Today at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor for his entire second term, Stephen Hadley, called on the Senate to ratify the New START treaty. Hadley’s endorsement is another significant blow to Senator Jon Kyl and others on the far right who want to kill START.
HADLEY: I think you do need to see this treaty in context of really a 20 year effort spanning Republican and Democratic administration…This does provide some transparency, some predictability into the relationship and quite frankly it’s an indication of one more thing where Russia and the United States in their common interest to work together cooperatively and that’s an important contribution to the overall environment between Russian and US relations… so within this context its a logical next step… I think the treaty should be ratified and it’ll make a modest and useful contribution in this overall process.
Testifying alongside Hadley was General Brent Scowcroft, who was George Bush Sr.’s national security advisor, who also supports the treaty. These two Republican national security stalwarts join a long list of other senior Republican national security leaders including Secretaries Henry Kissinger, George Schutlz, James Baker, Colin Powell, and James Schlesinger. As Senator Kerry said this morning in his prepared statement:
This is our sixth hearing on the New START Treaty, and the degree of bipartisan support from the witnesses who have testified so far has been remarkable. Henry Kissinger recommended ratification because, he said, it is in America’s national interest. James Baker testified that the treaty appears to take our country in a direction that can enhance our national security, while reducing the number of nuclear warheads on the planet. William Perry said the treaty advances American security objectives, and James Schlesinger called ratification “obligatory.”
The fact is that almost all the Republicans that have served at the highest national security positions have come out in vocal support of this treaty. The New START treaty is the closest thing you have to a bipartisan consensus. The treaty is after all fairly modest, as it extends and updates the original START treaty that was the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
Yet just today the president of the Heritage Foundation came out in opposition to START and Senator Jon Kyl continues to spend countless time making politicized attacks on a treaty that Hadley noted was linked back to the arms-control efforts of Ronald Reagan. The START treaty is exposing a deep cavernous divide between the hawkish realism of traditional conservatives and the radical hyper-paranoid neoconservatism that want to in fact to build more nuclear weapons. It also demonstrates how far to the right the GOP in the Senate has moved, since opposition to this treaty, would put GOP Senators to the far-right of even Ronald Reagan.