Lawmakers: Obama Kept NATO in Dark on Possible Russian Arms Breach

Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 31, 2014, 6:52 a.m.

Re­pub­lic­an law­makers are as­sert­ing that Pres­id­ent Obama took too long to in­form U.S. al­lies of a pos­sible Rus­si­an treaty vi­ol­a­tion.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion no­ti­fied oth­er NATO na­tions earli­er this month of the po­ten­tial breach in­volving Rus­si­an cruise-mis­sile tests that began as long ago as 2008. The U.S. State De­part­ment on Thursday con­firmed it had ex­pressed con­cern to Mo­scow about the pos­sible vi­ol­a­tion, the New York Times re­por­ted.

In a Thursday let­ter to Obama, Rep­res­ent­at­ive Mike Turn­er (R-Ohio) said de­tails on the po­ten­tial breach of the 1987 In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Nuc­le­ar Forces Treaty should have been avail­able to NATO na­tions as they craf­ted a 2012 nuc­le­ar-strategy re­view.

“Your ad­min­is­tra­tion called upon NATO to un­der­take the 2012 De­terrence and De­fense Pos­ture Re­view (DDPR) in an ef­fort to ana­lyze the cur­rent threat en­vir­on­ment and en­sure that the al­li­ance’s nuc­le­ar pos­ture is de­signed to meet those threats,” Turn­er’s let­ter states.

The U.S. “fail­ure to dis­close this crit­ic­al in­form­a­tion to NATO dur­ing the re­view pro­cess both com­prom­ises the DDPR and weak­ens the trust our al­lies place in us,” the law­maker ad­ded.

The same con­cern comes up in a Thursday joint state­ment by Turn­er and three oth­er GOP law­makers: House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee Chair­man Buck McK­eon (R-Cal­if.), Vice Chair­man Mac Thorn­berry (R-Texas), and Stra­tegic Forces Sub­com­mit­tee Chair­man Mike Ro­gers (R-Ala.).

“In­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles threaten our European part­ners most of all,” the re­lease says. “Why were they kept in the dark for four years ac­cord­ing to this [Times] re­port? Why did the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion keep evid­ence of Rus­sia’s cheat­ing from our al­lies when NATO was re­cently de­bat­ing and de­cid­ing upon its nuc­le­ar pos­ture?” 

To date, Wash­ing­ton has not form­ally ac­cused Mo­scow of vi­ol­at­ing the 1987 pact.

What We're Following See More »
Libertarians Getting a Second Look?
5 hours ago
Trump Floats Gingrich, Kasich as Running Mates
5 hours ago

Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.

House Dems Push on Puerto Rico, Citing Zika
7 hours ago

"House Democrats are stepping up pressure on Republicans to advance legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis by issuing a report arguing that austerity cuts can’t be sustained and have made the island more vulnerable to the mosquito-borne Zika virus." Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee released a report yesterday that argued "further sharp reductions in government spending can’t be a part of a legislative solution"—especially with a rainy season boosting the mosquito population and stressing an island health system already struggling to deal with the Zika virus.

Clapper: ISIS Can Stage Attacks in U.S.
7 hours ago

"ISIS has the capability to stage a Paris-style attack in the U.S. using local cells to strike in multiple locations and inflict dozens of casualties, according to the Obama administration's top U.S. intelligence official." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Peter Bergen that such a scenario is "something we worry about a lot in the United States, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels."

Trump to Name VP Search Committee
8 hours ago

"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.