Contrary to Mr. Iverson's assertions ("Kyl's treaty opposition jeopardizes our safety," Dec. 9), Sen. Kyl is doing the country a great service by refusing to prematurely ratify the new START nuclear weapons reduction treaty. Iverson complains that Kyle is playing political games for his own purposes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Before the start of this congressional lame-duck session, Sen. Kyl explained his reservations about the new START treaty in an op-ed piece to the Wall Street Journal. His concerns are about significant threats to U.S. and European security that this treaty would impose. New START would restrict our deployment of a ballistic missile defense system against such threatening nations as Iran and North Korea. It does not include provisions to address the vast Russian superiority of tactical nuclear weapons. It does not address the long-neglected modernization of our aged nuclear weapons and provide for weapons testing, despite "promises" to do so from the Obama administration. Finally, it places too much trust in an inspection system that allows the Russians to circumvent verifications, just as they have done in every previous nuclear weapons treaty.
All that Sen. Kyl has done is say that we need to debate this treaty thoroughly and carefully - not rubber-stamp it during the lame-duck period, as Mr. Iverson and the president would like. The consequences for the U.S. are just too great. Thank goodness Kyl is willing to take a stand on this issue and resist buckling under immense political pressure.
Col. Art Saboski
U.S. Air Force, Retired