Join a Discussion With Under Secretary Tauscher on the New START Treaty

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 20, 2010
Conversations With America A Discussion on the New START Treaty

Update: We regret that due to conflicting schedules, this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule soon and will post the new day and time when announced.

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, Ambassador Steven Pifer, Director of the Brookings Institution's Arms Control Initiative, will hold a conversation with Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher, on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Obama Administration's agenda in Prague. The discussion will be moderated by Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. The event will be streamed live on DipNote at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). You will have the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions now here on DipNote.

This is the second in the new Conversations with America video series recently launched by the Bureau of Public Affairs in which the State Department's senior leadership will hold monthly conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. Discussion topics will include foreign policy and global issues. These forums will provide a view of how leaders from the foreign affairs community engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues and how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most.

Comments

Comments

Saman B.
|
Iran
May 21, 2010

Saman B. in Iran writes:

@The honourable administrators!

What is the indications of a nuclear arm after made? How can the U.N. AT.Agency find a atomic weapon in the unrestrained country? Is this with its huge mushroom then it applied?

Has the various methods to hide and carry a nuclear bomb; in the suitcase on a passenger plane, or in the voyage, or installed on the missile!
I've mentioned the missile; if a savage country want to fire off tens of missiles without nuclear caps to America or Europe, how much is the demolition extent and ruination radius? In event that, the defensive shields can neutralize all those?

Thank You

Gerard J.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 21, 2010

Dr. Gerard J. in Washington, D.C. writes:

Dear Under Secretary Tauscher,

Against the background of politics surrounding the upcoming elections and a number of other important issues on our National Agenda (i.e. the Gulf spill) how is the Obama Administration going to marshall public opinion and the majority in the Senate to approve of the new START Treaty?

Dr. Gerard J.

Peter W.
|
New York, USA
May 21, 2010

Peter W. in New York writes:

At the current NPT RevCon many countries and almost all civil society organizations are asking for the beginning of serious negotiations for a convention implementing the Presidnet's vision of a nuclear weapons free world. When asked about this at the forum sponsored by the US Mission to the UN, Under Secretary Tauscher replied "We are prepared to talk to anyone, but not in the context of a nuclear weapons convention." If this is not the time to begin, however long it may take to get to an actual convention, when will the time be right?

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
May 21, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

So, like, if all of this treaty stuff didn't work and there was... uh... a nuclear bomb headed right for where you were, and you only had, say, five minutes left to live, what would you do during that last five minutes?

I was just wondering because if the same thing happened to me, I'd watch "Glee" because it makes me happy!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 21, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Saman B. in Iran,

You ask good questions. I cannot speak for those you addressed them to, but I'll offer you this as food for thought;

a. fissile material is traceable through it's radioctivity. The impurities left in the material through processing and enrichment make to possible to determine the origin of the material geographicly, since samples are collected by the IAEA.

This means that if a bomb were to go off, we'd know who the terrorist obtained it from.

Might be the only reason it hasn't happened yet is no one wants to get caught being terminally stupid.

Regardless of how willing they are to become so.

Sometimes you just have to listen to people and take stock over time whether they mean what they say...

On February 14, 2005 a leading member of Iran’s Hizbollah, Hojjat-ol-Islam Baqer Kharrazi after years of silence delivered a harsh speech against the reformists and the administration in Iran, Iran Emrooz reported.

“I kept silent over the past 14 years, because Hizbollah needed to be restructured and I was busy with training the forces. Although no Iranian media reflected Hizbollah leaders’ recent meeting with head of Iran’s State Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, I should say we elaborated on Hizbollah’s activities for Rafsanjani in detail and the former president was amazed with our progress.” Kharrazi claimed.

“We don’t need any guardian. And if necessary we will select our own president, ministers and parliament members. For without the Hizbollah forces the Islamic Revolution will collapse from within.” the hardliner added.

Referring to the Sunni population in Iran’s western, eastern and southern borders, Kharrazi said: “Presently the country’s borders are controlled by Sunnis. We have to counter their growth in the country.”

