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  • Morning Bell: No Rush to Judgment on New START

    Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) expressed concern over the U.S.-Russian Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now before the Senate. The senator particularly questioned the treaty’s limits on America’s “ability to advance our missile defense” and its “failure to deter proliferation and future attacks on our nation and allies.” Given the consequences that New START poses for U.S. national security and the calls for its swift passage, Inhofe is right to ask questions – and the entire Senate is obligated to do so, as well.

    One of the Senate’s most important functions under the Constitution is to offer its “advice and consent” on treaties. This is a vital prerogative because it checks and balances the Executive Branch, which is responsible for negotiating treaties. All treaties deserve careful scrutiny because they represent a solemn commitment by the United States to other sovereign states. But arms control treaties are particularly important because they concern our security, which the American people created the government to protect. A bad arms control treaty is not just an insult to the serious business of diplomacy. It can pose a direct threat to our interests, and those of our allies.

    In the past, the U.S. Senate has fulfilled this function responsibly and carefully. In the face of its skepticism, the Carter administration asked for consideration of the SALT II Treaty to be suspended in early 1980. In 1997, the Senate refused to ratify an addendum to the START II Treaty, which ultimately resulted in the Russian withdrawal from it in 2002. And in 1999, it rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. In other cases, the Senate has ultimately given its advice and consent to strategic arms limitation agreements. But it has never done so rapidly and easily.  Even the INF Treaty, signed by President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev in the waning days of the Cold War on December 8, 1987, was not ratified until May 27, 1988, almost six months later.

    President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. Immediately, its supporters began to call for its rapid ratification. President Obama has stated that he wants the new treaty ratified by the end of 2010. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, plans “to hold a vote . . . prior to the August recess.” Over the past weeks, and continuing this week, the Committee has held a drumbeat of hearings, all testifying to the urgent desire of the treaty’s supporters to see it ratified as soon as possible.

    This urgency is incompatible with the Senate’s traditions and with its responsibilities today. The administration has stated that the choice is between the New START Treaty and no treaty governing the U.S.-Russian strategic arsenals at all. This is extremely low bar, and also factually untrue: the Moscow Treaty remains in force until the end of 2012. The New START Treaty seeks to preserve the “viability and effectiveness” of the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal, which implies a broad restriction on the ability of the United States to deploy missile defenses. And while the treaty’s supporters claim that New START will restore the United States to a position of leadership on non-proliferation, the fact is that there is no relationship between the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile – which has fallen dramatically since 1987 – and the desire of states such as Iran and North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

    In light of these concerns, and others, the Senate must not allow itself to be rushed into action. It must request the full negotiating record for the treaty, so it is fully aware of all assurances – if any – given by U.S. negotiators to their Russian counterparts. It must carefully consider the reports on the treaty that are still pending from the administration on such vital matters as the treaty’s verification provisions. Above all, it must consider whether the treaty addresses any vital national security need faced by the United States and its allies. If it does not, the urgency of its supporters is all the more disturbing.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Morning Bell: No Rush to Judgment on New START

    1. Alexander S. Milne says:

      The democrats are rushing everything they can through the House and Senate before the November election. What can the Republicans do to overturn some of these stupid decsions? We have a problem "Hustson" with the Socialist agenda the democrats are pursuing.

    2. Gail GR MI says:

      Why does everything with this aministration have to be done "quickly"? That is unless you have an oil slick the size of another country, then a cautioned response with deliberation is OK.! How much more "change" can we tolerate? The "hope" is dimming……and I never have seen that light!

    3. Roberta Guagliardo says:

      Please talk about the Soros, Brazil and the Administration's neglect of the

      oil spill connection. I think it's time for a criminal investigation.

    4. Patricia Macy says:

      I am against everything that Obama is for. He is acting like he is Hitler, and that there is NO ONE that has as much authority as HIM. He is a fake. He either isn't a muslim (I think he is), or is having a hard time making choices for the war in Afaganistan. How could our people here in America be so fooled by him . He can't make any wise decisions and can't even talk without a monitor to go by.

      He is the worst President that we have ever had.

    5. Rocking G Winnsboro, says:

      Beware of any rush to ratify any proposals, as this is a red flag that all is not as it should be and the ramifications in the broader spectrum no doubt pose extremely negative consequences for this country, i.e., "we must pass the health care bill to know what is in it", rushing to vote, then only deeming it passed w/o a vote, rushing to save the nation from economic tragedy and pass the stimulus bill, all the while finding out down the road these are extremely toxic to our nation and our future. Our Congress should be adamant concerning a thorough study of any legislation and not simply rush through because the President decides on a date for passing and then presses his party to push all legislative members to compromise their wisdom in trade for "just do it, all will be well". Absolutely the wrong way to proceed.

