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New START and the Obama Administration: Hurdles Still Ahead

Dr S. Samuel C. Rajiv is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • September 23, 2010

    With the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations agreeing on September 16 by a majority vote of 14-4 to send the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) to the full Senate for approval and ratification, the prospects of realising the potential of the Obama administration’s signal foreign policy achievement seem to have improved considerably. Imponderables do however remain before its final ratification. There are currently 59 Democratic Senators in the 100-member Senate and the treaty requires a minimum of 67 votes (two-thirds support) in order to be ratified. The outcome of the November Senate elections will be crucial as 37 Senate seats will go to the polls. If the treaty does indeed get ratified, it will be the first nuclear arms reduction measure to be approved by a Democratic administration.

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