Senate Report on the New START Treaty

11.16.10 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The rationale for the New START Treaty between the United States and Russia on reductions in nuclear weapons was addressed at length in an October 1 report from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  On September 16, the Committee recommended ratification of the Treaty, which awaits consideration by the full Senate.

The 141-page Committee report (large pdf) explained the terms of the Treaty, its verification, its implications for missile defense and prompt global strike, and related subjects of concern or controversy, with dissenting views from opponents.  See “Treaty with Russia on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (The New START Treaty),” Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) executive report 111-6, October 1.

The Senate Committee action was welcomed by many Russian officials as a harbinger of possible Treaty ratification by the end of this year. But other senior Russian officials criticized the Committee’s handling of the Treaty, as noted in a recently updated report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service:

“On November 3, 2010,… State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Kosachev stated that his committee would reopen hearings to discuss the ramifications of the action by the SFRC. He alleged that many of the conditions, understandings, and declarations in the resolution of advice and consent to ratification proposed by the SFRC are ‘deeply worrisome’ to many Russian Duma members, and stated that not only the synchronization of the ratification was necessary, but also the formulation of Russian statements to address those raised by the SFRC. He also raised concerns that a shift in party control in the U.S. Congress could delay or derail U.S. Congressional action on the treaty.”

See “Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests,” Congressional Research Service, November 4, 2010.