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

Anita S.
|
Kansas, USA
May 25, 2010

Anita S. in Kansas writes:

Why are senators being denied access to transcripts of the meetings that resulted in the START Treaty? They need transparency before voting on such an important topic. As a citizen, I would like to be able to read and understand all the details of this treaty. It directly affects the safety of my family and community.

John M.
|
Arizona, USA
May 25, 2010

John M. in Arizona writes:

@ Under Secretary Tauscher,

I have serious concerns about the START treaty. I heard it reported that Senators don't have access to review the negotiating records of this treaty. I have also heard that the treaty limits our ability to defend ourselves from attack...why would we do that? I have also heard that this treaty may indadvertently limit our conventional capabilities.

Please know that I oppose this treaty that reduces my family's safety and is not in our country's best interest.

Regards,
John Z. M.

Anita S.
|
Kansas, USA
May 25, 2010

Anita S. in Kansas writes:

Why are senators being denied access to transcripts of the meetings that resulted in the START Treaty? They need transparency before voting on such an important topic. As a citizen, I would like to be able to read and understand all the details of this treaty. It directly affects the safety of my family and community.

Andrew B.
|
New York, USA
May 25, 2010

Andrew B. in New York writes:

Why are the current majority patry politicians so eager to place our country under the control of the UN ? 90 to 95% of the UN members hate our country. When has anything to UN has done helped our country. Remember the Korean War was a UN police action that hasn't ended yet.

Devan
|
California, USA
May 25, 2010

Devan writes:

I have serious concerns about START. Frist of all, why are we doing this now when we have so many countries around us becoming more unstable and have or will soon have nuclear capabilities? This not the time for the US to "set the example"! Second, is the administration committed to modernizing our nuclear weapons infrastructure? I feel this is very important and necessary in order to protect our country from nuclear attack.

Theresa
|
Ohio, USA
May 25, 2010

Theresa in Ohio writes:

Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities?

Theresa
|
Ohio, USA
May 25, 2010

Theresa in Ohio writes:

Is the Administration committed to modernizing our nuclear weapons infrastructure?
Last year, 41 Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the President demanding a road map for modernizing America’s nuclear weapons infrastructure as a prerequisite to consideration of the New START treaty. The Administration must present a serious plan that can win approval from Congress and address concerning language embedded in the treaty that may prevent some modernization activities.

Theresa
|
Ohio, USA
May 25, 2010

Theresa in Ohio 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.

In effect, the Russians now have veto authority over America’s national security policy.

Why?

Theresa
|
Ohio, USA
May 25, 2010

Theresa in Ohio 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.

The treaty text and Administration talking points leave many critical questions unanswered.

Senators cannot be certain America’s security and sovereignty are protected unless the State Department releases the negotiating records.

Why haven't they done so?

Dennis P.
|
Massachusetts, USA
May 25, 2010

Dennis P. in Massachusetts writes:

Once again, the promise that this administration would be "open and transparent" rings hollow. Why are Senators being denied access to the transcripts of the treaty negotiations?

The administration's policy in general seems to be one of apology, appeasement and an overall weakening of America's defenses in the false (and naive) hope that we can somehow ingratiate ourselves with our enemies.

Please rethink this dangerous strategy and open this issue to debate.

Jay R.
|
Colorado, USA
May 25, 2010

Jay R. in Colorado writes:

This treaty is blatant attempt by the Obama administration to hog tie our National Defense and more specifically, advance a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. It's is especially vague and dangerous with respect to ABM technology. DO NOT advance this treaty as it will only lead to world wide calamity similar to th ill-fated Treaty of Versaille after WWI.

Darrell T.
|
Utah, USA
May 25, 2010

Darrell T. in Utah writes:

Russia is boasting about how the new START treaty will give them veto power over the U.S. because in their view it limits our ability to update and maintain our missile defense capabilities. Why are we bowing to foreign leaders that we have dominated in the past? Why would we give up our missile defense advantage in favor of trying to please the Russians? Our advantage has kept the world safe for decades and this administration seems to desire that we "apologize" for keeping the world safe and championing the cause of freedom. This is not the "change" voters had in mind when they supported Pres. Obama in the election. The U.S. is the hope of the world... we must maintain our military advantage(s) and we must not bow to men like Vladimir Putin in hopes that he and his countrymen will play fair. That type of reasoning is the height of naivete. Putin, Chavez, Ahmendinijad, and many others are laughing at this administration while they push their own interests with no fear of retaliation or retribution. It makes me sick to see the glory that was the United States of America being humbled by the likes of Iran, Venezuela, and Russia.

