- By Josh Rogin
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.
Even if the ratification vote on the New START treaty happens this year (as the White House wants) as opposed to next year (as GOP leadership is pushing for) there are some senior senators who are flat out opposed to the agreement, including Senate Intelligence Committee ranking Republican Kit Bond (R-MO).
"I rise today to express my strong opposition to the administration’s New START Treaty," Bond said in a statement submitted to the Congressional Record on Nov. 18. "I do so after great deliberation and after initial disposition to support the treaty because of the generic importance of these types of treaties for our Nation. But with what I have learned from classified intelligence information, I cannot in good conscience support this treaty."
Calling the treaty "oversold and overhyped," Bond argued that while the U.S. would have to reduce deployed arsenals under the treaty, the Russian would be allowed to increase arsenals because they are currently below the treaty’s maximum allowances. He also railed against Russia’s unilateral declaration that it would withdraw from the treaty if they view U.S. missile defense plans as upseting strategic stability, calling the Russian statement "pure and simple manipulation."
Most significantly, Bond claims that based on classified intelligence reports that he’s seen, the treaty does not permit adequate verification activities needed to make sure the Russians aren’t cheating. All verification activities have stopped since the old treaty expired Dec. 5, but the new proposed verification measures are somewhat different from the ones that lapsed.
"As the vice chairman of this committee, I have reviewed the key intelligence on our ability to monitor this treaty and heard from our intelligence professionals. There is no doubt in my mind that the United States cannot reliably verify the treaty’s 1,550 limit on deployed warheads," he said.
He accused the Russians of cheating on previous arms control treaties, including the original START, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and Open Skies. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," he said.
Other senior Republicans, such as Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have said repeatedly that they are not against the treaty but have concerns that they want to work out before they can offer support. Bond, however, made it clear: As far as he’s concerned, the treaty is beyond repair.
"Unfortunately, New START suffers from fundamental flaws that no amount of tinkering around the edges can fix. I believe the better course for our nation, and for global stability, is to put this treaty aside and replace it with a better one."