• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: The New START Threat to Missile Defense

    On March 26 the White House released a fact sheet on the New START Treaty. It claimed that the agreement signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev “does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs.”

    But the Russians seem to have a different interpretation of the document they signed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on April 6th that Russia would exit the treaty if “the U.S.’s build-up of its missile defense strategic potential in numbers and quality begins to considerably affect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces. … Linkage to missile defense is clearly spelled out in the accord and is legally binding.”

    So which is it? Does New START place limits on U.S. missile defense or not? While an April 8th State Department fact sheet on “Ballistic Missile Defense and New START Treaty” mirrored the March 26th language, an “updated” April 21st State Department fact sheet showed significant movement towards the Russian position. It says, “The New START Treaty does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses possible.”

    Notice the change? The Obama administration has backtracked from “does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs” to “does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses possible.” So are only the “most effective missile defenses” allowed by New START? As determined by whom? By the Russians? By Obama’s nominee to be Associate Director for the National Security and International Affairs, Office of Science and Technology Policy Philip Coyle? Coyle, by the way, has made a name for himself by questioning whether missile defense is technically possible, despite a proven track record of repeated successes by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency. If a new U.S. President who actually believes in missile defense is elected, would that Commander in Chief be constrained by what President Obama and anti-missile defense advocates like Coyle thought qualified as “effective missile defense”?

    This morning at 10 AM EST, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold its first hearing on the New START Treaty. The first witness is scheduled to be Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Maybe she can explain why the April 8th State Department fact sheet had to be updated with the April 21st version. Maybe she can explain why Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher used the April 8th language “the Treaty does not constrain U.S. missile defense programs” as opposed to the equivocal April 21st language when she testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 22nd.

    And New START’s problems do not end with its constraints on missile defense. An independent assessment by the New START Working Group has identified other key problems with the agreement including: the possible exclusion of rail-mobile ICBMs from coverage under the Treaty’s launcher limits, the lack of a proper definition of air-launched ICBMs under the counting rules and the fact that the U.S. and Russia have failed to agree on the matter of limitations on the U.S. missile defense program.

    David J. Kramer, who spent more than eight years at State and now works as a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told Heritage’s Robert Bluey: “The Russians have to spin this at home as saying they have laid down markers on missile defense. Here in the United States, the administration is going to underscore that this in no way ties the administration’s hands on missile defense. These are rather contradictory messages coming from Moscow and Washington on a fairly critical issue.” The Senate needs to start sorting these contradictions out. Today.

    Quick Hits:

    • Iran reached a surprise nuclear agreement with Brazil and Turkey yesterday, undermining the Obama administration’s plans to impose economic sanctions on Tehran.
    • The Obama administration’s signature housing bailout program, Making Home Affordable, is dropping homeowners from the program at an increasing rate.
    • A 2002 Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memo concluding that state police officers have “inherent power” to arrest undocumented immigrants for violating federal law is making it difficult for the Obama administration to challenge Arizona’s new immigration law.
    • President Barack Obama refused to take questions from the press at the official signing ceremony for the Press Freedom Act.
    • Echoing President Obama’s call for conservatives to “get out of the way,” Woody Allen told a Spanish language newspaper that he too wished “the Republican Party should get out of his way” and that “it would be good…if [Obama] could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    37 Responses to Morning Bell: The New START Threat to Missile Defense

    1. Mary.... WI says:

      Kind of like the "keystone cops"!

      Better yet, it's like the skit done by Abbott and Costello…."Who's on Second, What's on First".

    2. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      This is disconcerting. What was Obama thinking?

    3. Richard H. Irish, Ed says:

      So, the Obama administration continues to lie, what ELSE is new?

    4. James A says:

      Barry S is not confused. No, he believes that if we submit the world, including Russia, China, N.Korea, and Iran will lay down their arms too. Obama believes his power of trust and gifts of oratory transcend the realities of time and history.

      Israel, however, suffers no such illusions about their vulnerability in the world; we do. We are a Nation governed by fools.

      The chief of fools or the joker in the deck is BHO>

    5. Steve, Chicago says:

      Where's Condi when we need her?

    6. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Since Obama has NEVER spoken the outright truth and since his cronies do likewise, I am inclined to believe the Russian version of the treaty!

