Jan 31, 2023
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, and U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, today commented on the Biden Administration’s announcement that Russia is no longer in compliance with the New START Treaty.
“Two years ago, the Biden Administration naively agreed to an unconditional five-year extension of the New START Treaty with Russia, despite the Kremlin’s years of repeated violations of every other arms control agreement. Today’s announcement confirming Russia’s violations of the New START Treaty demonstrates that Moscow cannot be trusted to abide by any international agreement. Russia has proven that it will ignore any limitation it deems inconvenient be it a legally-binding treaty, or the internationally-recognized borders of its neighbors.
"Russia’s violations cannot go unchallenged. Allowing Moscow to pick and choose when and how it complies with treaty rules – especially while the United States adheres to these same rules without fail – is intolerable and unsustainable. Russia must be held accountable for its actions if the New START Treaty, or any future agreement, is to have any meaning at all. If these agreements cannot be enforced, then they do nothing to enhance U.S. security, and serve only to undermine it.
"This episode also highlights why we must continue to modernize our existing nuclear deterrent and adapt our future forces to meet the dual threats of Russia’s increasing aggression and China’s massive nuclear buildup. Rehabilitating our industrial base, replacing our aging strategic triad, and developing long-overdue enhancements to our current force – including redeploying a nuclear sea-launched cruise missile – are all crucial steps toward rebuilding an effective, credible deterrent.
"Taken together, these flagrant arms control violations by Russia, strategic breakout from China, and our own diminishing nuclear deterrent signal severe peril ahead unless quickly countered. We are entering the most dangerous period since the Cold War, and we cannot afford anything but the most effective triad available.
"We urge President Biden to direct the Department of Defense to prepare for a future where Russia may deploy large numbers of warheads, well in excess of New START Treaty limits. We also urge President Biden to work with Congress to accelerate our efforts to modernize our nation’s nuclear forces and equip our military to meet the challenges posed by an ever more dangerous world.”