- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DEFENSE

Arms cheating would backfire

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates assured lawmakers Wednesday that he expects Russia to abide by a new nuclear-arms treaty, but that even if Moscow cheats, it won’t gain any military advantage.

In a newly declassified letter provided to the Associated Press, Mr. Gates wrote that he and the top U.S. military leadership have concluded that Russia would not be able to achieve “militarily significant cheating” under the New START treaty, even if it tried. He wrote that the Obama administration expects Russia to fully adhere to the treaty’s limits.


If Russia were to exceed those limits, the Pentagon could respond by putting its doomsday submarines and bombers on higher alert and arming them with extra nuclear warheads, Mr. Gates wrote.

The “survivable and flexible” U.S. offensive nuclear arsenal will “help deter any future Russian leaders from cheating or breakout from the treaty, should they ever have such an inclination,” he wrote.

Some Republicans have raised doubts about the treaty, questioning whether Russian compliance can be ensured. The Obama administration has made a strong pitch for Senate ratification, arguing that it serves national security interests.

In remarks Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the debate over the treaty has become partisan.

PENNSYLVANIA

Rendell: ‘Wackos’ taking over GOP

PHILADELPHIA | Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor says that “wackos” are taking over the Republican Party in Congress.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell made his observation Wednesday as he introduced Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine at an event in Philadelphia to rally Democrats for the November midterm elections.

Mr. Rendell says the GOP “is a party that’s slowly but surely being taken over by wackos” who are “obsessed” with President Obama’s American citizenship and think the unemployed refuse to work.

He says they also want to do away with the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

He adds that Democrats have “a lot to sell, but we haven’t done a good job selling it.”

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