Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Dec 16th, 2010 :: 3:04:55 to 3:16:25
Total video length: 10 hours 24 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:232 Duration: 0:11:30 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Ben Nelson

3:04:51 to 3:05:11( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: in the committee. i submit them for the consideration of the members of and i yield back my time. a the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. nelson: madam president, i rise today to discuss the new start treaty. in the last 40 years our country has participate the in numerous arms control and

Ben Nelson

3:04:55 to 3:16:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson

3:05:12 to 3:05:33( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: nonproliferation efforts. they are a critical l our national security strategy f done right, arms control agreements can enhance u.s. national security by promoting transparency and information-sharing that can inform us about the size, makeup, and operations of other military forces. they also provide other countries with information about

Ben Nelson

3:05:34 to 3:05:56( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: our force and capabilities and that promotes a strategic balance and discourages an attack on the u.s. or it allies. transparency and information-sharing enable our military partners to better prepare for a real threat. without such agreements and understandings, our military and the military of countries like

Ben Nelson

3:05:57 to 3:06:17( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: russia must prepare for worse-case scenarios. that leads to inefficient, runaway defense spending. if that sounds familiar, that's because we've been down that road before. it was called "the arms race." the u.s. and the former soviet union poured massive resources into building not only vast

Ben Nelson

3:06:18 to 3:06:38( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: stockpiles of nuclear weapons but also on the expansive systems needed to defend against inexamining bombers and missiles. since the late-1960's, arms control agreements and other measures have worked to reduce nuclear forces and systems that support them. i.d. a neat former president -- i'd note that former president

Ben Nelson

3:06:39 to 3:06:59( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: ronald reagan who accelerated nuclear modernizatio once the star wars effort, working with soviet premier gorbachev, he laid the foundation for stayed's start treaty n july of 1991, presidents bush and

Ben Nelson

3:07:00 to 3:07:20( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: gorbachev signed the start i treaty and the senate later approved it on an overwhelming and bipartisan vote of 93-6, a vote which concluded after four days of floor debate. nebraska senators at the time, jim exxon and bob kerrey, both supported that start i treaty.

Ben Nelson

3:07:21 to 3:07:41( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: as we consider new start, it's our constitutional duty to address today's concerns and this treaty's merits. i've heard five main concerns during debate. they are: one, treaty limitations on missile defense; two, sufficiency of modernization plans for nuclear enterprise;

Ben Nelson

3:07:42 to 3:08:03( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: three, adequacy of treaty verification measures; four, force structure changes rultding from treaty reductions; five, the timing of the senate's deliberation on the treaty. first, new start -- the new start treaty won't affect any current or plan u.s. missile defense efforts.

Ben Nelson

3:08:04 to 3:08:24( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: some point to language in the treaty's preamble and the inclusion of unilateral statements, but they're not legally binding and changing the preamble would unravel the treaty. the only binding restriction on missile defense systems arises in article v. it prevents conversion of icbm silos into missile defense launchers.

Ben Nelson

3:08:25 to 3:08:46( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: and that has no practical effect because converting silos is more expensive and less desirable than building new silos. second, some have questioned the administration's question to modernize our nuclear facilities and forces. as the chairman of the armed services strategic forces subcommittee, i held three hearings this year addressing

Ben Nelson

3:08:47 to 3:09:07( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: the health of our nuclear weapons complex, and i'd note that the administration asked for $7 billion in fy 2011 for stockpile sustainment and infrastructure investments. that's roughly 10% more than 2010 funding. the administration also plans to invest $80 billion in the next

Ben Nelson

3:09:08 to 3:09:30( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: decade to sustain and modernize the nuclear weapons complex. that's the biggest commitment to the nuclear enterprise in more than a decade. on top of that the administration recently offered an additional $4 billion toward modernizational goals. third it some argue that verification measures are less

Ben Nelson

3:09:31 to 3:09:52( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: rigorous than for start i. its verification measures expired last september so as today we've gone 376 days without on-site monitoring and verification in miewsh. the less we're allowed to see for ourselves, the more uncertainty we'll feel about russian forces. new start includes verification

Ben Nelson

3:09:53 to 3:10:14( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: measures allowing 18 on-site inspections annually. we determine where and when to go, with very little advance notice to the musings. as many of you know, this treaty counts every warhead and delivery system and tracks them with unique identifiers. that's a tremendous advancement in transparency over the previous system of attribution.

