Senate gives Obama team time to finish START follow on
In addition to moving along the Kerry-Lugar foreign-aid reform bill Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also approved legislation that would give the administration time to complete a new nuclear treaty with Russia — a treaty that is the center piece of Washington’s efforts to "reset" relations with Moscow after the tensions of the Bush ...
In addition to moving along the Kerry-Lugar foreign-aid reform bill Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also approved legislation that would give the administration time to complete a new nuclear treaty with Russia — a treaty that is the center piece of Washington’s efforts to "reset" relations with Moscow after the tensions of the Bush years.
Obama administration officials have been clear that they don’t expect the Senate to be able to ratify a follow-on to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the time the old one expires on Dec. 5. So the committee moved to allow the administration to extend the verification and inspections regimes for an additional six months — meaning that U.S. inspectors can stay in Russia and Russian inspectors won’t have to leave the United States. The full Senate would still have to pass the measure.
Meanwhile, the interagency negotiating team led by Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller and the Pentagon’s Ted Warner has been shuttling back and forth to Geneva, and the deal of a final agreement is reported to be near completion, with a possible signing when Obama travels to Europe to accept his Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10.
The Senate is then expected to debate the treaty in early spring. With strong backing from Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the GOP will probably go along but not before eking out concessions from the administration. Senate Republicans will be less willing to go along with the Obama team’s promise to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but that won’t be on the table anytime soon.
The committee also reported out favorably all of these nominations:
Jose W. Fernandez to be assistant secretary of state for economic, energy and business affairs
William E. Kennard to be representative of the United States of America to the European Union, with the rank and status of ambassador
James L. Hudson to be U.S. director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
John F. Tefft to be ambassador to Ukraine
Michael C. Polt to be ambassador to the Republic of Estonia
Cynthia Stroum to be ambassador to Luxembourg
David Huebner to be ambassador to New Zealand, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as ambassador to Samoa
Robert R. King, to be special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, with the rank of ambassador
Peter Alan Prahar to be ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia
Gustavo Arnavat, to be U.S. executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank
Frederick D. Barton to be the U.S. representative on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of ambassador, and to be an alternate representative to the sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as representative of the United States on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
Daniel W. Yohannes, to be CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation
Carmen Lomellin to be permanent representative to the Organization of American States, with the rank of ambassador
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. Twitter: @joshrogin
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