If a handful of U.S. senators succeed in their efforts to block ratification of the New START treaty this year, it could fray hard-earned Russian support for tough sanctions on Iran and disrupt important strategic initiatives more generally.
While the lame duck U.S. Senate was dithering and dissembling last week over ratifying a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, Kazakhstan took a giant step towards preventing nuclear terrorism and making the world safer.
Whether nuclear weapons are to be dramatically reduced to more manageable levels or eliminated altogether, the New START agreement is a crucial building block. It deserves bipartisan support in the Senate.
By any measure, the new START agreement is a good treaty that should be promptly ratified. So it's disheartening to hear some in the Senate suggest they may hold it hostage to additional, unnecessary conditions.
As President Obama heads to Russia, stove-piping is blocking what could be a major multifaceted deal. The main negotiations in preparation for the president's visit are taking place in tightly controlled compartments.