June 15, 2010
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold two hearings this week regarding the treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The Senate will have a chance to publicly inquire about effects of the new treaty on the U.S. missile defense program. On June15, the committee will hear testimony from two key U.S. negotiators for the New START, Rose Gottemoeller, the Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, and Edward L. Warner III, the Pentagon’s representative for the negotiations. The Committee must question the witnesses about certain preamble language in the treaty, and what effect it will have on future U.S. missile defense capabilities. The specific language in the treaty reads:
“Recognizing the existence of the interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms, that this interrelationship will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced, and that current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the Parties.”
March 25, 2010
The U.S. and Russia may have come to a way around the impasse over missile defense in the START follow on talks. It seems that missile defense will be mentioned in the preable of the treaty and not the body itself. Senator Lugar said that they are “they are in essence editorial opinions.” While the exclusion of missile defense in the body of the treaty is a positive sign, there are still fears that any inclusion at all could be used against future administrations. Of course, nothing is final until Obama and Medvedev have agreed to and signed the treaty; which could be as early as the first week of April.
American and Russian negotiators have come to terms on how to handle the thorniest point of contention inside the negotiations over a new nuclear arms-reduction treaty: missile defense.
Russia had been stalling the last stage of the negotiations over the issue, holding fast to its position that missile defense must be included in some way in the new treaty. The U.S. side has insisted the treaty be confined only to offensive systems. Meanwhile, the old agreement, known as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), expired last December and U.S. President Barack Obama has been pushing to complete the new deal before some 44 world leaders come to Washington for a major nuclear conference beginning April 12.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 3, 2010
The U.S. and Russia may have finally reached a deal to replace the START I treaty that expired in December 2009. The deal would bring the number of deployed nuclear weapons down to between 1,500 and 1,675 per side; a drop of nearly 800. Nuclear-delivery systems would be cut in half, to between 700 and 800 each. This is a promising sign and could relate into future cooperation in regards to Iran and North Korea.
WASHINGTON—U.S. and Russian arms-control negotiators have reached an “agreement in principle” on the first nuclear-arms-reduction treaty in nearly two decades, administration and arms-control officials said Tuesday.
The deal, which was widely expected, would bring down deployed nuclear warheads and sharply limit the number of missiles and bombers that can deliver them.
Rose Gottemoeller, the Obama administration’s lead negotiator, flew to Geneva Monday to help draft the final text and begin what could still be an arduous process of translating the agreement into treaty language, an administration official said.
“There may be finessing and fine-tuning, but the issues, from our perspective, are all addressed,” the official added.
Read the rest of this entry »