Readers' forum: Vote for New START

Published: Thursday, Nov. 11 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Nearly 20 years ago Sen. Orrin Hatch was one of the overwhelming majority in the Senate who voted to support the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START.

The reduction of Russia's nuclear weapons, and the increased monitoring and verification procedures enabled by that treaty, have been critical to maintaining our national security for nearly two decades. When START expired in December 2009, our on-site monitoring of the Russian arsenal expired along with it. That verification regime was a hard-won agreement and critically enhanced transparency between U.S. and Russian strategic forces.

Now the Senate is preparing to consider a New START Treaty which will renew and enhance on-site verification and enable further reductions. Former Sen. Jake Garn and Gen. Brent Scowcroft, two Utahns with unquestioned national security credentials, recently published a commentary in the Washington Times calling for the Senate to promptly ratify New START. They argued that the transparency and predictability that the treaty engenders are critical to U.S./Russian relations.

Sen. Hatch made the right choice in 1992. We trust that our nation's security is still one of his top priorities and that he will make the right choice again and cast his vote for New START.

State Rep. Jen Seelig, District 23

Salt Lake City

State Rep. Rebecca Edwards, District 20

North Salt Lake

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