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President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
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Publications

Testimony Before the
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
on the
Treaty Between the United States and the U.S.S.R.
on the Elimination of
Intermediate Range and Shorter Range
Missiles
By
Nancy M. Neuman, President
League of Women Voters of the United States
February 22, 1988

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am Nancy M. Neuman, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States. I am pleased to be here to voice the support of more than 250,000 members and supporters of the League of Women Voters, and of concerned citizens across the country, for ratification of the INF Treaty.

President Reagan has said that with the treaty, "we took a step.... that may be the most important taken since World War II to slow down the arms buildup." We believe the Senate must now take the next step and overwhelmingly approve the INF Treaty.

We are now at an important crossroads. The new Soviet willingness to negotiate seriously on arms reductions, as shown by the INF Treaty, presents us with an historic opportunity to move toward a more stable and lasting peace.

The INF Treaty represents an historic opportunity -- an opportunity to reduce the threat of nuclear war by cutting the number of nuclear weapons and by eliminating an entire class of weapons from U.S and Soviet arsenals.

The INF Treaty represents an historic opportunity -- an opportunity to adopt precedent setting on-site verification provisions that will increase confidence and set the stage for mutual cooperation on future arms control treaties.

The INF Treaty represents an historic opportunity -- an opportunity to lessen nuclear tensions in Europe and to increase U.S. national security by reducing the risks of escalation to nuclear war.

If these opportunities are taken, we will all -- not only Americans and Soviets, but also people around the world who are dependent on good relations between the superpowers for their own survival -- we will all live in a safer, more secure world.

But if the Senate fails to approve this agreement, or if the Senate insists on "killer" amendments to the treaty, we face a bleak future. If we turn our backs on this agreement, we face the mounting distrust of our allies. If we turn our backs on this agreement, we face an arms race that will increasingly weaken our national economy, if it doesn't lead to nuclear disaster. If we turn our backs on this agreement, we will have lost a chance to build a stable and lasting peace.

Opponents of arms control argue that modifications in the treaty are needed. We reject this approach. We urge rejection of all "killer" amendments to the. treaty.

The choice is clear -- between a safer, more secure future and the risks of an escalating nuclear arms race based on fear and distrust between the superpowers.

Nancy M. Neuman

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