Question the Obama Administration about New START and Missile Defense

Steven Groves /

A ground-based interceptor lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 5, 2008. The launch is a test of the ground-based midcourse defense element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, which successfully intercepted a long-range target launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold two hearings this week regarding the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the “New START Treaty.” These hearings may be the best chance Senators will have to publicly inquire what effect the New START will have on the U.S. missile defense program.

In the first hearing, on Tuesday, June 15, the Committee will hear testimony from two key U.S. negotiators for the New START, Rose Gottemoeller, the Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, and Edward L. Warner III, the Pentagon’s representative for the negotiations. The Committee will have the opportunity at the second hearing, on Wednesday, June 16, to hear from Pentagon officials, including Lieutenant General Patrick J. O’Reilly, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency.

At both of these hearings, the Committee must question the witnesses about certain preamble language in the treaty, and what effect it will have on future U.S. missile defense capabilities. The specific language in the treaty reads: (more…)