On Iran’s nuclear issue, Kharrazi noted: “We have oil, gas and all other natural resources and thus we don’t need interaction with other countries. We are able to produce atomic bombs and we will do that. We shouldn’t be afraid of anyone. The US is no more than a barking dog”

-END QUOTE

Personally I think this intent puts you and the Iranian people between a rock and a hard place.

And that is unfortunate.

Sudakshina P.
|
Colorado, USA
May 21, 2010

Sudakshina P. in Colorado writes:

Is the US going to become the country that polices the treaty? How are we going to ensure that the treaty is followed? Who is going to manage and take custody of the materials that are going to be reduced? Will any of them end up on US shores? How do we create a fail-safe method for keeping fissonable materials out of the hands of terrorists? How will we ever know what level of arms each country really has, no matter the condition of those arms.

Katie S.
May 21, 2010

Katie S. writes:

Can the complete ban of nuclear weapons ever be achieved?

How can by signing treaties one can be certain that both sides will hold u their ends of the deal (without going into each other's countries and checking for themselves...even that may be difficult to accomplish).

Hypothetically speaking, assuming that all countries recognized with nuclear weapon capability, rid themselves of them. What would happen should a country, not recognized as having nuclear weapons but seeking them (i.e Iran), emerge with a nuclear missile threat, what would happen on the international scale, should this occur?

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
May 21, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Ever since the start of Nuclear Power Plants, countries will have the highest responsibility to contain and protect Nuclear Power plants and ensure the safety of all citizens. The problem is Nuclear Power has been around since World War 2 and countries are developing Nuclear Power for economical reasons using the electric grid, others like Iran are attempting to make ICBM Missiles. It wouldn't be so bad if the Nuclear energy could be used to help move tractor trailers across our highways and save billions of dollars in fuel costs. What a concept, electric powered tractor trailers, then the cost of diesel would drop. The prices at the stores would drop. NO speed limits have been lowered even during a fuel crisis. I can only hope one day the world finds a replacement for Nuclear Energy, one that does NOT come at the price of losing hundreds of thousands of people, if or when a rogue Nation decides to unleash the fire ball. Our Nation has stockpiled, Russia has stockpiled, the real question should be, how many other Nations have stockpiled Nuclear Weapons?

Saman B.
|
Iran
May 22, 2010

Saman B. in Iran writes:

@ Sir Eric!

Thanks dear Eric to gave me information.

But don't get me wrong please, I won't to jeopardize this despotic regime, and to frightening U.S.Nation.

Every time I like the truth so I hate those who covered their lies with other lies; I don't mean you have a complete government, in troth has a gig distinction between this regime and your government, from

Land far of Mars, here negative there positive.

Thank You

john m.
|
West Virginia, USA
May 22, 2010

John M. in West Virginia writes:

why does the u.s. turn a blind eye to israel when discussing nuclear disarmament? we have no credence arguing against iran if we do not apply equal sanctions to israel. why are we not sick and tired of being held hostage to a rogue state with nukes and no moral high ground?

Vin M.
|
Virginia, USA
May 23, 2010

Vin M. in Virginia writes:

My warmest greetings to his Excellency Ambassador Pifer, Under Secretary Tauscher, and Assistant Secretary Crowley.

Firstly, I would like to thank you for creating such an interactive and well designed online forum to help further the international development and foreign policy goals of the United States...

My question relates to the stipulations regarding the proliferation of nuclear materials particularly weapons grade materials, technology and intellectual property. While I understand that there are no limitations within the new START treaty with respect to the further development and achievement of our strategic defense technologies, does the new START treaty prevent and prohibit the sale of the drawn down nuclear weapons to developed and even under-developed nations?

Meaning are there express terms within the agreement that the 700-1400 numerical reduction in strategic nuclear weapons, will be disposed of rather than sold to third parties as a means of reducing stockpiles?

If my questions is too invasive or particularly sensitive with respect to national security regulations please feel free to either overlook or ameleorate my question...

Once again, thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to working with you soon,

-
Vin M.