In case I haven't been clear... I strongly oppose the START treaty. I will be letting my senators know of my opposition and will demand that they oppose it's ratification!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

If the negotiating record were a matter of public record and the negotiators knew this going into negotiations, more time would be spent on political posturing rather than negotiating and getting the work done. It's not a lack of transparency, it is a simple accomodation of the human condition so as to make some progress rather than get hung up on who said what to whom, when. They have to vote upon the agreement as it was reached along with the annex and protocols involved in verification, not on how it was reached. Sen Kerry was right to point out in hearing that such a decision would in all likelyhood compromise future negotiations and set a harmful precedent.

Sherry P.
|
Texas, USA
May 25, 2010

Sherry P. in Texas writes:

I oppose the ratification of this treaty.
1) Can Senators have access to the negotiating records?
2) Will the treat prevent future advances in America's missile defense system?
3) Is the Administration committed to modernizing oru nuclear weapons infrastructure?
4) Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities?

Irene D.
|
Idaho, USA
May 25, 2010

Irene D. in Idaho writes:

how can the start treaty make America and the world safer? Can hoping the bad guys in this world will respect us when we are more vulnerable make it so? How can our naivete about the reality of evil and power hungry men who wish to dominate peace loving people lead to anything but subservience to those who only have their own good in mind.

Michael M.
|
Florida, USA
May 25, 2010

Michael M. in Florida writes:

This is a treaty only an idiot like Obama could want. Weaken America with no cost or sacrifice to Russia or anybody else. Kill this appeasement treaty.

Kenneth
|
Georgia
May 25, 2010

Kenneth in Georgia writes:

If one party is being less than cooperative with details to negotiations of such importance a chosen delegation of the concerned party should be allowed the benefit of transparancy at the very least.

It seems nothing was learned from the great success of the Reagan administration regarding negotiations such as these. Reagan understood anything less than peace through strength only telegraphed as message of weakness to those on the opposite side of the negotiations.

This administration is showing weakness to the world at every turn. Is it now wonder they don't want to share what else they are giving up to place the U.S. in further danger?

jj z.
|
Oklahoma, USA
May 25, 2010

J.J. Z. in Oklahoma writes:

May I remind you President Obama, this is a nation under God's authority and under the authority of Constitutional law, by the people, for the people, of the people. Your job is to protect our borders, our language and our culture of freedom. Our military is to protect our borders and our people. By due process of law, open up the discussion to our elected representatives for debate on how these aims are to be accomplished. I do hope and pray that you are not our last president as it seems you are determined to destroy the very nation you are supposed to be leading.

Leslie
|
Missouri, USA
May 25, 2010

Leslie in Missouri writes:

I'd like to know what REALLY is going on during the negotiations that needs to be kept secret. If there's nothing wrong then there's no need to keep it from the public.
May GOD continue to watch over and protect AMERICA- NOW more than ever!

Cheryl A.
|
Texas, USA
May 25, 2010

Cheryl A. in Texas writes:

What guarantees are there in the new START treaty that America can continue to modernize and update our nuclear weapons and our missile defense systems?

Saman B.
|
Iran
May 25, 2010

Saman B. in Iran writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

A misunderstanding happened, dear Eric that's right! I beg your pardon.

Thank You

Penelope A.
|
Texas, USA
May 25, 2010

Penelope A. in Texas writes:

Why does one Fact Sheet on START state that it doesn't curtail any long-range conventional US strike capabilities, while a more recent Fact Sheet omits it? Why was the later version written with NO reference to "Silo Launchers".

Will the negotiations records be available for the People and Senators to see?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Saman B.,

(chuckle) Not a problem my friend,...you wouldn't be the first to find that out and live to tell about it. No need to ask for pardon, but I'll accept it anyway.

Now if someone could just educate Aminidijad...

Might save a bucket-load of trouble.

I don't know if this will answer one of your questions, but after 31 years of "death to America" , our patience with it has flat run out.

A few (not many) Iranians that I know are concerned that the past interference in Iranian affairs makes it hard to interfere in your government's affairs today with any sense of trust in us.

I hear that voiced occasionally from some segments of opposition groups of various schools of thought, monarchist, republican, democrat.

My answer is this;

The actions of this current regime guarrantee that my government will by all means interfere in your internal affairs, in order to safeguard the peace of the region because your government has become the most direct threat to it.

And when I said you and your fellow Iranians are beteen a rock and a hard place, this is only one aspect of that.

The other is the catch-22 of your fellow Iranians being opposed to the state of your government as it is now manifestly illegitimate, and being accused of "warring against God" for having an opinion contrary to the dictator's.

Well the only answer to that is to prove the leadership to be "apostates of Islam" and watch the whole program self-destruct.

