START Vote Postponed by Senator Kerry

Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the new START arms control treaty (pdf) with Russia today after Republican Senators requested more time to review documents and hear comments from the Armed Services Committee.

The treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. Both the US Senate and Russian parliament must approve the treaty before it enters into force. There have been nearly 20 hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees but getting the 67 votes required to ratify the treaty has proved elusive. The Democrats need the 59 members of their caucus plus 8 Republicans to assure passage. To date, only one Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, is on the record in favor of the new START agreement.

Since the original START treaty expired in December 2009, no treaty and no verification mechanisms are in place to manage the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States. This fact alone should spark haste but in today's partisan ad absurdum Senate, most of the GOP would rather play political games than to work on issues of compelling strategic importance.

Under the new START treaty, the United States and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the treaty enters into force. Each party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits set by the treaty.

These limits were established on the American side by a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the Obama-mandated 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (pdf).   
 
Aggregate limits:

  • 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit. This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

  • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

  • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty. 

Verification and Transparency: The START treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty negotiated by the first Bush Administration with new elements tailored to the limitations of the treaty. Measures under the new START include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry, a technology that allows remote measurement and reporting of information.
 
Treaty Terms: The treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years. The treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the new START Treaty.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The new START does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

The New York Times notes what the delay means:

The delay means that the Senate will not consider the treaty until the fall, during a hotly contested campaign season. The timing distresses the treaty’s supporters, who worry that it will get caught up in the partisan crossfire. Unlike other elements of Mr. Obama’s legislative priority, he cannot push it through with just one Republican vote; because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote, he needs at least eight Republicans.

Mr. Kerry plans to call a vote in mid-September, but even if that vote occurs on time, it remains uncertain whether it will be considered by the full Senate before the November election. Democrats could bring it to the floor after that, but doing so would entails risks. If Republicans pick up a sizable number of seats, they may argue that a lame-duck Senate should not approve something of such magnitude.

There's more...

START Vote Postponed by Senator Kerry

Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the new START arms control treaty (pdf) with Russia today after Republican Senators requested more time to review documents and hear comments from the Armed Services Committee.

The treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. Both the US Senate and Russian parliament must approve the treaty before it enters into force. There have been nearly 20 hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees but getting the 67 votes required to ratify the treaty has proved elusive. The Democrats need the 59 members of their caucus plus 8 Republicans to assure passage. To date, only one Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, is on the record in favor of the new START agreement.

Since the original START treaty expired in December 2009, no treaty and no verification mechanisms are in place to manage the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States. This fact alone should spark haste but in today's partisan ad absurdum Senate, most of the GOP would rather play political games than to work on issues of compelling strategic importance.

Under the new START treaty, the United States and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the treaty enters into force. Each party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits set by the treaty.

These limits were established on the American side by a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the Obama-mandated 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (pdf).   
 
Aggregate limits:

  • 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit. This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

  • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

  • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty. 

Verification and Transparency: The START treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty negotiated by the first Bush Administration with new elements tailored to the limitations of the treaty. Measures under the new START include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry, a technology that allows remote measurement and reporting of information.
 
Treaty Terms: The treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years. The treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the new START Treaty.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The new START does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

The New York Times notes what the delay means:

The delay means that the Senate will not consider the treaty until the fall, during a hotly contested campaign season. The timing distresses the treaty’s supporters, who worry that it will get caught up in the partisan crossfire. Unlike other elements of Mr. Obama’s legislative priority, he cannot push it through with just one Republican vote; because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote, he needs at least eight Republicans.

Mr. Kerry plans to call a vote in mid-September, but even if that vote occurs on time, it remains uncertain whether it will be considered by the full Senate before the November election. Democrats could bring it to the floor after that, but doing so would entails risks. If Republicans pick up a sizable number of seats, they may argue that a lame-duck Senate should not approve something of such magnitude.

There's more...

START Vote Postponed by Senator Kerry

Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the new START arms control treaty (pdf) with Russia today after Republican Senators requested more time to review documents and hear comments from the Armed Services Committee.

The treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. Both the US Senate and Russian parliament must approve the treaty before it enters into force. There have been nearly 20 hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees but getting the 67 votes required to ratify the treaty has proved elusive. The Democrats need the 59 members of their caucus plus 8 Republicans to assure passage. To date, only one Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, is on the record in favor of the new START agreement.

Since the original START treaty expired in December 2009, no treaty and no verification mechanisms are in place to manage the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States. This fact alone should spark haste but in today's partisan ad absurdum Senate, most of the GOP would rather play political games than to work on issues of compelling strategic importance.

Under the new START treaty, the United States and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the treaty enters into force. Each party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits set by the treaty.

These limits were established on the American side by a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the Obama-mandated 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (pdf).   
 
Aggregate limits:

  • 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit. This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

  • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

  • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty. 

Verification and Transparency: The START treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty negotiated by the first Bush Administration with new elements tailored to the limitations of the treaty. Measures under the new START include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry, a technology that allows remote measurement and reporting of information.
 
