Advancing a Free Society

New START: What Would Reagan Do?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

By Edwin Meese III and Richard Perle

President Obama has taken to the airwaves to pump up support for the New Start Treaty with Russia by arguing that Ronald Reagan would have endorsed it. Both of us had the high honor of knowing our 40th president. We worked for Ronald Reagan, and we're sure that's not the case.

There are many reasons why this treaty falls short of those negotiated by President Reagan. For one thing, its verification regime is inadequate. For another, it gives the Kremlin an unwarranted influence over the structure of our nuclear deterrent. Most important, it will almost certainly reduce our freedom to deploy vital defenses against ballistic missiles.

Moreover, the administration is asking a lame-duck Senate, dominated by a party that was rebuked at the polls by the electorate, to vote for this major arms-control treaty, in contravention of the settled traditions of our country—a tactic Reagan surely would have deplored.

Continue reading Ed Meese and Richard Perle’s Wall Street Journal op-ed…