It seems that the START treaty is going to struggle to make it through the Senate, despite President Obama’s confidence that a swift passage is possible.
Today, Joe Lieberman (an independent these days, who caucuses with the Democrats) took to Fox News to claim that ratification would be impossible unless the administration extracted concessions from Russia on missile defence and began to build a new generation of nuclear weapons:
We have to make darned sure our nuclear warheads are capable, are modern as world leaders arrived in Washington for the start of a major nuclear summit. I’m going to be real hesitant to vote for this treaty unless we have a commitment from the administration that they’re prepared to modernize our nuclear stockpile.
For the Republicans, Lamar Alexander said there was ‘not a chance’ of ratification in 2010 – and that consideration of the treaty should wait until 2011.
What credibility does Obama’s nuclear strategy have if it lacks backing at home? Not much, I fear.