R. James Woolsey, a foreign policy expert and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, authored an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. In his piece Woolsey stated that the Senate should not ratifiy the New START treaty unless three conditions were met; the administration commits to modernizing nuclear arsenal, make it clear that New START does not constrain missile defense and tightening up verification standards. Woolsey beliefs that if all these criteria are met, the New START treaty could be approved. This piece is the opinion of the authors and does not reflect MDAA’s view on the New START treaty.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates combined to write and Op-ed in the Washington Post. In the piece they urged the Senate to approve the New START treaty. They pointed to a number of reasons why the treaty should be ratified and highlighted what it will and will not do. Foremost in what they said it would not do is limit the United States’ ability to deploy effective missile defense. This piece is the opinion of the authors and does not reflect MDAA’s view on the New START treaty.
Iran’s military is working to boost its long-range radar capability and to upgrade its missile defense capabilities. They are trying to expand their radar range out to approximately 3,000km (1,864 miles), up from 400km (250 miles). Brig. Gen Ahmad Miqani claims that they have also finished the design stage of a domestically built long-range missile defense system. Iran will be holding five days of air defense drills, starting Tuesday, to measure their defense capabilities against a “mock enemy.”
Russian President Medvedev and President Obama will meet next weekend to discuss European missile defense. They will meet at NATO summit in Lisbon. This is another step in response to the fears on both sides that issues with missile defense may block passage of the New START treaty.
President Obama may have seen the writing on the wall before making a play to help secure passage of the New START treaty in the Senate. Obama has reportedly agreed to spend $4 Billion on upgrading the nuclear arsenal as an incentive to pass the treaty. This would be on top of the $10 Billion the administration has already promised to spend over the next decade. White House officials have declined to confirm this report.
President Obama took some time on his tour of Southeast Asia to speak with Russian President Medvedev about a number of joint issues. Obama made sure to highlight the importance of the New START treaty. There have been rumblings on both sides about the Duma or the Senate’s abilities to ratify the treaty.