Republicans for New START

| Thu Dec. 2, 2010 1:37 AM EST

Five Republican secretaries of state who served the last five Republican presidents all say the Senate should approve the New START arms control treaty:

It is a modest and appropriate continuation of the START I treaty that expired almost a year ago. It reduces the number of nuclear weapons that each side deploys while enabling the United States to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent and preserving the flexibility to deploy those forces as we see fit....The defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Missile Defense Agency — all originally appointed by a Republican president — argue that New START is essential for our national defense.

....Whenever New START is brought up for debate, we encourage all senators to focus on national security. There are plenty of opportunities to battle on domestic political issues linked to the future of the American economy. With our country facing the dual threats of unemployment and a growing federal debt bomb, we anticipate significant conflict between Democrats and Republicans. It is, however, in the national interest to ratify New START.

I have two questions: First, how can this possibly be a difficult vote for Republican senators? It should be a no-brainer. Second, what happened to Condoleezza Rice? Every other living Republican secretary of state signed onto this op-ed. Why didn't she?