According to United States Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the United States risks a Russian fallout if the Senate fails to pass the New START Treaty. Some lawmakers do not believe that the New START Treaty is a good idea, however Secretary Gates stated “The reality is, despite what anybody says, I as secretary of defense and the entire uniformed leadership of the American military, believe this treaty is in our national security interests.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday that Russian cooperation on U.S. priorities from the Afghan war to the diplomatic squeeze on Iran is at risk if the Senate doesn’t pass a new nuclear arms treaty.
Gates also said lawmakers’ failure to approve the pact would undermine the momentum for modernizing and overhauling the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
“There would be significant consequences” beyond the specifics of the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles, he said while in Chile for defense meetings.
The U.S. would lose the firsthand knowledge it now gets from onsite inspections in Russia,” Gates said. The wider political fallout is hard to predict, he said, but could mean less Russian cooperation with overland supply routes for the war in Afghanistan.