Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has become the face of GOP obstruction regarding President Obama’s push for the Senate to ratify the New START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia. Without the treaty in place, the U.S. has no legal authority to monitor Russia’s nuclear arsenal. And if New START isn’t ratified, not only will U.S.-Russian relations suffer but so will American credibility on issues such as Iran and nonproliferation. “The world’s nuclear wannabes, starting with Iran, should send a thank you note to Senator Jon Kyl,” the New York Times editorialized this week referring to Kyl’s obstruction. Today on MSNBC, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) urged Republicans such as Kyl to support the treaty and called on Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to hold a vote on it in this lame-duck session of Congress:
LUGAR: Please do your duty for your country. We do not have verification of the Russian nuclear posture right now. We’re not going to have it until we sign the START treaty. We’re not going to be able to get rid of further missiles and warheads aimed at us. I state it candidly to my colleagues, one of those warheads…could demolish my city of Indianapolis — obliterate it! Now Americans may have forgotten that. I’ve not forgotten it and I think that most people who are concentrating on the START treaty want to move ahead to move down the ladder of the number of weapons aimed at us.
For more on New START, read today’s Progress Report.