Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
September 14, 2010

[The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM Mike Mullen, answers a question on New START Treaty during a Virtual Town Hall. See more Pentagon Channel programming at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil]

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QUESTION: Hi. Thank you for taking my question, sir. My name is Jonathan Flack (sp). I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. I'm really concerned about the New START treaty and worried that the U.S. Senate might not ratify.

From a security perspective, what are the implications of failing to ratify the New START treaty? Thank you very much.

ADM. MULLEN: Thank you, Jonathan, for the question, and it's an important question. I think it's an important treaty. In fact, the last treaty expired last December, so we are many months into, essentially, no relationship with the Russians in terms of verifying the whole issue of strategic nuclear weapons.

I participated in the negotiations. I'm comfortable with the outcome of the treaty, what's represented in the treaty in terms of security. I think it offers an opportunity, clearly, to reduce these weapons and to be able to verify not just the reduction, but the future development, specifically. Obviously, it's not up to me to do this. This is really, right now, in the hands of Congress, specifically in the hands of the Senate.

And I'm very hopeful that they would see their way clear to in fact ratify this treaty. Because I think it's a very important document and a very important treaty. And it gives us a relationship with Russia in terms of these devastating weapons that we just don't have right now.

And I think it's clearly that we continue to have in the future.