      These "Progressive Socialists" are tearing down and weakening the USA bit by bit, everyday and in every way. I do not understand the lack of ardent objections to their installation of Socialism ( except for the Tea Party movement) . Perhaps there is no one in Washington who is an ardent American? The USA became the greatest country in history through Free Enterprise Capitalism and Individual Freedoms to function in a Meritocracy. Socialism has failed its people and its countries wherever it is ,or has been, installed. Life is never good under slavery!

      Americans must wake up to what these charlatans are doing in Washington and throughout the Country.

      We the people must take back America. The Constitution must be revisited and respected. and reinstalled as the guideline of government The people must take back their lives by making politicians serve them and not allow them to make us their servants (which we are in many ways already.)

      Obama is not good for this Country! Progressivism is not good for this Country! The welfare state is not good for this Country! Appeasement is not good for this Country!

      Let's go back to Thomas Jefferson ,the greatest American, who cared for the true freedoms given us by God!!

    7. Pard,Missouri says:

      Children trying to run a country!

    8. Van, IN says:

      We need someone that will make sure all T's are crossed and all I's are dotted.

    9. E.P.WOOLLEY,CLEBURNE says:

      IT ALL FITS IN WITH THE LEFTS ULTIMATE GOAL-COMMINTERN

    10. JULIE, OHIO says:

      These politicians know very well what they ae doing , . . Our liberty is being trashed.

    11. RetCMSgt says:

      The lies and Chicago-style corruption will only continue with the aid and comfort of the MSM. If Bush/Cheney had done this, the MSM/liberals would be gathered at the gates of the WH with nooses.

    12. HLK Kansas says:

      I have little confidence the Senate can sort out their own socks let alone these issues. As for Obama, he is not a leader as much as he is a huckster, a snake oil salesman, a joke. Elmer Gantry in black face.

    13. MJF, CT says:

      Take a community organizer, add bunch of of tax cheats, sprinkle with a few child porn creeps and you have what is running the government of the United States. Not a pretty picture, is it?

    14. Bart Goldenberg says:

      Why in the WORLD are you quyoting Woody Allen?

      Why is their no discussion regarding all the oil in North Dakota?

    15. Normca says:

      Obama and his minions think they can trust the KGB [and what is left of them. I can just hear Obama say I want something I can tout. And he got something, and we are weaker for it. Clinton, being involved in this historic agreement will tell the senators, who have not read this bill too, some kind of spin. The geniuses around the world, who do not much like America, will spin their lies and the New Start will be passed, again without reading it. And the KGB leader, Putin, will have done what Gorby couldn't – put one over on America. The real result; the US will be weakened, in deed and word. Is that the respect this country, so say the democrats an the media, lost going to war in Iraq ?

    16. Dave, Provo, UT says:

      Inept, foolish, unreal, dangerous, novice, unteachables. What do we expect from a community organizer surrounded by elitist radicals who have never served in the military, been a rancher or run a real business. They continue to spout off without reading the original source and pass unreasonable antibusiness legislation. November can't come soon enough for me!

    17. West Texan says:

      Sounds like more legalese mumbo jumbo. While the Obama administration plays word games, our national security suffers. Much like their war on terror. Oops!. Did I use the wrong phrase to describe an "overseas contingency"? What Mr. Obama must understand is defending the nation is far more involved than giving a classroom lecture. Why care what the Russians think or want? It's not their rears on the line. To add to this, we're fighting a WAR ON TERROR brought on by MILITANT MUSLIMS who declared JIHAD against the U.S. Be glad for the left's so called "politics of fear". Keeps most people on their toes. Unlike Obama's gang whose indifference to real threats has thus far resulted in dumb luck outcomes.

    18. Dennis Social Circle says:

      This is not a suprise, obama will give this country away, and the keys to the white house. I just hope people in this country will stop listening to the liberal media and the BS that obama spouts about how he CARES ABOUT AMERICA. IT IS SICKENING TO ME AND SHOULD BE TO THE MASSES OF AMERICA.

    19. John, Colorado says:

      Obama is a communist, and probably an Iranian or Russian trained spy.

      Readers Digest once had a story about a Russian spy who was a second generation spy. A Russian agent assumed the identity of a dead Western European soldier from WW II. He immigrated to Canada and had a job as an accountant, and married. He and his wife later immigrated to the U.S., and had a son. I believe he took a job with a U.S. defense company. This agent's son, when he reached the appropriate age, was sent to Russia for training. His son was going to be an American born second generation Russian mole.

