12/18/2010 12:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Any Republican Senator Voting for START Should Get a Primary Challenger

There are some issues that are too important to overlook on Election Day. Defending our national security is one of them. Voting to implement the new START treaty in its current form is not only dangerous for Americans' security but will send a strong signal to President Obama that he can continue to dilute U.S. defense capabilities. Make no mistake about it, senators voting for the new START treaty give their support and acquiescence to President Obama's weak national security policies. Obama has shown a willingness to dismantle missile defense programs, weaken American consequences for rogue nations' non compliances with international demands, decrease naval readiness and neglect developing international threats. Republican Senators who vote to approve of President Obama's weak negotiation strategies deserve to be challenged in a primary election and defend their inattentive national security votes. Democratic senators, too, should think long and hard about supporting a new START Treaty with Russia that is riddled with red-flags:

  1. With Iran and North Korea testing and building offensive capabilities, should the U.S. be limiting ours'?
  2. The U.S. and Russia already disagree about what the treaty says about U.S. missile defense development.
  3. The treaty's pre-amble guarantees Russia a strong missile defense program.
  4. Russia seldom abides by its international commitments, see Iran sanctions, and so solid verification systems are crucial.
  5. Internal State Department memos highlight Obama's proclivity for ending strong missile defense shields altogether.
  6. Russia's Georgia example.
  7. No treaty has ever been ratified in a lame duck session.
  8. Russia is financially broke; it can't afford to build up its capabilities like it once could.
  9. Putin is already threatening the U.S. if the treaty is not ratified -- is this a "partner" we should deal with on nuclear issues?
  10. Obama failed to negotiate real verification methods to understand and ensure Russia's compliance with the treaty.
It is ironic that the same week that the Obama administration launched a public education program to instruct Americans to get indoors in the event of a nuclear weapons attack they are also trying to push through a major reduction in American military capabilities. Is the Obama administration's new emphasis on surviving a weapons attack a natural extension of his naïve and trusting nature? Senators voting to "rush and not verify" U.S. national security issues in a lame duck session of Congress during the week of Christmas should face harsh judgment from voters. Democratic senators will be defined by their Republican challengers as weak on national security and Republican senators should be prepared to face a primary challenge from a more responsible and thoughtful candidate.