through the Senate, could not fathom why the United States would want the ability to defeat Russian missiles. During the same hearing at which Clinton brushed aside the request for the negotiating records, I asked Kerry, “Is it not desirable for us to have a missile-defense system that renders their threat useless?”
He said, “I don’t personally think so, no.”
In his March 1983 “Star Wars” speech, Ronald Reagan called upon members of the scientific community “to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.” The goal of New START, by contrast, is to ensure that the U.S. and Russia have an equal capacity to destroy each other.
Of course, the world has changed dramatically since Reagan gave that speech. Today, the United States must be vigilant about attacks that could come from many different points on the globe, not just Russia. Nations like Iran, Syria, and North Korea pose the greatest nuclear threat to the United States. New START dampens our ability to defend against missile attacks and makes America and her allies vulnerable to those rogue nations. It would be a mistake for the Senate to ratify it.
— Jim DeMint is a U.S. senator from South Carolina.