Obama & Colin Powell Push For Ratification of the New START Treaty

By Jared

Dec 1, 2010 5:26pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: President Obama met privately in the Oval Office with General Colin Powell, and afterwards both men pushed for the ratification of the new START treaty with Russia in the Senate. The president first quipped that while he hates to “date him,” Mr. Powell has been involved with just about every arms-control treaty since there were arms-control treaties from the Reagan administration on. “He understands that a world without binding US-Russia arms-control treaties is a more dangerous world,” Obama said, “In the absence of START, without the new START treaty being ratified by the Senate, we do not have a verification mechanism to ensure that we know what the Russians are doing, and they don't know what we're doing. And when you have uncertainty in the area of nuclear weapons, that's a much more dangerous world to live in."   The president said that the relationship and trust built from the new START treaty spill over into other national security issues important to America. “Russia has cooperated with us on critical issues to our national security like Iran sanctions, transit to supply our troops in Afghanistan, working on securing loose nuclear materials,” he said. The administration has long cited former national security advisers, secretaries of Defense, secretaries of State, from both Democratic and Republican administrations to make the point that there is bipartisan support for this treaty. But Mr. Powell’s meeting and statement was meant to put an exclamation point on this, as the Senate battles this during the lame-ducks session. “It is important for us to make sure that we complete the evaluation process, we finish the debate and we go ahead and finish this up before the end of the year,” the president said. General Powell said he fully supports this treaty and hopes the Senate will ratify it as soon as possible. “New START is important because it continues this process, and it's especially important because at the end of last year we lost the verification system that we had under START I,” Powell said, “And this is the first time in all these years where we don't have these procedures in place. So we're not sure exactly what's going on within the Russian Federation. They're not exactly sure what's going on in the United States of America.” –Sunlen Miller

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