Ben Nelson

3:10:15 to 3:10:35( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: and it certainly is better than p no verification stham exists at the present time. fourth, some express concern about the treaty's impact on the nuclear triad or strategic bombers, missile, and ballistic missile submarines. in testimony and in direct conversations with me, our military leaders have assured

Ben Nelson

3:10:36 to 3:10:56( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: that the new start retains the triad. proposed reductions by the pentagon aimed to spread across all systems and minimize the impacts to any one somer base, thus retaining a safe, secure, and effective triad. finally, some indicate that considering new start now prevents the senate from

Ben Nelson

3:10:57 to 3:11:18( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: spending adequate time to consider the treaty or that we would be rushing to judgment on the treaty. new start was signed in april of this year. and the senate has had it for consideration since may of this year. together, the foreign relations, intelligence, and armed services committees have held 21 hearings

Ben Nelson

3:11:19 to 3:11:40( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: and briefings related to the treaty. the truth is that the senate has been actively deliberating new start for seven months. by comparison, the 2002 moscow treaty took nine months to complete and start i took a little more than a year. when it came to floor debate is, in 1991 start i treaty required

Ben Nelson

3:11:41 to 3:12:01( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: four days of debate while start ii, the kell weapons, convention, and 29002 moscow treaty each took two days. now, i'm confident that the senate has fulfilled our responsibility to fully consider and deliberate on new start and our actions are entirely consistent with the past actions

Ben Nelson

3:12:02 to 3:12:22( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: of this body in considering previous arms control agreements. now, those are the concerns that have been raised. now, let's look at the merits. in recent months, i've spoken about this treaty with key military leaders, including secretary gates, admiral mullen be, general cartwright and general chilton.

Ben Nelson

3:12:23 to 3:12:43( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: each has expressed full support and participation in this treaty. they also fully support the proposed reductions to the nuclear arsenal, and the continued sustainment of the nuclear triad. in addition, secretary clinton and every living former secretary of state, nine in total, have all publicly voiced

Ben Nelson

3:12:44 to 3:13:06( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: their support. five former secretaries of defense on both sides of the aisle have endorsed the treaty. seven former strategic command commanders have endorsed the treaty. stratcom headquartered in my state, omaha, nebraska, in the belleview area, oversees america's strategic nuclear,

Ben Nelson

3:13:07 to 3:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: nonnuclear, and cyber defenses. also, it's important i believe that the u.s. strategic command actively played a key role in negotiating the treaty. with that experience, the former stratcom commander in chief, general chilton, who just recently departed, said, "our

Ben Nelson

3:13:28 to 3:13:48( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: nation will be safer and more secure with this treaty than without it. what we negotiated to is absolutely accept to believe the united states strategic command for what we need to do to provide the deterrent for the country." i wholeheartedly agree. i'm prepared to vote to ratify

Ben Nelson

3:13:49 to 3:14:10( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: the new start treaty because it promotes our national security and can make both america and the world safer. it increases transparency between nuclear nations. it promotes cooperation and not suspicion, and it redices the possibility of a -- reduces the possibility of a nuclear exchange and still inabilities

Ben Nelson

3:14:11 to 3:14:32( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: america to respond to the terrible threats that continue in this nuclear age. i'd like it elaborate for just a second. america will be stronger if we can continue to look under russia's hood and they under ours. trust but verify still works. this treaty will help u.s. strategic command accomplish its

Ben Nelson

3:14:33 to 3:14:53( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: absolutely vital mission for our nation. further, as the chairman of the u.s.-russia interparliamentary group, i've held many meetings with my russian counterparts about this treaty. it's a step in the right direction to encourage even further cooperation between the united states and russia. as we work toward cooperation, the treaty reestablishes that

Ben Nelson

3:14:54 to 3:15:14( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: verification michigan and increases the transparency -- measure and increases the transparency immeasurably. that will reduce uncertainty about russian forces and increase their predictsability. without this treaty, our understanding of russia's nuclear forces will continue to deteriorate. we would have a tendency for united states forces to

Ben Nelson

3:15:15 to 3:15:37( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: overcompensate for what we don't know. that's a losing strategy in an era of large budget deficits and needed fiscal constraint. entering into this treaty demonstrates our commitment to modernizing the nuclear stockpile by making the most of what we have to spend. and and to keep our country safe.

Ben Nelson

3:15:38 to 3:15:59( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: the new start treaty offers the possibility of providing our military with insights needed to efficiently and successfully provide a safe, reliable, and secure nuclear deterrent. at the end of the day, the new start treaty builds on successes from previous treaties and paves the way for further bilateral agreements between the united states and russia.

Ben Nelson

3:16:00 to 3:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: it moves us away from a nuclear war no one wants. even as it does, we'll retain a powerful and effective deterrent capability. and, finally, ratification also will send a strong message to those around the world opposed to proliferation and those

Ben Nelson

3:16:21 to 3:16:25( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Nelson: seeking to proliferate. so for these reasons, madam president, i support this new start treaty and i believe

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid