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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. LUMMIS. I want to thank the gentleman from Montana for working with me on this amendment, which will prevent the United States from unilaterally disarming its nuclear arsenal.

The brave men and women of the 90th Missile Wing in Cheyenne, Wyoming, work tirelessly in keeping our land-based nuclear missiles on nearly 100 percent alert. This work is tremendously important because the notion that the U.S., by unilaterally disarming itself, will somehow convince aggressors to follow suit is dangerous thinking. It is precisely this kind of thinking that seeped into the New START Treaty.

I'm still trying to determine what the U.S. got out of the deal. We all know what Russia got. Russia got to bind us to a cap on our nuclear arsenal. But Russia can still expand its strategic arsenal. Russia can stack their bombers to the hilt with warheads and call it a single-delivery vehicle. Russia can deploy an unlimited number of tactical nuclear weapons that are constantly pointed at our allies in Europe. Russia can develop new long-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. That's right, new nuclear platforms, including those capable of reaching the United States from the air and sea, don't ``count'' under the New START Treaty. The only things that ``count'' under the New START Treaty are the platforms on which the United States has a strategic advantage.

New START is a terrible deal for the United States--a mess that we're trying to clean up with our amendment. If the United States keeps making bad deals like this, we risk losing the faith of our allies who rely on our nuclear umbrella. Those who have been content with our protection might think twice about whether it might be in their interest to have nuclear arms of their own. Nations who a few years ago would never imagine being able to compete with the United States might start thinking about trying to compete with us.

This is the reality. This is the danger of unilateral disarmament. And this is why you should vote for our amendment.


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