The residents of Nevada County California woke up yesterday morning to an op-ed on New START’s recent entry into force by yours truly. I’m sure it changed their lives. Here’s an excerpt:
In a political climate paralyzed by partisanship on other issues, the bipartisan vote of approval for New START demonstrates that it’s possible for Senators to put aside political differences in the name of the national interest. This bodes well for the Senate’s successful consideration of future national security issues, including the crisis in Egypt.
Nuclear weapons may have protected us during the Cold War, but today we live in a different time and face new dangers. Massive nuclear arsenals are useless against contemporary threats like terrorism, and they do not prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in other states. In the 21st century, reducing nuclear stockpiles, securing vulnerable nuclear materials, and banning nuclear testing will be the hallmarks of a more secure world.
New START is an important part of this effort, but it is only the beginning. The United States and Russia should take advantage of the momentum created by the approval of New START to push ahead on reductions in all types of nuclear warheads as soon as possible.
These next steps will not be easy. Opponents will be tempted to play politics with national security, as they did with New START. But the alternative is a more dangerous world.