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Message to the Senate on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

February 02, 2011

To the Senate of the United States:

I have considered the United States Senate's December 22, 2010, Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, signed in Prague on April 8, 2010, with Protocol, including Annexes (the "New START Treaty"; Treaty Document 111-5), and I hereby certify that:

1. United States National Technical Means, in conjunction with the verification activities provided for in the New START Treaty, are sufficient to ensure effective monitoring of Russian compliance with the provisions of the New START Treaty and timely warning of any Russian preparation to break out of the limits in Article II of the New START Treaty.

2. The New START Treaty does not require, at any point during which it will be in force, the United States to provide to the Russian Federation telemetric information under Article IX of the New START Treaty, Part Seven of the Protocol, and the Annex on Telemetric Information to the Protocol for the launch of (a) any missile defense interceptor, as defined in paragraph 44 of Part One of the Protocol to the New START Treaty; (b) any satellite launches, missile defense sensor targets, and missile defense intercept targets, the launch of which uses the first stage of an existing type of United States intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) listed in paragraph 8 of Article III of the New START Treaty; or (c) any missile described in clause (a) of paragraph 7 of Article III of the New START Treaty.

3. I intend to (a) modernize or replace the triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems: a heavy bomber and air-launched cruise missile, an ICBM, and a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and SLBM; and (b) maintain the United States rocket motor industrial base.

4. (a) The United States will seek to initiate, following consultation with NATO Allies but not later than 1 year after the entry into force of the New START Treaty, negotiations with the Russian Federation on an agreement to address the disparity between the non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons stockpiles of the Russian Federation and of the United States and to secure and reduce tactical nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner; and (b) it is the policy of the United States that such negotiations shall not include defensive missile systems.

5. I intend to (a) accelerate, to the extent possible, the design and engineering phase of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) building and the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF); and (b) request full funding, including on a multi-year basis as appropriate, for the CMRR building and the UPF upon completion of the design and engineering phase for such facilities.

6. It is the policy of the United States to continue development and deployment of United States missile defense systems to defend against missile threats from nations such as North Korea and Iran, including qualitative and quantitative improvements to such systems. As stated in the resolution, such systems include all phases of the Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defenses in Europe, the modernization of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system, and the continued development of the two-stage Ground-Based Interceptor as a technological and strategic hedge. As I stated in my letter to the Senate of December 18, 2010, the United States believes that these systems do not and will not threaten the strategic balance with the Russian Federation. Consequently, while the United States cannot circumscribe the sovereign rights of the Russian Federation under paragraph 3 of Article XIV of the Treaty, the United States believes continued improvement and deployment of United States missile defense systems do not constitute a basis for questioning the effectiveness and viability of the Treaty, and therefore would not give rise to circumstances justifying the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Treaty.

The report called for in the sixth Condition of the Resolution will be provided under separate cover to the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations.

Signature of Barack Obama

Barack Obama

The White House,

February 2, 2011.

Barack Obama, Message to the Senate on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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