What senator could be so fowl and so lame as to not vote for a fresh START? (Photo: John Feehery)
First of all, the term “lame duck” conjures unfair characterizations of gimpy fowl, who, despite their handicap, are still perfectly capable of contributing great things to the flock.
The same goes for outgoing reps in a “lame duck” session of Congress, who, despite not being invited to the Hill for another term, can still make enormous contributions to the nation.
For lame duckers in the waning days of the 111th United States Congress, the START treaty poses precisely this sort of opportunity.
The milestone measure has been awaiting Senate ratification ever since Presidents Obama and Medvedev put their John Hancocks to the agreement last April.
With only two months to spare in the 111th, it’s now or not-for-a-while for the pressing pact.
START, the largest arms reduction treaty in a generation, limits the overwhelming nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic nukes apiece.
Deployed means active, and strategic refers to the sort of nuke big enough to take out a beloved world city. the treaty doesn’t cover tactical nukes, nor does it require nukes to actually be destroyed; instead, they must be removed from their delivery systems and stored somewhere secure, preferably at room temperature.
Despite its relatively modest markdowns, the measure will reduce each country’s nuclear stockpile by a third, and open up both programs to more transparent inspections and verification. More