    6. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      Are we appeasing the Russians? Yes, we are. Obama signed the new START treaty

      with Russia's Dimitry Medvedev, aka, Putin's Lapdog, just so he could prove he was the anti-Bush. So what did Barack Obama, our Fearless Leader, do? He sold our oldest ally in Eastern Europe, Poland, and most recent ally, the Czech Republic, down the proverbial river. Bush wanted to put PATRIOT missiles in Poland, and a radar system in the Czech Republic. Russia said: "If you do, we'll put missiles in Kaliningrad because your missile defense system is a cover for you to attack Mother Russia." We said no it isn't. We told Russia in no uncertain terms that it was to defend against possible Iranian long- and medium-range missiles. Russia said "nyet." We have no plans to attack Russia. None, zero, zip, nada. So why wouldn't Putin want a missile defense system in Eastern Europe? Could it be that this anti-democratic ex-KGB agent wants Eastern Europe back? Maybe Putin wants to re-establish the USSR. Putin has a soul of evil.

    7. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      Are we appeasing the Russians? Yes, we are. Obama signed the new START treaty with Russia's Dimitry Medvedev, aka, Putin's Lapdog, just so he could prove he was the anti-Bush. So what did Barack Obama, our Fearless Leader, do? He sold our oldest ally in Eastern Europe, Poland, and most recent ally, the Czech Republic, down the proverbial river. Bush wanted to put PATRIOT missiles in Poland, and a radar system in the Czech Republic. Russia said: "If you do, we'll put missiles in Kaliningrad because your missile defense system is a cover for you to attack Mother Russia." We said no it isn't. We told Russia in no uncertain terms that it was to defend against possible Iranian long- and medium-range missiles. Russia said "nyet." We have no plans to attack Russia. None, zero, zip, nada. So why wouldn't Putin want a missile defense system in Eastern Europe? Could it be that this anti-democratic ex-KGB agent wants Eastern Europe back? Maybe Putin wants to re-establish the USSR. Putin has a soul of evil.

    8. Frank Seymour, Merre says:

      This USURPING MORON Obama is a "DEVOUT MUSLIM"! He stated so himself. The Muslim world has sworn to DESTROY AMERICA, which is exactly what this USURPING MUSLIM S-B Obama is doing! He IS DESTROYING America from the inside out and with this bullshit treaty with Russia, he is lowering our guard on our self-defense of America, not to mention our allies! By the way, since this USURPING MORON has been in office, I believe our allies won't be allies for very long! The most sickening aspect about this USURPER Obama situation is that OUR OWN lawmakers are allowing this S-B to shred our Constitution and they aren't doing a damn thing to stop him! The American people have to get this CORRUPT government shut-down and get loyal REAL AMERICANS into office! We need Senators and Congressmen who will listen to the voices of the American people! Every action this USURPING MORON Obama has taken has not only been against our Constitution; but also against the vocal opposition of 60%+ of the American people! This MUSLIM S-B has got to go!

      Frank Seymour

    9. bigdave ocala fl says:

      To ALL LIBERALS: Everything you have been told by the "POWERS that control your feelings" are lies! Bush caused 9/11…BIG LIE! Man-caused global warming…BIG LIE! Only RACISTS disagree with Obama…BIG LIE! People are dying because they don't have health insurance…BIG LIE! A Democrat controlled administration will PROTECT US…BIG LIE(hello Arizona, and where did all the PRAYER RUGS found in the desert come from?" You won't hear about this from your corrupt media!). Conservatives DO NOT want to drink dirty water. Conservatives DO NOT want to breathe dirty air. Conservatives DO NOT want a dirty, unhealthy environment. Your clue is…WE ALL LIVE ON THE SAME PLANET!! All we want is FREEDOM to persue our own endeavors in a FREE MARKET. Freedom to WORSHIP our GOD(you don't, thats your biz, just don't ridicule us into your way of thinking or non-thinking). Coservatives want the same FREEDOMS for our black brothers and sisters, while libs are the TRUE RACISTS who say minorities can get NOWHERE without "their" help…BIG LIE! Conservatives WILL NEVER give in to an OBAMA-STYLE SOCIALIST/FASCIST form of government. REMEMBER OBAMA'S WORDS about his errant feelings, "white man's greed", which the media REFUSES TO ADDRESS, yet SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HIS GOALS! No longer WONDER why he TAKES from the ACHIEVERS(ill-gotten gains, taken from minorities) and GIVES to NON-ACHIEVERS(taken advantage of by whitey). EVERYTHING HE DOES has an END GOAL…FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING THE US…YOU AINT GONNA LIKE OBAMAWORLD!!!

    10. robert A. McAuliffe, says:

      I hope some one takes a hard look at the content. The control of all guns is covered in one of these treaty. my father fought some of these countries for my freedom, do not let us have to do it again.

      Thanks

      Robert A. McAuliffe

    11. Don Hetzer, Loveland says:

      Whatever happened to the two Congressmen that appeared to have been bribed by the Administration with job offers if they would drop out of their races?

    12. Dennis Georgia says:

      I believe this will be a mistake, obama has already give away the keys to America with this thing. Russia has no intention of honorong the agreement, it is their way to get to America. The hurry to vote is the dems way of keeping us from finding out what it gives away in security untill it is to late.

