The Corner

START the Debate, Stop the Name-Calling

The Left is desperately trying to convince us that Senate ratification of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is inevitable, but, as Henry Sokolski points out, the real debate is only beginning.

The Left has accused the treaty’s opponents of (among other things) suffering from a “bias problem,” implying that the perceived consensus in support of the treaty somehow overrides the value of an honest inquiry into its terms. Others say it is just a matter of the Right’s being politically contrarian, or just not liking arms control.

In fact, there is no consensus on New START. The objections that have been raised in recent weeks by skeptics are numerous, based on extensive experience in arms control and negotiating with the Russians — not to mention concerns about our national security. Indeed, a host of current and former senior policymakers have voiced their reservations about this treaty, including the former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency, Robert R. Monroe, who writes: “Ratification of New START would be a major mistake, immensely damaging to national security.”

Chiefly, experts are troubled that New START will lock America into all the wrong commitments at a time when the threat of nuclear and missile proliferation is actually growing (e.g. Iran), not receding. In addition, New START’s deficiencies include giving a lopsided strategic advantage to Russia, reminiscent of classic Cold War–era geopolitics; constraints on missile defense; and a reduction in the number of inspection visits at Russian sites, relative to revious arms-control agreements.

Now is not the time for tossing around hollow epithets; it is a time for addressing the problems in this treaty that will leave America less secure.

Peter Brookes is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More