      Obama can't produce a simple birth certificate like nearly 100% of Americans can. He came up through the ranks faster than anyone ever has. Big money arranged for an economic crunch due to high oil prices, to get loft him into office. He could not get a security clearance if he tried, because his parents were not born in the U.S. He was by good accounts not born in the U.S. himself, and there's reportedly a trail of different social security numbers associated with his identity everywhere he's lived in the U.S.

      Iran is Russia's proxy. North Korea is China's proxy. They both have nuclear weapons. They both know they can kill the U.S. with one to three EMP bursts. Iran's been practicing.

      We can hope there is a secret ABM system, besides the one we know about. But, one spy, especially at the top, could ruin it all. I don't think he's a real American, and I know he's a communist by his views and actions.

    20. Rocking G Winnsboro, says:

      Thanks HF for the heads up on this treaty. I was able to watch some of the hearings. I am amazed at the double talk that goes on and how the committee is pushing this treaty to be passed before senators have fully understood and had their questions answered. I listened to Jim DeMint ask several questions about his concerns, which included the fact that the treaty indicates Russia will pull out if it felt the US was building or had arms that will be superior to theirs, he would like to have access to the complete talks record so any misconceptions could be cleared up and any discussion that may give a different meaning to what is reported would also be understood. Hillary Clinton immediately stated that those records have never been available going back to George Washington, that they will provide summaries on what was said, but that it wasn't necessary for the record to be given to the senate, in essence she said NO.John Kerry then told Senator DeMint that they would meet in a closed meeting to discuss these issues. I don't think it has to all be on C-Span but those that will vote should have complete access that is what their job is, how can they be expected to make a prudent vote if they are not completely informed. Clinton continued to reassure DeMint that any pre-amble, previous treaty discussion etc was not in any way binding on the currently proposed treaty. Senator DeMint reiterated his questions in closing and asked that they be given all the information not just a briefing. We have legislators that are trying to gather the information necessary to make the proper votes and it is very difficult to get passed the rhetoric of what those that are being questioned want them to hear and what really happened. There is not much transparency except it is very clear they don't want to allow anyone except an elite circle to know the whole story.

    21. Warren Lyckman Hills says:

      Paul, don't downplay our children, when, actually it's a bunch of harvard bred

      trust-fimd babys running the government

    22. gorio, calif. says:

      Jim DeMint is asking reasonable questions again and that will only end in obfuscation and Hillary hiding anything she thinks will put HER in the spotlight, These 60's radicals we have in the state department view anyone carrying an "R" symbol as "ENEMIES OF THE STATE" and therefore not able to participate in foreign or domestic policy decisions. Hillary & the O will hide as much of the REAL

      agreement from the public simply because they don't want their "friends" , the Russians, to be embarrassed by our stupid public outrage, Hopefully Hillary won't do a "healthcare" and ask us to just approve the treaty so we can find out whats in it,,

    23. Leith Wood Richmond, says:

      What, Obama would not take any questions from the press. The whole dishonest, hate America group in Washington is so transparent. We now use our power and vote them all out. Skip the new normal, give me the old normal………….freedom.

    24. KM, Arizona says:

      Why is everyone surprised about this? Ronald Reagan did this, too, when dealing with the Russians, nuclear arms, and the cold war. And he ended up making the right decision. James Mann writes a good book on the topic. Anyway, there really isn't a huge difference between the two texts. Yes, they both ask for questions to be answered rather than answering them, but isn't that was government-speak is all about? Just look at the FCRs for 30 seconds. Isn't the important thing that we are in discussions about nuclear arms? They are dangerous and communication is an important weapon. I say keep talking!

    25. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      The principles involved in many examples throughout history, including the numerous and even diverse examples and stories about of such as "The Tortoise and the Hare", David and Goliath, Sampson and Delilah, Lenin's and Hitler's all too nearly successful new "Fifth-column" and "Blitzkreig" form of "Divide and conquer (including non-militarily from within)"…which, by the way, continue to be in effect copied and expanded upon by such as the Taliban, Al Quaeda, and even Putin regimes and their friends in the International Communist/Socialist/Progressive movement (including the Obama regime)…all have a number of things in common, including how they continue to succeed at dividing and conquering, even when they shouldn't be able to.