Ben R.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 24, 2010

Ben R. in Washington, D.C. writes:

Under Secretary Tauscher, in your 2008 NYT op/ed co written with Congressman Markey you said that the U.S. India nuclear deal would likely increase "India’s yearly nuclear weapons production capability...from 7 bombs to 40 or 50." Can you articulate how the Obama Administration will address the significant proliferation concerns raised by the U.S. India nuclear deal without isolating India, an important U.S. ally? Respectfully, Ben R

Victor G.
|
California, USA
May 24, 2010

Victor G. in California writes:

Will the treaty prevent future advances in America’s missile defense system? Russian politicians are characterizing the treaty’s references to America’s missile defense systems as a de facto limitation on America’s future defensive capabilities. Russian President Medvedev indicated that future advances in America’s missile defense capabilities could prompt them to withdraw from the treaty.

Sr. S.
|
New Jersey, USA
May 24, 2010

Pablo S. in New Jersey writes:

Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities?

Thomas S.
|
Florida, USA
May 24, 2010

Thomas B. in Florida writes:

Dear Sirs,

One of the primary responsibilities of the U. S. government is the saftey of its citizens. Is it not incumbant on the government to constantly upgrade all defense w

Carole Y.
May 24, 2010

Carole Y. writes:

- The negotiating records need to be made public as Sen DeMint requested. Why not?

- Will this limit the future developement of our the Missile Defense System? Why does Russia's President Medvedev indicate that future advances in America’s missile defense capabilities could prompt them to withdraw from the treaty? Why would we give them power over our defense?

-Where is our roadmap for modernizing America’s nuclear weapons infrastructure as a prerequisite to consideration of the New START treaty?

- Will this treaty limit our conventional weapons capability?

John B.
|
Maryland, USA
May 24, 2010

John B. in Maryland writes:

Dear Secretary Tauscher,

The question that I ask of you has four components. I am not alone in asking these components. Many are echoing my thoughts and will continue to echo me and will ask tributaries of these questions.

The question I ask is: will you answer all four components and answer them truthfully? The components are:

1. Can Senators have access to the negotiating records?

2. Will the treaty prevent future advances in America’s missile defense system?

3. Is the Administration committed to modernizing our nuclear weapons infrastructure?

4. Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities?

Respectfully,
John H. B., Sr.
Waldorf, MD

William L.
|
California, USA
May 24, 2010

William L. in California writes:

Can Senators have access to the negotiating records? Last week, Secretary Clinton rejected Senator DeMint’s (R-SC) request for the negotiating records. Even though Senator Kerry (D-MA) acknowledged such a request was not unprecedented, he said there was no need for Senators to review the official negotiating records. Rubbish; what is the administration hiding?

Will the treaty prevent future advances in America’s missile defense system? Russian politicians are characterizing the treaty’s references to America’s missile defense systems as a de facto limitation on America’s future defensive capabilities. Russian President Medvedev indicated that future advances in America’s missile defense capabilities could prompt them to withdraw from the treaty. In effect, the Russians now have veto authority over America’s national security policy. Do you think this is a good idea? Do you like your job?

Is the Administration committed to modernizing our nuclear weapons infrastructure? Last year, 41 Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the President demanding a roadmap for modernizing America’s nuclear weapons infrastructure as a prerequisite to consideration of the New START treaty. The term bipartisan is no more than an empty bucket for the administration. Does the administration favor unilateral disarmament? Is there any evidence kind intentions are ever rewarded in international politics?

Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities? The State Department has released numerous “fact sheets” on the New START treaty. In one, they claimed the treaty does not curtail any “long-range conventional strike capabilities.” Yet, a subsequent version of that “fact sheet” did not mention such capabilities and it deleted references to the “construction of silo launchers.” Will we be left with a weak self defense capability as a result of the administration’s ideological initiatives?

John D.
|
California, USA
May 24, 2010

John D. in California writes:

I want to live in a strong America and am concerned about the new START treaty. What conditions would this treaty, if approved, place on weapons development -- especially on missile defense?

Second, what implications would this treaty have, again if approved, on my ability to own small arms?

Thank you for considering my questions.

