Apr
16

The New START: A Non-Starter for National Security

By Terry Turchie

The President signed a new START treaty this week to “curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons and material.” He had the support of China, Russia and several dozen other countries, and they all insist this new treaty will go towards preventing nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Sadly – and this is what makes it a non-starter – the treaty lacks any enforcement mechanism whatsoever. Ensuring compliance with its terms will be up to each individual country. In our view (and based on long experience in FBI counterintelligence), It’s ridiculous to expect that pretty words about cooperation in a treaty that relies on voluntary compliance are going to protect America from al-Qaeda terrorists bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and using them in a future attack.

North Korea, Syria, and Iran- some of the world’s most dangerous and notorious state sponsors of terrorism – weren’t at the meeting. Neither was Israel, which has repeatedly been threatened with nuclear annihilation by Iran.

This is only the latest in a series of foreign policy moves where the Obama Administration appears to contradict its own insistence that America’s security is its paramount concern.

A few weeks ago the President made it a point to publicly rebuke Israel, America’s staunchest middle-eastern ally, for continuing to build settlements in the West Bank.

When thousands of Iranian citizens took to the streets to courageously confront their government during the recent elections there, the President refused to give their cause his express support. This was an important opportunity to bring about constructive changes in Iran by recognizing and supporting the will of its people against tyranny and intolerance. Now Iran’s government is as secure as ever, having prevailed over citizen protests and rounded up some of those who protested.

By giving the American military a deadline to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, as he did in his speech at West Point prior to the military build-up, the President injected a note of serious doubt as to America’s commitment to that fight. Yet, our actions overseas in association with our partners in this fight are critical in preventing both international nuclear proliferation and terrorist attacks – nuclear or non-nuclear – on Americans at home and abroad.

We worry that the cumulative effect of all these actions seriously undermines America’s ability to attack terror in all its forms.

Once again, the endless partisan bickering and posturing on these issues make for a lot of media sound bites about the importance of protecting America, while ignoring the effects of false STARTS on U.S. military and counterterrorism personnel who are actually on the front lines of that fight.

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