The START Ratification Debate Guide

An overview of the New START ratification debate, arguments for and against

The debate over ratification of the New START agreement negotiated with Russia was complex and, at tiems, fairly intense. To provide a resource to nuclear policy specialists as well as to foreign policy generalists during this debate, PONI catalogued the main arguments made for and against ratification. These arguments are organized according to the following themes that emerged as areas of disagreement with respect to the treaty's merits:

1. New START and U.S. Deterrence

2. New START and Verification

3. New START and Counting Rules

4. New START and the International Community

5. New START and the Ratification Process

Even though New START was ultimately ratified, the debate about the future of U.S.-Russia arms control will undoubtedly continue as both sides look towards future agreements. A balanced record of the New START debate may therefore prove useful as prospects for a follow-on treaty are considered. We encourage readers to comment or e-mail PONI if you think there were additional objections or benefits to New START ratification that should be included.