David R.
|
Montana, USA
May 24, 2010

David R. in Montana writes:

Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities? The State Department has released numerous “fact sheets” on the New START treaty. In one, they claimed the treaty does not curtail any “long-range conventional strike capabilities.” Yet, a subsequent version of that “fact sheet” did not mention such capabilities and it deleted references to the “construction of silo launchers.” The uncertainty over the future of our conventional force capabilities is likely to make us less secure.

Peter H.
|
New Jersey, USA
May 24, 2010

Peter H. in New Jersey writes:

Is there a Country more trustworthy than Ours when it comes to Strategic Arms?

If it wasn't for the United States, they'd all be speaking German...(or Japanese).

Sarah W.
|
Texas, USA
May 24, 2010

Sarah W. in Texas writes:

I do not agree with START. We need our country protected. Who made Russia in charge of our ability to protect ourselves? This is no good. START OVER.

charles d.
|
Arizona, USA
May 24, 2010

Charles D. in Arizona writes:

My question is this:

If the world is concerned with our nuclear arsenal, what effect does limitations on our missile defense systems have that would reduce the possibilities of a nuclear war? The missile defense system is not nuclear armed as I understand it. So why allow a nuclear armed missle the capibility and increased possibility of penetrating our defense system? It doesn't make sense to us average Americans that we should weaken our defense in this fassion. Stop appeasing the idiot left and abandon this foolishness.

Wayne S.
|
Utah, USA
May 24, 2010

Wayne S. in Utah writes:

I have two questions I would like you to address.

1. What specific language do you intend to include in the new START treaty negotiations to prevent any reduction in our current Missle Defense System?

2. What controls are you planning to include in the START Treaty negotiations to prevent weapons grade material and technology from being accessed by terrorist groups through-out the world?

Respectfully,
Wayne S.

Curtis M.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 24, 2010

Curtis M. in Washington writes:

I am alarmed! A New START treaty with Russia that addresses our national defense and involves our missle defense system as well as nuclear capabilities without a complete review by the Senate? Are you out of your mind? The Senate must be given access to negotiating records.

Due to the nature of our enemies all aspects must be reviewed before approval.

Peter S.
|
Illinois, USA
May 24, 2010

Peter S. in Illinois writes:

Under-secretary Tauscher,

During the Cold War, arms-limitation treaties were an essential function of a democratic society seeking to prevent a despotic leader from getting his "finger on the button".

Considering the nations involved in those treaties, tensions were readily apparent yet the world still carried on, confident in the belief that said nations were of a life-loving sort and might not be as easily disposed to dropping the bomb at a drop-of-the-hat.

Unfortunately, times have changed dramatically since then and far greater numbers of nations now have the ability or at least the capability to unleash terrible horrors upon the world.

With this in mind, with all due respect, why would America and the UN seek to agree to terms with a nation as despicable and unreliable as Iran, a nation that is clearly NOT of the "life-loving" mindset? Aren't past experiences with UN sanctions prove enough that Iran cannot be trusted?

Robert P.
|
California, USA
May 24, 2010

Robert P. in California writes:

I would not like to see our advantage in anti-missle technology lost vis-a-vis the rest of the world. We need to continue to develop and test newer systems to reliably defend against those who wish to harm us. What is the goal of the Obama administration regarding the matter?

Lynne N.
|
Missouri, USA
May 24, 2010

Lynne N. in Missouri writes:

Why are we agreeing to the START Treaty without allowing for the updating of our nuclear weapons, which require vacuum tubes that are no longer produced?

Art W.
|
North Carolina, USA
May 24, 2010

Art W. in North Carolina writes:

Unless there is something to hide, why is not the START treaty in total submitted to the Senate for study?

Where is the so called "transparency" of the Obama administration when the Department of State releases only "fact sheets" about this START treaty instead of the treaty itself for the American people to judge?

Albert R.
|
Texas, USA
May 24, 2010

Albert R. in Texas writes:

As best I can tell from the information I am able to get about the proposed new START treaty, we are willing to allow the Russians to tie our hands behind our backs with regard to improving our existing nuclear weapons and developing our defensive weapons systems. Please explain to me how this makes any sense!

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