    13. Mike, North Carolina says:

      After seeing Obama and his fellow statist politician and bureaucrat accomplices betray, break our promises, and otherwise generally prove that Eastern Europe, and others, should not expect anything else from them…all to try to appease, in true Neville Chamberlain/Jimmy Carter style, such enemies of freedom as their fellow statist Russian Comrades, and after seeing Obama's Comrades in Congress rush and ram-through, in panic-mongering, no read, last minute, dark-of-night, style, their and Obama's Statist agenda, breaking their own rules and promises as they go…after all of that, just for starters, that all begs for the answer to one question:

      You don't actually still expect and believe the Senate will now suddenly stop, turn around, and actually do anything like fullfill the Senate's Constitutionally designed and traditional slower and more deliberative role in such a thing as the so-called "New START Treaty", do you?

      If you do, it's time to say no to drugs, including the bad habit-forming freedom-killing drug-like things of gullibility and self-delusion.

    14. Holly, AZ says:

      This is the current administration's and congress' repeating strategy—Ram their agendas through before anyone can raise questions and then it's too late.

    15. FRANK R. GIAARDINO says:

      NO, NO, NO. STOP THE NONSENSE WITH THE TEN MINUTE LEGISLATION FROM THE CHILD/MAN. SOON…I'LL BE 80 YEARS OLD. I DIDN'T GO TO OCS AT QUANTICO, VA TO WATCH MY COUNTRY GO DOWN THE SEWER IN 18 MONTHS AND APPEASE THE RUSSIANS MILITARILY ON A REGULAR BASIS. ARE THESE PEOPLE INSANE? GOD BLESS THE U.S. MARINE CORPS AND ALL MY FRIENDS THAT DIED AS BOYS AND CONTINUE TO DO SO…WHILE OUR ADMINISTRATION SPITS ALL OVER ISRAEL WITH OBVIOUS ETHNICITY AT ITS CORE AND WE JUST HAVE TO SWALLOW IT.

      NO…TO ANY FURTHER SUICIDE PACTS FOR THE MARINES. FRANK G.

    16. J. Guidry, Battlefield, MO. says:

      I trust nothing this president and his cohorts attempt to do. This treaty, as far as I can tell, is nothing more than another way for the president to appease the far left. One of the strengths of our national security is in being prepared for the worst the rest of the world may attempt in the future. This president and his cohorts either do not understand this concept, or, more likely, they are not interested in this country’s security. Case in point, the porous border with Mexico not being closed off.

    17. Ev, Maryland says:

      If you expect this current President to do anything that protects America forget it!! It's not going to happen by him or his congress. They have proven that already. To quoate The One, – "It is time for Change."

    18. Ev, Maryland says:

      If you expect this current President to do anything that protects America forget it!! It’s not going to happen by him or his congress. They have proven that already. To quoate The One, – “It is time for Change.”

    19. Robert, Edmonton Alberta says:

      The New Start Treaty is not needed and a complete waste of time. The US should have codified the Moscow Treaty signed under Bush limiting both sides to 2200 warheads and 1100 launchers. But Russia could not afford the Moscow Treaty and its’ arsenal was set to shrink below those levels due to budget problems. Basically Obama is weakening the US to make the Russians still feel like our nuclear equal.

      This is a repeat of the George Kennan diplomacy from the 60′s which basically was “the Russia’s feel threatened and will feel much better about themselves if we let them be our equal” Back in the 60′s we could have buried the Soviets by deploying 5000 Minuteman missiles or more but instead it became our policy to let the Soviets catch up to us.

      Now I read that the US will not replace the Minuteman III for the foreseeable future meanwhile the Russians are building a brand new MIRV capable ICBM the RS-24.

      WHAT ARE WE DOING FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!

    20. Eugene Kupstas, Kins says:

      I was wondering why Medvedev is so eager to start talking with Obama about the treaty. If Russia thinks the deal is in its favor, it and some like-minded friends I have in business are so eager to get things going. If they think the deal is in my favor, I hear one excuse after another until I am sent home empty-handed. I expect nothing that will strengthen America's military advantage out of this treaty.

    21. Duke Deltree The Great State of Maine says:

      This is what they should be getting rid of, but you never hear in the media about any big time summits though. This is the stuff that will be used on us. It’s not as messy or expensive as nukes. Nuclear weapon reduction is is just a distraction so we go: Oh! I feel much safer now. Duke Deltree

      Biological warfare (BW), also known as germ warfare, is the use of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, other disease-causing biological agents, or the toxins produced by them as biological weapons (or bioweapons).

      There is a clear overlap between biological warfare and chemical warfare, as the use of toxins produced by living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins, which are of organic origin, are often called “midspectrum agents”.

      A biological weapon may be intended to kill, incapacitate, or seriously impair a person, group of people, or even an entire population. It may also be defined as the material or defense against such employment.

      Biological warfare is a military technique that can be used by nation-states or non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.[1]

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