Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The START Treaty

One of the reasons that I haven't been posting much lately is because a lot of what has been on my mind has been about politics.    And since the mid-term elections, I had decided to not be so political here on my blog. 

Well, I am a fail on that decision, since this one IS about politics.  But it is also about more than that.  It is about our national security.  And no matter what your political leanings may be, I think that we all can agree on one thing:  We want America to be a strong country.  

That is why I am so concerned about the START treaty.  It is too important of a subject matter to be pushed through during this lame-duck session.   So many other bills and concerns have been the topic that it has been neglected from public notice, and now it looks like it will be ratified by the Senate today or tomorrow. 

I have mentioned before that I am glad that I live in Idaho, a state that so represents the values and concerns of my husband and I.    And and in an area that a visiting General Authority told us would be "a gathering place, and a safe haven".   

Last week, I wrote my Senator and told him of my concerns.   Here is his response:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Carey:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) signed by President Obama and Russian President Medvedev in April. I appreciate hearing from you.

After the treaty was signed, President Obama sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I have spent months reviewing the details of the treaty and have deep concerns with it.

It is unfortunate this treaty embraces an outdated 20th century Cold War style of arms control, while ignoring the flexibility needed for the threats America must confront now and in the future. Under this treaty, President Obama accepted limits on missile defense as well as conventional capabilities, while accepting weakened verification measures. Whereas Russia already is below the warhead and delivery vehicle limits set forth in this treaty, the U.S. is not and will need to make many difficult choices about our military in order to comply with the treaty's provisions. Despite repeated inquires, it is still unclear what concessions were made by Russia.

I am also deeply concerned by the fact that the minority was denied its requests to hear from witnesses it requested, access to documents was delayed and questions were rarely answered in a timely matter for thoughtful deliberation. A recent meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee to amend the treaty greatly improved the resolution of ratification and I was glad the committee accepted one of my amendments; however, several other key amendments were rejected. Even with my amendment, the treaty did not do enough to protect the United States and I subsequently voted against it in committee.

I really value your effort to get in touch with me to share your thoughts, as many Idahoans do. Pease do not hesitate to contact me in the future on this or other issues.

Very Truly Yours

James E. Risch
United States Senator

I really hope that something will happen in the Senate today that will stall this vote until after the new year, until Representatives who are going to be there for more than another few days can review it and negiotiate the necessary changes to it.  Since there isn't sufficient time to do that, I hope and pray that the vote will wait.  However, it looks like it could be voted on and passed today or tomorrow.  

Do you think that all any of our sitting Representatives have our best interests and the interests of our country at heart?

1 comment:

M-Cat said...

i think we need the politcal posts once in a while so thank you!

I too am concered with the treaty, and I really DON'T (sadly) think that all in Washington truly have their constituents wants in mind. Lately, I am more and more disgusted by politics and all who are playing the game.