SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is sharpening his warnings about consequences for the United States if the Senate fails to approve a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
Gates had blunt words for Republicans holding up the treaty. Without it, he says, money that Republicans want for a modernization of U.S. nuclear weapons is "very much at risk."
The Pentagon chief also says that if the treaty fails it's a "slam-dunk cinch" that the U.S. will know less and less about Russian nuclear programs, because it won't have inspectors on site.
Speaking in Bolivia, where he is attending a regional defense conference, Gates also says Russian cooperation on a range of U.S. national security priorities is in jeopardy.