So pass the word, and the info.

It's the most peaceful solution I can come up with.

It's one thing to freeze a mullah's assets, it's another to destroy his pride. Because that's what he fears losing most.

Paul L.
|
Nevada, USA
May 26, 2010

Paul C.L. in Nevada writes:

Why would anyone who is a true American patriot want to even consider any kind of legislation, or "treaty", that would only weaken, and therefore harm, the USA? Anyone who would do so is not a patriot, but rather, is a treasonous enemy of the USA!

Kevin
|
Michigan, USA
May 26, 2010

Kevin in Michigan writes:

It sounds like the new START Treaty will prevent us from developing our own missile defense system to the best of our ability. Does it make sense for the Russian Government to have a say in those kind of decisions?

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
May 26, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

My, there are an awful lot of negative "questions" for this now canceled "Conversation with America." All of them seem to be focused on "secrecy" and "appeasement" and "weakness." For such an esoteric subject on such an esoteric blog, one might think that many of the "questions" have been posted as the result of a campaign. Can anyone enlighten me as to who might have suggested their listeners/readers post here on this subject? And could it be that the enormous negative response was the real reason for the cancellation of the "conversation?"

Apparantly, the cold war isn't over in the minds of some people.

Robert B.
|
Texas, USA
May 26, 2010

Robert B. in Texas writes:

I have serious concerns about the New START treaty. Can Senators have access to the negotiating records? Will the treaty prevent future advances in America’s missile defense system? Is the Administration committed to modernizing our nuclear weapons infrastructure? Will the treaty inadvertently limit our conventional weapons capabilities?

Saman B.
|
Iran
May 26, 2010

Saman B. in Iran writes:

@ Paul C.L in Nevada,

I embarrassed since yesterday, what was your aim; please frankly describe who is !anyone!?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Saman B.,

I beg your pardon, I didn't mean to embarras you. Only the government you despise.

News Item;

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today urged Washington and Moscow to agree to the proposal, according to AFP.

"The Tehran declaration (on a fuel swap) is the best opportunity. We took an important step and said something very important. There are no excuses left," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama "should bear in mind that if he does not use this opportunity, Iranians are unlikely to give him a new chance," he said.

Ahmadinejad criticized Russia for "siding with those who have been our enemy for 30 years.""We hope Russian officials will pay attention, make amends and not let Iranians put them in the line of their historic enemies," the Iranian president said (Hiedeh Farmani, Agence France-Presse IV/Yahoo!News, May 26).

Ahmadinejad questioned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's judgment in supporting a new Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran with the body's other four permanent members: China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"If I were the Russian president, when making decisions about subjects related to a great nation (Iran) ... I would act more cautiously, I would think more," Reuters quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"The Iranian nation doesn't know: are they (the Russians) our friends and neighbors? Are they with us or are they looking for something else?" he asked.

"This is not acceptable for the Iranian nation. I hope they (Russia) will pay attention and take corrective action" Ahmadinejad said (Robin Pomeroy, Reuters II, May 26).

Moscow promptly replied to Ahmadinejad's remarks, AFP reported.

"Any unpredictability, political extremism, lack of transparency or inconsistency in decision-making ... is unacceptable for Russia," Kremlin foreign policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko said in a statement.

"No one has ever managed to retain their authority through political demagoguery," the official said (Agence France-Presse V/Spacewar.com, May 26).

---

Saman, I think Paul is referring to his fellow Americans with "anyone". As to his opinion, there are some in this country who think reducing our own arsenal down to 700 strategic nuclear weapons from 1500 will weaken the US.

I guess the question really boils down to how far back to the stone age do folks want to get?

Given the numbers, it's a choice between being able to end the human species as a species as opposed simply having the capacity to destroy everything civilized about it.

That former enemies are working to create a better world (and ultimately get rid of all nukes) is what it is.

Survival instinct.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
May 26, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Sometimes semantics are used to make a bad idea sound good. New START Treaty sounds "good" but when analyzed it it raises many questions. I have read all the comments that have been posted so far, and many of those questions have been raised, and should be answered. I have stated my opinion of Russia, and their trustworthiness, many times on this blog. When have they EVER been a country that we can trust? What makes things different now?! Why would we entrust our national security to the likes of Putin, former KGB? No, it is not the Cold War anymore, but it seems to me that Russia can still play a very good chess game. Has their "national" mentality really changed? Prove this to me and I might understand why we are doing this. Who has Russia lined themselves up with...Iran, Syria, Brazil, Venezuela, Turkey...wow! All countries that have our best interests in mind...right? I don't think so.

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