SALT I negotiator, START delegate-at-large, Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty chief negotiator, and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey in The Wall Street Journal:
A number of years negotiating arms-control agreements with the Soviets taught me that, when dealing with Russian counterparts, don’t appear eager—friendly yes, eager never. Regrettably, the Obama administration seems to have become eager for a deal in its negotiations on the follow-on treaty to the recently expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start). Hopes for a boost in efforts to “reset” relations with Russia, and for progress toward the president’s dream of a world without nuclear weapons, apparently combined to trump prudent negotiating strategy. As a result, concessions to Russian demands make it difficult to support Senate approval of the new treaty, known as New Start, as it currently stands.
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today :
When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization. I appreciate the recent effort by the Administration to address some of the issues that we have raised and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Kerry, DOD, and DOE officials.
Former-Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) last week :
And for those of you joining the United States Senate, don’t listen to desperate politically-motivated arguments about the need for hasty consideration of the “New START” treaty. Insist on your right to patient and careful deliberation of New START to address very real concerns about verification, missile defense, and modernization of our nuclear infrastructure. No New START in the lame duck!
There are at least a dozen fatal flaws in New START that must be addressed before the Senate should even vote on the measure. Woolsey is right, the Obama administration is too eager to get rush this agreement. We can get a better deal.