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  • New START Ratification: Senate Should Be Suspicious

    President Obama yesterday signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia yet did not release the text of the document to the public. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to exchange this instrument with the Russian government’s corresponding instrument this weekend in Germany, which is the last step required for bringing the treaty into force. The Senate should be suspicious for two reasons.

    First, it should be suspicious about the White House’s failure to make public the text of the U.S. instrument, because the Senate’s resolution of ratification instructed the President to include three understandings in the instrument.

    1. The first relates to the legal standing of the treaty’s preamble and the sweeping restrictions that the language in the preamble would impose on the U.S. missile defense program.
    2. The second relates to possible Russian deployment of a rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system and ensuring that such a system will be covered under treaty limits.
    3. The third relates to the deployment of conventionally armed strategic offensive arms (called Prompt Global Strike in the U.S.).

    There is no good reason why the White House would not release the text of the instrument the President signed unless it has something to hide. The question for the Senate is whether the understandings it attached to New START are accurately reflected in the language of the instrument. If the language is watered down, then the President will have undermined the role of the Senate in the treaty-making process. Regarding national security, watered-down language could provide the Russians with an avenue for taking the following three actions:

    1)      Curtailing U.S. missile defense options by pointing to the language on that subject in New START’s preamble;

    2)      Deploying rail-mobile ICBMs outside the limits imposed on other strategic offensive arms by the treaty; and

    3)      Stopping U.S. deployment of a Prompt Global Strike system that is based non-ballistic flight characteristics or “boosted aerodynamic flight.”

    The Senate should also be suspicious that the White House is withholding release of the U.S. instrument of ratification because it provides an excuse for the Russian government not to make public its instrument. As yet, the text of the Russian instrument has not been made public either. The Russian Duma’s ratification law, however, indicates that the Russian instrument may contain understandings that are incompatible with those the Senate insisted be included in the U.S. instrument in two of the three areas described above. These are in the areas of the standing of the preamble and missile defense and the options for the deployment of certain kinds of Prompt Global Strike systems.

    The Senate and the public deserve the opportunity to compare the text of the two instruments prior to their exchange in order to determine whether such inconsistencies exist. Senator Jon Kyl (R–AZ) spoke to the problem of their being “no meeting of the minds” between U.S. and Russian negotiators regarding these two issues in a January 31 floor statement. His warning deserves the attention of all other Senators and the American public.

    If the Senate comes to find that the U.S. instrument of ratification does not properly reflect the language of the understandings it included in the resolution of ratification or that inconsistencies between the U.S. and Russian instruments ratification regarding any of these three understandings exist, it should demand that Secretary Clinton not proceed with the exchange. Clearly, it would be inappropriate for the Administration to ignore clear instructions by the Senate as included in its resolution of ratification.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to New START Ratification: Senate Should Be Suspicious

    1. Bobbie says:

      We can't afford the childish games of this president. ACCOUNTABILITY! We the people deserve TRUTH! Obama is dangerous and shows no reason to trust. He evades the law and makes up laws that enhance hardships on those he chooses. Like the private sector he is doing everything to destroy. A man that holds no accountability is as weak as my teeny, tiny pinky. How unfortunate he's leading the country. This country is under false representation!

    2. Ray Gulyas says:

      Why did the Senate TRUST this president to deal with them and with the citizens honestly? Does this action on both the senate and the president require that those who voted for ratification need to be unseated. The president surely must stop lying and dealing in chicanery with us?

      I want the START treaty be made public now or maybe the Congress needs to call the president on this, before Lockbox hillary hands their "copy?" over to the russians.

      My understanding of treaties is that they must have the Same language all throughout. If it doesn't, then Our Senators did a very stupid thing almost bordering on malfeasance , if not Treason.

      And the so called people behind the prez smiling and smirking really steams me.

    3. Robert, Edmonton Alb says:

      Post by me brought forward from another START blog post:

      Heritage needs to publish a “Strategic Modernization Roadmap” for Congress outlining not only the 20 year neglect of the Triad and nuclear weapons infrastructure but how we can correct it going forward by reinvigorating and modernizing all key nuclear systems including delivery vehicles and vehicle carriers. This would include nuclear laboratory modernization and new warhead development and production.

      On another website we were discussing Russia vs US modernization and came up with this list:

      i) Bulava SLBM (up to 10 warheads)

      ii) RS-24 ICBM (up to 10 warheads)

      iii) SS-18 heavy ICBM replacement (if same throw weight as SS-18 then at least 10 warheads)

      iv) Blackjack bomber modernization

      v) PAK-DA (new strategic bomber)

      vi) Borei class new SSBN

      vii) New maneuvering RV (re-entry vehicle)

      viii) Active warhead production lines

      ix) Aggressive advanced warhead design R&D

      US

      i) New bomber (paper study)

      ii) New ICBM 2030 maybe

      iii) New SSBN 2037 maybe

      iv) New SLBM 2040 maybe

      v) New cruise missile maybe

      vi) No new warheads

      vii) No active production lines

      viii) Advanced concept initiative (warhead R&D) canceled

      Not a very encouraging picture is it? Another observation; why if New Start limits deployed warheads to 1550 are the Russians building 10 warhead capable missiles? How quickly in a crisis could they upload from their reserve stockpile (no limit on reserve warheads) and overwhelm our only 700 launchers?

    4. Pingback: » Senate Should Be Suspicious of the New START Ratification | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. MySquawk

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    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      START can't be all bad – can it? It was endorsed by the DoD – the people driving us deep into a significant debt while saying they are "protecting" us. The same branch of the federal government who, along with the FBI had more than enough intel on the Fort Hood shooter to have prevented 13 of our service men and women from being killed and 29 being injured.

      This government is not in the game for our interest – just their own and their buddies.

    7. Pingback: Is the President Above the Law? « American Elephants

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