As in the case of the defense authorization bill, the ratification of the new START treaty is an issue that should be both non-partisan and, therefore, bi-partisan. The expiration of this treaty means a serious defect in U.S. foreign and defense policy, namely America’s inability to inspect Russian nuclear sites. In a day and age in which we don’t even know where all of the former world’s weapons grade nuclear material currently resides, every day this treaty goes without ratification is a day in which the American people – indeed the entire global population – is put at unnecessary risk.
Some members of the Senate advocate delaying consideration of this important international agreement until the next Congress is seated. Given that ratification of this agreement will surely be seen as a win for the Obama administration, leaving its consideration to the even more hyper-partisan 112th Congress seems to be an exercise in futility.
The Senate should not wait to ratify the START treaty. It should simply put aside partisan politics and take up this important agreement in the interest of protecting American national security. But even that, these days, might be too much to expect.