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Some defenders of the treaty have pointed out that Russia lacks the money to expand its nuclear arsenal beyond the 1,550 limit in New START.

Many Senate Republicans oppose voting on treaty ratification this year because there is no precedent for approving a major treaty during a lame-duck session. Another reason is that Republicans have been denied access to the transcript of the Obama administration’s negotiating record, which congressional aides say could show secret concessions or understandings.

The Obama administration has countered that it has complied with almost every information request from Senate Republicans.

The administration countered treaty critics’ arguments by pointing out that there is no verification of Russia’s nuclear arsenal today.

“We have no verification without a treaty about what’s going on in Russia’s nuclear program,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday on NBC. “So I think whether you’re already convinced or can be convinced, I think we want to get our inspectors back on the ground, and the only way to do that is by ratifying this treaty.”

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said: “There is a flaw in Sen. Bond’s logic. Without the treaty, we have absolutely no means to monitor the warhead loadings on Russian missiles. The treaty provides for a large number of on-site inspections that allow the United States to spot-check Russian missile loadings and deter any militarily significant cheating.”

The break-out and verification elements of the treaty were analyzed in a national intelligence estimate submitted to Congress in July. This highly classified document, according to sources familiar with its content, calls for greater investment in overhead surveillance, or national technical means, to verify Russian compliance with the pact.

“It is not surprising that the intelligence community has identified other resources it would like to have to improve national technical means for monitoring Russian nuclear forces, that has no bearing on the bottom line finding that New START is effectively verifiable,” Mr. Kimball said.

Mr. Bond also dismissed administration assertions that the treaty will not limit U.S. missile defenses. He noted that Russia’s nonbinding statement that any expansion of U.S. missile defenses would lead to Moscow’s withdrawal is “manipulation” of U.S. defense policy designed to prevent building defenses.

“At some point down the road, our nation will need to expand its missile defenses,” he said. “Because of this unilateral statement, however, the reaction from some in the administration or in Congress will be to reject any expansion lest we upset the Russians and cause them to pull out of this new treaty. The Russians surely are counting on this reaction. Yet in all the rhetoric in support of this treaty, I have not heard any reasonable explanation for why we would give Russia this lever to use against our legitimate and necessary right to defend ourselves against ballistic missile attack.”