Senate Panel Approves Gottemoeller, Rose for Senior Arms-Control Jobs at State

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 31, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

The Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee on Thursday ap­proved Pres­id­ent Obama’s nom­in­a­tions of two vet­er­an State De­part­ment of­fi­cials to serve in more-seni­or nuc­le­ar arms-con­trol po­s­i­tions, the Hill news­pa­per re­por­ted.

Cur­rent act­ing un­der­sec­ret­ary of State for arms con­trol and in­ter­na­tion­al se­cur­ity Rose Got­te­moeller has been nom­in­ated to form­ally oc­cupy that po­s­i­tion. Pri­or to pro­vi­sion­ally step­ping in­to the role in Feb­ru­ary 2012 that was formerly held by El­len Tauscher, Got­te­moeller served as as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary of State for arms con­trol, veri­fic­a­tion and com­pli­ance and as the lead U.S. ne­go­ti­at­or in New START talks with Rus­sia. If ap­proved by the full Sen­ate, Got­te­moeller would over­see three of­fices in­side the State De­part­ment — the Bur­eau of Arms Con­trol, Veri­fic­a­tion and Com­pli­ance, the Bur­eau of In­ter­na­tion­al Se­cur­ity and Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion and the Bur­eau of Polit­ic­al-Mil­it­ary Af­fairs.

Deputy As­sist­ant Sec­ret­ary of State for Space and De­fense Policy Frank Rose has been nom­in­ated to fill Got­te­moeller’s va­cated role head­ing up treaty veri­fic­a­tion and com­pli­ance ef­forts at Foggy Bot­tom. In his cur­rent role, Rose has been very in­volved in mis­sile de­fense co­oper­a­tion talks with for­eign al­lies and se­cur­ity part­ners. He is a former staffer of both the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee and the House Per­man­ent Se­lect Com­mit­tee on In­tel­li­gence.

Though their nom­in­a­tions were cleared by the For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee it is not clear that they will so eas­ily be ap­proved by the Sen­ate, ac­cord­ing to The Hill. Sen­at­or Lind­sey Gra­ham (R-S.C.) has prom­ised to block all White House nom­in­ees un­til cer­tain ques­tions are answered about the 2012 ter­ror at­tack on the dip­lo­mat­ic com­pound in Benghazi, Libya.

The For­eign Re­la­tions pan­el on Thursday also ex­amined the U.S. gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse to the Syr­i­an civil war, which mul­tiple Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors strongly cri­ti­cized.

U.S. Am­bas­sad­or to Syr­ia Robert Ford told the com­mit­tee the United States has per­formed ad­mir­ably in its sup­port of the Syr­i­an op­pos­i­tion. The en­voy said he does not be­lieve Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad will win the war, a con­ten­tion that Sen­at­or John Mc­Cain (R-Ar­iz.) pushed back sharply against.

“The fact is that he was about to be toppled a year ago, or over a year ago. Then Hezbol­lah came in. The Rus­si­ans stepped up their ef­fort. Then the Ir­a­ni­an Re­volu­tion­ary Guard in­ter­vened,” Mc­Cain said. “And he con­tin­ues to main­tain his po­s­i­tion of power and slaughter­ing in­no­cent Syr­i­an ci­vil­ians.”

Ford touted the agree­ment reached with Dam­as­cus on the de­struc­tion of its chem­ic­al weapons as one of the most im­port­ant vic­tor­ies to come out of the Syr­i­an war.

“We think that the de­struc­tion of the re­gime’s chem­ic­al weapons is a huge suc­cess if in fact it is car­ried out fully,” he said. “That was a core U.S. na­tion­al se­cur­ity in­terest.”

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