      The tortoise would have been easily outpaced and defeated by the hare if the hare hadn't misled himself into believing that the tourtoise could not possibly defeat him from the inside by using his own assumptions about his own ability; Goliath could have easily defeated David if David hadn't also succeeded at defeating Goliath's defenses, including from within his own head; a woman, such as Delilah, couldn't possibly have "cut Sampson's hair", and thus robbed him of his confidence and power, if she had not first seduced him from the inside; and not Lenin, or Hitler, or even those since them such as Mao, Putin, and even Obama, could have gotten into, and increased their power against everyone, including the majorities of their own countries, if they had not been allowed to do so by too many of the people in their own countries and elsewhere where they have gained such power to "divide, (weaken), and conquer" from within.

    26. Sherry - Avon, Ma says:

      What did you expect from people who are purposely destroying this country. I am almost embarrased to say that I live in Mass. and my husband works next to Harvard. Really, I can never admit that to anyone. Look who we got out of there. The best thing to do is take Obumma and his marxist, nazi, communistic group and strap them to the head of a missile full of nuclear war heads, face the war head to outer space and then hit the button. Poof he is gone and his leftists extrimists. Now anyone that wants to join him, go for the ride, I am sure everyone in America will sit on their lounge chairs, wave our American Flags, and sing God Bless America. And wherever they land I am sure if there is life there they will probably spit them out too.

    27. Dennis Lumley QLD Au says:

      What Is Left To Say.The USA IS now just a Lame Duck.The Pride The World Used to look up to IS No Longer.

    28. DENNIS LUMLEY says:

      THE USA IS NOW JUST A LAME DUCK. HOW LONG WILL THE PEOPLE PUT UP WITH THE RUBBISH.

    29. JH Stuart Essex, VT says:

      While this may seem to be unrelated, I noted from a piece by SecDef Gates in the WSJ on May 13th, the following:

      "Finally, the treaty will not restrict America's ability to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities—that is, the ability to hit targets anywhere in the world in less than an hour using conventional explosive warheads fitted to long-range missiles."

      The referenced technology is the so-called "rods from god" which is a devastating weapon without the residual effects of using nukes. I was surprised to see this open sourced and the statement may be a sign of hope from this administration.

    30. toledofan says:

      It's like kids playing a game of government. It's obvious that this administration has no clue and reality seems to be something they just can't understand.

    31. Mike, North Carolina says:

      The principles involved in many examples throughout history, including the numerous and even diverse examples and stories of such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “David and Goliath”, “Sampson and Delilah”, and even Lenin’s and Hitler’s all too nearly successful new “Fifth-column” form of “Divide and conquer (including non-militarily from within), all have a number of things in common, including how they have been and continue to be used to divide and conquer us, as in the U.S., from within.

      How so? For example: The tortoise would have been easily outpaced and defeated by the hare if the hare had not lazily fallen for believing falsely that the tortoise could not possibly in any way defeat him, which enabled the tortoise to defeat him from within through his (the hare’s) having so lazily believed falsely; Goliath could have easily defeated David if David hadn’t also succeeded at defeating Goliath from within himself through his own vainly assuming and believing falsely; a woman, such as Delilah, could not have misled and “cut the hair” of a man as powerful as Sampson, and so defeated his power, if she had not first seduced and defeated him from within; and not Lenin, or Hitler, or even those since them such as Mao, Putin, and even Obama, could have gotten into power and divided and conquered from within through such as their politics of envy, class warfare, and even race, and other things which lead to everything contrary to the freedom, prosperity, peace, and security of the people (including Obama’s seeking to please and appease the Russian regime through a treaty as effectively one-sided as the new START), if enough of the people had not first enabled those such as Obama to get into power and do so.

      So really the solution is rather evident and obvious…notice I didn’t say “easy”…which is: We, the people, must stop letting such politicians as Obama and his Comrades divide and conquer us from within; to help us do that we must educate and inform ourselves and each other about such politicians and their accomplices using “divide and conquer”, and other things, to take control away from us, the people, and so also we must simultaneously use, more than ever before, those and every other non-violent freedom and resource we can use to stop such politicians and their accomplices.

