There is growing alarm among U.S. allies over the possible failure of a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty, with many warning that it would hurt the West’s efforts to deal with Iran.

World-PuzzlePresident Obama’s trip to Europe this past weekend has revealed a growing alarm among U.S. allies over the possible failure of a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty, with many warning that it would hurt the West’s efforts to deal with Iran and with Russian weapons near Eastern Europe.

Obama comes home from the NATO summit facing one of the most significant showdowns of his presidency: trying to win ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) before the Senate adjourns in December.

Jon Kyl (Ariz), the second-ranking Republican senator, said last week he did not think there was time to bring it up during the current lame-duck session.

But Obama has forced the issue, reflecting Democrats’ belief that if the treaty is pushed into next year, it could become a political issue for an emboldened Republican Party. The pact currently needs nine Republican votes to pass the full Senate but will need 14 next year.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized Sunday that political leaders appealed for passage of the treaty during the NATO summit, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and leaders from Eastern and Central Europe.

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Source: Mary Beth Sheridan | The Washington Post