Clinton Gates Mullen Testify For Passage Of Start Treaty

05.19.10 | FL News Team

Two leading members of President Obama's cabinet and the nation's top military leader are pressing for passage of the new START treaty with Russia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on behalf of ratifying the pact. Clinton says the new treaty will make the U.S. more secure and is in the best interest of the country. She said it will provide transparency and will bring nuclear arsenals sized for the Cold War into the realities of the current day. The secretary said it strengthens the U.S.'s hand in convincing Iran and North Korea to restrain their nuclear ambitions. Clinton stressed that nothing in the new START agreement constrains the U.S. missile defense system.

 Gates echoed Clinton's testimony, saying the U.S. is far better off with the treaty than without it. Admiral Mullen was also strongly in favor of ratifying the agreement with Russia, saying it was a very meaningful step forward in U.S.-Russian relations. Mullen told Senate lawmakers the deal was "the right thing for us to do, and we took the time to do it right." He said it allows the U.S. to retain sufficient missile capability and to deflect rogue states. The agreement was recently signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [[ mehd-V(y)EHD-yehf ]]. It must be approved by Congress before it can go into effect.