December 15, 2010 |
The Senate is expected to debate a proposed nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia as early as Wednesday, despite continuing Republican objections that there is too little time this year to properly evaluate the controversial measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday ordered debate to begin as soon as the Senate finishes the proposed tax-cut package, and predicted that advocates had the 67 votes needed for ratification. But Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who has fought to delay consideration of the treaty until next year, when Republicans will have more Senate seats, contended that Reid "perhaps predicted something prematurely.
December 14, 2010 |
As Congress races to the finish of its lame-duck session, one of the last pieces of business is the status of the New START treaty, the latest bilateral effort by the United States and Russia to reduce strategic weapons. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the treaty April 8 in Prague, but it requires 67 votes to win approval in the Senate. What is the treaty? The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is the latest incarnation of efforts between the United States and Russia to cut back on nuclear weapons.
December 1, 2010 |
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, his confident bluntness on full display, has declared Russia might build up its nuclear weapons instead of reducing them if the New START treaty arranged with the Obama administration is not ratified by Congress. If the treaty is held up by U.S. legislators showing "a very dumb nature" then Russia will "have to react somehow," Putin said in an interview with CNN's Larry King scheduled for broadcast Wednesday. Putin said the treaty, which calls for reducing the maximum nuclear warheads in each country from 2,200 to 1,550, is in the best interest of the United States.
November 28, 2010 |
The Obama administration has rolled out all the arguments in its attempt to persuade Republican senators to vote for ratification of its pending nuclear arms control treaty with Russia: It's a good treaty; it's a modest treaty; it would enable the United States to resume inspecting Russian arsenals; it's a necessary step toward more important arms pacts in the future. But as conservative senators have dug in their heels, administration officials have shifted to ominous mode, painting a dire picture of the consequences if New START, as the treaty is called, is not ratified: Nuclear security will be set back; the word of the United States will be devalued; Russians will question whether their newly improved relationship with the West is worthwhile; Russia's willingness to cooperate on other issues, such as Iran and North Korea, will be weakened.
November 21, 2010 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Saturday rejected claims by Senate Republicans that the New START arms reduction treaty with Russia would hamper U.S. missile defense programs and nuclear weapons modernization, warning of "significant consequences" if the Senate doesn't ratify the accord. He said that Russia could also respond to a failure to approve the treaty by scaling back its assistance for the war in Afghanistan. Russia has allowed the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization to ship supplies through its territory to Afghanistan, including a recent decision to permit transport of so-called mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, the heavily armored troop carriers used to guard against hidden bombs.
November 18, 2010
If one looks very hard, it's possible to find experts who oppose the New START nuclear arms limitation treaty with Russia. For example, there's John Bolton, who undermined U.S. relations with the rest of the world during his not-brief-enough tenure as United Nations ambassador under President George W. Bush, and John Yoo, the architect of Bush's disgraceful torture policies. But they're a small minority. The treaty is favored by the leadership of the U.S. military, six former secretaries of State and five former secretaries of Defense.
November 18, 2010 |
President Obama on Thursday called the new START treaty with Russia a "national security imperative," ramping up pressure on the Senate to ratify it during the lame-duck session. Obama joined a meeting in the White House hosted by Vice President Biden that included former secretaries of State and Defense and the chair and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to make his case. He said it was a "gamble" to put off a Senate vote, as some Republicans have asked for, calling the treaty a "cornerstone of our relationship with Russia.
November 17, 2010 |
The Republican point man on nuclear arms issues said Tuesday that he would not support a quick Senate vote on the New START treaty with Russia, dealing a major blow to the Obama administration's hopes for the weapons agreement and potentially improved relations with Moscow. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said that despite aggressive administration lobbying to win GOP support for a quick vote, there is too little time in the Senate's lame-duck session to weigh the complicated issues covered in the treaty.
November 13, 2010 |
President Obama made one departing promise as he wrapped up his meeting with world leaders here Sunday, telling his Russian counterpart that he will make approval of their nuclear agreement a top priority in the final days of the Democratic Congress. In what one official called a "full-court press" on Capitol Hill, the administration is arguing that the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is critical to the future of U.S.- Russia relations, and that dragging things out could do irreparable damage.
November 5, 2010 |
The White House is scrambling to strike a last-minute deal with congressional Republicans to save its new nuclear arms treaty with Russia from a lingering death. Obama administration officials are trying to win the support of the GOP point man, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, to schedule a ratification vote in the upcoming lame-duck session rather than next year, when Republicans will hold six more Senate seats. The treaty, which also awaits ratification in Russia, would lower each country's maximum number of long-range active nuclear warheads and set procedures for them to inspect each other's strategic nuclear bases.