Treaty Terms: The treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years. The treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the new START Treaty.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The new START does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

The New York Times notes what the delay means:

The delay means that the Senate will not consider the treaty until the fall, during a hotly contested campaign season. The timing distresses the treaty’s supporters, who worry that it will get caught up in the partisan crossfire. Unlike other elements of Mr. Obama’s legislative priority, he cannot push it through with just one Republican vote; because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote, he needs at least eight Republicans.

Mr. Kerry plans to call a vote in mid-September, but even if that vote occurs on time, it remains uncertain whether it will be considered by the full Senate before the November election. Democrats could bring it to the floor after that, but doing so would entails risks. If Republicans pick up a sizable number of seats, they may argue that a lame-duck Senate should not approve something of such magnitude.

There's more...

START Vote Postponed by Senator Kerry

Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the new START arms control treaty (pdf) with Russia today after Republican Senators requested more time to review documents and hear comments from the Armed Services Committee.

The treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. Both the US Senate and Russian parliament must approve the treaty before it enters into force. There have been nearly 20 hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees but getting the 67 votes required to ratify the treaty has proved elusive. The Democrats need the 59 members of their caucus plus 8 Republicans to assure passage. To date, only one Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, is on the record in favor of the new START agreement.

Since the original START treaty expired in December 2009, no treaty and no verification mechanisms are in place to manage the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States. This fact alone should spark haste but in today's partisan ad absurdum Senate, most of the GOP would rather play political games than to work on issues of compelling strategic importance.

Under the new START treaty, the United States and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the treaty enters into force. Each party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits set by the treaty.

These limits were established on the American side by a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the Obama-mandated 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (pdf).   
 
Aggregate limits:

  • 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit. This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

  • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

  • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty. 

Verification and Transparency: The START treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty negotiated by the first Bush Administration with new elements tailored to the limitations of the treaty. Measures under the new START include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry, a technology that allows remote measurement and reporting of information.
 
Treaty Terms: The treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years. The treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the new START Treaty.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The new START does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

The New York Times notes what the delay means:

The delay means that the Senate will not consider the treaty until the fall, during a hotly contested campaign season. The timing distresses the treaty’s supporters, who worry that it will get caught up in the partisan crossfire. Unlike other elements of Mr. Obama’s legislative priority, he cannot push it through with just one Republican vote; because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote, he needs at least eight Republicans.

Mr. Kerry plans to call a vote in mid-September, but even if that vote occurs on time, it remains uncertain whether it will be considered by the full Senate before the November election. Democrats could bring it to the floor after that, but doing so would entails risks. If Republicans pick up a sizable number of seats, they may argue that a lame-duck Senate should not approve something of such magnitude.

There's more...

It's Vladimir Putin Not Lenin

 

With the increase in claims of "Socialism!" by the right-wing and tea-party nuts, the concept of Soviet Russia always comes in to play.  Most people I come in contact with, sadly enough, don't realize that Russia itself is not a socialist nation anymore.  No folks, this ended with the Soviet Union's collapse nearly 20 years ago.  The undeserved rage ensues from those uneducated enough to open a world-fact book and realize that Russia is a Semi-presidential Federal Republic (or some variation of those words).

With that all being said, a quick look at the Council on Foreign Relations site (CFR.org) has brought about some unique viewpoints towards the United States relations with the Russians.

As many remember, Joe Biden claimed that the U.S. wanted to "push the reset button on US-Russian relations."  I personally liked this a lot.  Russia, although has had some trouble transitioning from a socialist state to a more democratic one, I believe is trying to distance itself from its totalitarian past.

Heres a blurb from an interview with consulting editor of CFR.org Bernard Gwertzmann

More than a year ago, Vice President Joseph Biden made a speech saying the United States wanted to "reset" relations with the Russians. Has this worked?

The atmosphere of the relationship is certainly very different. If you remember the kind of nastiness of the late Bush administration and the end of Vladimir Putin's presidency, and the anger created by the Russian-Georgian War in August 2008, the starting point was very low. The administration thought that it could get results faster than has proved to be feasible, not just in the area of arms control. They worked hard on getting Russian cooperation as a transit country for getting supplies into Afghanistan, and that eventually started to work but has taken a long time.

President of Russia (albeit in name only) Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama have had several talks in the beginning parts of Obama's administration and things seem to be going somewhat more smoothly than the previous administration.  Talks have resumed for instituting a new version of the START initiative (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) due to Bush's need to put missile interceptors in the Czech Republic and elsewhere (this angered Russia quite a bit.)

Our Russian relations have come a long way from George W. Bush's method of bludgeoning other countries over the head with a hammer resembling the American flag.

The one road block, it seems, is Mr. Vladimir Putin himself.  Due to a pretty large loophole in the Russian Constitution, a president cannot serve more than 2 consecutive terms.  This means that a person elected president could theoretically take a break for a year, then run again for 2 more terms.  This is likely the route Putin will choose to take.  Putin himself is a very mysterious, authoritative man and only time will tell what he chooses to do.

For now, The United States and Russia could use each other to combat Iranian nuclear threats.  Lets distance ourselves from referring to Russians as socialists, because it is simply not true.

до свидания

for the full interview check this link

http://www.cfr.org/publication/21663/in_moscow_talks_iran_looms.html

 

 

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