Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Open Letter to Senators Hatch and Bennett

I am writing to strongly encourage the Senator to announce his support of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. START is an important step toward increasing US legitimacy and soft power in the realm of Non-Proliferation. This soft power will be key to resurrecting the Non-Proliferation Treaty and increasing international pressure on Iran.

While I recognize the need for efforts such as the Stockpile Stewardship Program and other efforts to modernize and maintain our stockpile and delivery systems, ratification of START cannot wait until the funds for those projects are appropriated as Senator Kyl is proposing. Each day that the Senate dithers, the perception grows stronger that the United States cannot or will not lead on this issue. If we do not lead, no one else will follow.

The non-proliferation regime is the easiest, most effective, and cheapest way for the US to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states. Growing up in southern Utah, I have seen the disastrous effects of the pursuit of nuclear weapons on what the US Government called a "low-use" segment of the population. I hope you share my commitment to the ultimate goal of a nuclear weapon free world so that the people of our state, our nation, and our world will not have to suffer as my family and neighbors did.

So, Senator, there is no time to delay. I urge you to announce your intent to vote in favor of ratifying START--not after certain funds have been appropriated, not after the next Congress, but now. Do it in honor of your constituents that felt the effects of nuclear weapons first-hand.