Sunday, December 19, 2010

Senate to Return Sunday for Debate on Russia Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty

When a treaty like this is considered, both sides should expect to make equal sacrifices for equal security. obama has a history of giving away the farm and getting no gain for it. It would be interesting to know what obama has promised the Russians. You can bet we are coming out in a far worse security position than they are. But once again, the American people are kept in the dark, it wouldn't matter anyway if we were able to read this and give input on it. These people have proven so many times that could give a rats ass what we think.

The part of this treaty that could be interpreted as limiting our ability to defend ourselves is troubling. Why would obama even consider such language? It really seems as if obama is doing every thing he can to make this Country less secure...

From FoxNews

WASHINGTON -- An arms treaty with Russia to reduce stockpiles of nuclear warheads goes into a fifth day of discussion in the Senate on Sunday, but the executive session offers little chance for Americans to observe the debate.

Some Republicans oppose the treaty negotiated by President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, saying that the preamble of the treaty links missile defense and strategic offensive weapons, which have been separated since then-President Ronald Reagan first negotiated START with Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev.

"We're just a rubber stamp for the administration and the Russians, and the administration for the first time wasn't willing to stand up to the Russians and say you're not going to implicate our missile defenses," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the top Republican leading the charge against ratification.

On Saturday, an amendment by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., failed on a 59-37 vote to send the treaty back to the negotiating table. Kyl said Republicans have been warned that Democrats leading the debate will not permit an amendment to the treaty.

"Well what are we going through this exercise then for?" Kyl asked.

But calling it the longest length of time the Senate has debated a treaty, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin predicted the START would get the two-thirds vote needed to pass.

Kyl "has had ample opportunity to express himself, to file any amendments he thinks may be necessary. As of today, of the fifth day of debate, we've voted on one amendment. There will be another raised this afternoon. I think we need to bring this to a vote," said Durbin, who appeared with Kyl on "Fox News Sunday."

Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a supporter of the treaty, said several Republicans will support ratification and he believes the votes are there.

"The problem is getting to that final vote," Lugar said on ABC's "This Week."

Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told the same program that the general in charge of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency says "unequivocally" there's no restraint to missile defense in the treaty.

"There is not legal binding statement whatsoever. There's a sort-of statement that for political purposes was necessary to achieve what we achieved. The important thing is the Russians wanted to have a binding statement precluding us from having a missile defense. There is nothing in there that restricts our missile defense system," Kerry said.

Kyl, who argued that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is concerned by the language in the preamble, said he's not satisfied with President Obama's pledge to construct a missile defense system in Europe, which the president negotiated last year after the Russian Federation objected to a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"Tell it to the Russians, send a letter to the Russians. In fact, change the preamble to the treaty, which would eliminate any doubt about the issue," Kyl said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., added that he's going to write to the Russians and won't vote for the treaty until they provide an assurance that they understand the preamble does not limit four-stage missile defense.

"You want to create chaos in the world, sign a treaty where everybody thinks the world is safer and down the road then withdraw because we intend to do something they don't want us to do. I need to know the answer to that," Graham told CBS' "Face the Nation. "Our military leaders are not in line with asking to give me the Russian view, I want the Russians to tell me their view of our ability to build a strategic missile defense and we can wait to next year."

The treaty is a foreign policy priority for Obama that would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. There's also a system for monitoring and verification.

Treaties require a two-thirds majority of those voting in the Senate, which convenes at noon for a closed session.