News / USA

Clinton: Arms Treaty With Moscow Doesn't Limit US Missile Defense

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top Obama administration officials told Senators Thursday the new U.S.-Russia strategic arms reduction treaty does not constrain U.S. missile defense plans. Republican Senators say recent Russian statements suggest otherwise.

The Obama administration will need at least eight Republican votes to get the two-thirds majority in the Senate needed for ratification of the treaty.

Clinton led a team of senior administration officials to the Senate Armed Services Committee to try to defuse Republican skepticism about the agreement.

The treaty, signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in April, will cut the number of deployed offensive nuclear warheads of the two powers by about 30 per cent, to about 1,550 on both sides.

It makes scant mention of missile defense other than to stipulate that offensive silos and launchers cannot be converted to defensive uses.

But Republicans have seized on public statements by Russian officials since the signing criticizing U.S. missile defense efforts aimed against Iran and North Korea, and suggesting that a broader U.S. program might prompt Russia to abandon the treaty.

Ranking Republican committee member John McCain said Russia must not be allowed to dictate U.S. missile defense strategy.

"Any notion of a Russian veto on our missile-defense architecture is unacceptable, and we should oppose any attempt by any administration to do so," he said.

Clinton told McCain Russia has objected to U.S. missile defense efforts since arms control talks began in the Cold War era, but that public statements by Russian leaders do not change their treaty commitments.

"Russia has, as the chairman said, issued a unilateral statement expressing its view. But that is not an agreed-upon view. That is not in the treaty. It's the equivalent of a press release, and we are not in any way bound by it," she said.

Clinton was joined at the hearing by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Republican Bush administration, and the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

Mullen said the treaty has the full support of the uniformed armed services, and that swift ratification is essential to restore arms verification procedures that lapsed when the previous treaty with Moscow expired last December.

"We're in our seventh month right now with no treaty with the Russians, and I'd just re-emphasize what Secretary Gates said, that it's my view that we are much better off with it than without it," he said.

Defense Secretary Gates said the administration is committed, in tandem with strategic weapons cuts, to modernize its remaining nuclear stockpile - an effort independent Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman said will be essential to Senate ratification.

"Ultimately I think whether or not the New Start treaty is ratified will depend on members of the Senate of both parties having the confidence that the administration is committed to modernizing our current nuclear stockpile," he said.

President Obama has said he would like to see U.S. ratification of the treaty completed by the end of this year, though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested the process may take a few months longer.

The Russian parliament has not yet acted on the accord.



You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs