Philip MaxonNew START Hearings

Greetings from (not so) sunny San Diego. I hope the people back east are enjoying the sweltering heat.  I just finished the first of three weeks at the UCSD IGCC Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Summer Training Program. But, last week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concluded twelve hearings on the New START Treaty.  The hearings focused on the history of arms control, context of the treaty, the negotiations, verification, U.S. national security, the inspection regime, and impact on the stockpile.

Here is a list of the hearings.

Hearings started on April 29, with the chairs of the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, James Schlesinger and William Perry, who discussed the historic and modern context for U.S.-Russian Arms Control. Both men voiced their support for the treaty. The Obama administration formally presented their argument for ratification on May 18 with Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair Adm. Mullen. Providing further historical and national strategic implications were James Baker, Henry Kissinger, Brent Scrowcroft, and Stephen Hadley, who all voiced questions and areas of concern, but expressed their general support for the treaty.

Committee members then heard, in closed and open sessions on June 8 and 15 respectively,  Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Chief U.S. Negotiator, and Edward L. Warner III , Secretary of Defense Representative to Post- START Negotiations, on the negotiation process with the Russians.

One June 16, James Miller, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Department of Defense, General Kevin Chilton, STRATCOM commander, and Lt. General Patrick O’Reilly, commander of the Missile Defense Agency, gave the Pentagon perspective of the treaty, all in support of ratification.  Implementation and Inspection was the next topic on June 24, with the focus on the on site inspection regimes with James Miller and Kenneth Myers III from DTRA.

The Senate Committee heard from Robert Joseph, Eric Edleman, and Dr. Morton Halperin on the costs and benefits of the treaty also on June 24. Mr. Joseph and Mr. Eldeman both expressed concerns and question about the treaty, but did not suggest Senate rejection. Dr. Halperin stated the treaty followed the recommendations issued by the Strategic Posture Commission and he fully supported the treaty.

On July 14, Rose Gottemoeller presented, in a closed session, information on monitoring and verification of the Russian arsenal under the new treaty. Finally, on July 15, Dr. Michael Anastaiso, Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. George Miller, Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Dr. Paul Hommert, Director of Sandia National Laboratory, testified addressing the future of the U.S. nuclear stockpile under the new treaty. The three directors voiced support for the treaty and declared it would not limit their ability to maintain a safe, secure and effective stockpile. But, they did stress that the Congress and the administration must maintain the will to sustain funding for the future as the stockpile decreases in size.

Below is a table of the hearings, topics, dates, whether it was an open or closed session and the speakers. Now, off to the beach….

START Hearings: Topic Date Open/ Closed Speakers
1. The Historical and Modern Context For U.S.-Russian Arms Control 29-Apr-10 Open The Honorable James R. Schlesinger
The Honorable William J. Perry
2. The New START Treaty 18-May-10 Open Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Chairman of JCS Admiral Michael Mullen, USN
3. The History and Lessons of START 19-May-10 Open The Honorable James A. Baker
4. The Role of Strategic Arms Control in a Post-Cold War World 25-May-10 Open The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger
5. The New START Treaty: The Negotitations 8-Jun-10 Closed Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance
Department of State
Edward L. Warner, III, Secretary of Defense Representative to Post- START Negotiations, DoD
6. Strategic Arms Control and National Security 10-Jun-10 Open Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft
The Honorable Stephen J. Hadley
7. The New START Treaty: The Negotitations 15-Jun-10 Open Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance
Department of State
Edward L. Warner, III, Secretary of Defense Representative to Post- START Negotiations, DoD
8. The New START Treaty: Views from the Pentagon 16-Jun-10 Open James N. Miller, Jr., Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD
General Kevin P. Chilton, STRATCOM
James Miller Jr. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD (Afternoon Testimony)
Lieutenant General Patrick J. O’Reilly, Missile Defense Agency
9. The New START Treaty: Implementation-Inspections and Assistance 24-Jun-10 Open James N. Miller, Jr., Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD
Kenneth A. Myers III, Director
Defense Threat Reduction Agency and U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction
10. The New START Treaty: Benefits and Risks 24-Jun-10 Open The Honorable Robert G. Joseph
The Honorable Eric S. Edelman
Dr. Morton H. Halperin
11. The New START Treaty: Monitoring and Verification of Treaty Compliance 14-Jul-10 Closed Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance
Department of State
12. The New START Treaty: Maintaining a Safe , Secure, and Effective Nuclear Arsenal 15-Jul-10 Open Dr. Michael R. Anastasio, Director Los Alamos
Dr. George H. Miller, Director Lawrence Livermore
Dr. Paul J. Hommert, Director Sandia
Amb. Linton Brooks (Comments added to the record)

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