New Daisy vs 33 Minutes on New START

Conn Carroll /

The American Values Network has released a new online ad aimed at pressuring the Senate to pass the New START nuclear arms agreement with Russia in the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. The ad is a carbon copy of President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “Daisy” ad, which equated a vote for Barry Goldwater with a vote for nuclear Armageddon. The new Daisy ad is no more based in reality. It claims, “Now no one watches nuclear weapons” and urges ratification of New START since “the stakes are too high for anything else.”

The truth is that the U.S. has never relied on treaty-based verification measures alone for insight into Russian strategic forces. Instead, it employs a variety of reconnaissance for gaining insight into Russian strategic forces. Furthermore, the verification regime in New START provides little value. New START has fewer on-site inspections, and Russia may declare certain locations to be maintenance areas, which are not subject to warhead inspection. And so long as the Russians continue to deny inspectors the ability to confirm the true number of warheads on a missile, such inspections are of little value. (more…)