      If we, the people, don’t do so, then, as such arrogant and corrupt “ramming through” by Obama and his Comrades both here and around the world is showing and will show, both we and history will witness and record, and both current and subsequent generations will suffer the consequences of, their ways of taking away the freedoms, resources, and security of the people, through various means including their dividing and conquering us from within, their taking advantage of any real or conjured-up crisis, their “One World” or “Global” schemes, and even Obama’s very Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter-like appeasement of those who could or would present any threat to us or any of our allies, which, history already repeatedly shows, practically invites aggression and so fails to truly keep or achieve peace.

    32. Mike, North Carolina says:

      The principles involved in many examples throughout history, including the numerous and even diverse examples and stories of such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “David and Goliath”, “Sampson and Delilah”, and even Lenin’s and Hitler’s all too nearly successful new “Fifth-column” form of “Divide and conquer (including non-militarily from within), all have a number of things in common, including how they have been and continue to be used to divide and conquer us, as in the U.S., from within.

      How so? For example: The tortoise would have been easily outpaced and defeated by the hare if the hare had not lazily fallen for believing falsely that the tortoise could not possibly in any way defeat him, which enabled the tortoise to defeat him from within through his (the hare’s) having so lazily believed falsely; Goliath could have easily defeated David if David hadn’t also succeeded at defeating Goliath from within himself through his own vainly assuming and believing falsely; a woman, such as Delilah, could not have misled and “cut the hair” of a man as powerful as Sampson, and so defeated his power, if she had not first seduced and defeated him from within; and not Lenin, or Hitler, or even those since them such as Mao, Putin, and even Obama, could have gotten into power and divided and conquered from within through such as their politics of envy, class warfare, and even race, and other things which lead to everything contrary to the freedom, prosperity, peace, and security of the people (including Obama’s seeking to please and appease the Russian regime through a treaty as effectively one-sided as the new START), if enough of the people had not first enabled those such as Obama to get into power and do so.

      So really the solution is rather evident and obvious…notice I didn’t say “easy”…which is: We, the people, must stop letting such politicians as Obama and his Comrades divide and conquer us from within; to help us do that we must educate and inform ourselves and each other about such politicians and their accomplices using “divide and conquer”, and other things, to take control away from us, the people, and so also we must simultaneously use, more than ever before, those and every other non-violent freedom and resource we can use to stop such politicians and their accomplices.

      If we, the people, don’t do so, then, as such arrogant and corrupt “ramming through” by Obama and his Comrades both here and around the world is showing and will show, both we and history will witness and record, and both current and subsequent generations will suffer the consequences of, their ways of taking away the freedoms, resources, and security of the people, through various means including their dividing and conquering us from within, their taking advantage of any real or conjured-up crisis, their “One World” or “Global” schemes, and even Obama’s very Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter-like appeasement of those who could or would present any threat to us or any of our allies, which, history already repeatedly shows, practically invites aggression and so fails to truly keep or achieve peace.

    33. Meditrac, Pa. says:

      "Blair, Franconia, NH on May 18th, 2010 at 9:40am said:

      This is disconcerting. What was Obama thinking?"

      The above is indeed a silly question. It may be best to ask "Does Obama know what the word THINK means?" The number one liar in the world with a Nobel PIECE (Mispelled on purpose) Prize has surrounded himself with liars, cheats, and other "criminals" and we expect the Russians to take us seriously? Wake up folks, we're about to become the "United Socialist States of America"!!!!!

    34. KGCerberus, NC says:

      How long does it take for our "leaders" to conclude that one NEVER trusts a Russian leader…

      TAKE OFF YOUR ROSE COLORED GLASSES MR, OBAMA et al…

      I had the satisfaction of personally recommending to Mr. Biden while flying in the same aircraft to Georgia in 2008, that he never forget Munich, 1933. He looked at me like a deer in the headlights…

    35. Motolecetly says:

      Greetings,

      I am Abram and I am a Wedding Organizer.

      I do know , numerous Parents of the Bride have somewhat a dilemma, finding the suitable Idea for their next Kids party!

      Well, how about Mungo Slide to allow it to be a true hit?

      Go looking at Party Rentals NJ! You be able to rent Mungo Slide for nice prices!

      Have fun at your next Wedding, Abram

      Party Rentals NJ

    36. Pingback: Playing politics with national security | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

    37. Pingback: 33 Minutes

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×