December 15, 2010, 09:33 pm
By Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.)
For nearly fifty years, Richard Holbrooke passionately
served his country. He represented the United States in some of the most
challenging of places, and along the way, left his distinct mark on U.S.
foreign policy. His passion and abilities will be greatly missed.
Ambassador Holbrooke’s accomplishments are numerous and
impressive. His breadth of knowledge was astonishing and his expertise in world
affairs had few matches. After beginning his career in the Foreign Service in
Vietnam, he worked under President Johnson on Vietnam issues. Under President Carter, he expanded his
skills as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In
the early 1990s, Mr. Holbrooke served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, and in
1995, as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, he was instrumental in
reaching the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the conflict in Bosnia. In his
last years, Richard Holbrooke was tackling arguably the most pressing issue
facing the United States as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and
Today, the Senate finally began debate on
ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which is
essential for U.S. and international security.
Signed in April of this year, New START would mandate a
cut of about 25 percent in Russia’s deployed strategic nuclear force below
current levels, re-establish effective bilateral inspection and monitoring, and
further enhance U.S.-Russian cooperation on key issues, including containing Iran's
nuclear program and further reducing all types of Russian and U.S. nuclear
arms. It would supersede the original START, which expired last year.
The treaty has the unanimous support of the U.S. military
and a long list of virtually every major Republican and Democratic national
security expert, including President George H.W. Bush, as well as all major
Now, its time for Senators to put the national security
interest of the nation first by voting to provide their advice and consent for
December 14, 2010, 03:44 pm
By Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
This awful news is almost incomprehensible, not least of
all because I cannot imagine Richard Holbrooke in anything but a state of
perpetual motion. He was always working. He was always a man on a mission, the
toughest mission, and that mission was waging peace through tough as nails,
never quit diplomacy - and Richard's life’s work saved tens of thousands of
We loved his energy, we loved his resolve – that’s who
Richard was, and he died giving everything he had to one last difficult mission
for the country he loved. It is almost a bittersweet bookend that a career of
public diplomacy that began trying to save a war gone wrong, now ends with a
valiant effort to keep another war from going wrong.
Teresa and I both extend our heartfelt sympathy to
Richard’s family, especially his extraordinary wife Kati and Richard’s two
sons, David and Anthony.
Today, Dec. 9, is International Anti-Corruption Day. It’s an occasion to reflect on the global fight against corruption.
Bribery and corruption are trade barriers that impede our ability to rebuild the economy and meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports. In the past year alone, American companies are believed to have lost out on deals worth about $25 billion because they refused to pay bribes.
The U.S. and its allies are currently in Geneva negotiating with Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons projects. But the U.S. faces another pressing foreign policy challenge that simply cannot be placed on hold. A top priority is the establishment of a national unity government in Iraq that will not be beholden to Iran.
December 03, 2010, 02:22 pm
By Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen
It was a very different world back in 1991 when George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the START I treaty in the Kremlin on a warm summer day. Initiated by Ronald Reagan under the Cold War, START I became a symbol of a new world based on a growing trust between two former enemies.
December 02, 2010, 05:57 pm
By Ret. Lt. General Dirk Jameson
After more than 20 hearings and testimony from military and diplomatic officials that has seen more than 900 questions asked and answered, a strong bipartisan consensus has emerged on a simple point about the New START treaty: it makes America more safe.
I served in the nuclear arena of our national defense during and following the Cold War; I was the Deputy Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff of U.S. Strategic Command before retiring from the U.S. Air Force. Prior to this I commanded the 14,500 men and women of the U.S. 20th Air Force, and was responsible for all U.S. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, seven major subordinate units, operational training, testing, security and readiness. I know about our nuclear security. It is out of this concern for the safety and security of the country that the Senate should promptly ratify New START.
December 02, 2010, 04:07 pm
By John Isaacs and Kingston Reif
As the Senate begins to wrap up the business of the 111th Congress, an urgent national security priority remains in limbo – despite the wishes of our military leadership, the intelligence community and retired high level security officials from both parties.
The New START nuclear reductions treaty, signed by the U.S. and Russia in April, would verifiably limit the still enormous Russian nuclear arsenal and restore an essential window into its size and make-up that we haven’t had since START I expired one year ago this Sunday. In addition, the treaty will allow the U.S. to maintain a robust and flexible nuclear deterrent and places no meaningful limits on missile defense programs.
When the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint
Chiefs of Staff are united, they usually get what they want. And they really want the New START
December 02, 2010, 03:13 pm
By Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
Next Sunday will mark a full year since the
original START expired, removing our ability to monitor the Russian nuclear
forces. At last week’s NATO Summit, the 27 member countries expressed their
desire to see New START ratified by the U.S. Senate, adding their voices to a
broad coalition of U.S. national security experts and former senior Republican
officials who favor this important pact. Our military officers do not take
these pronouncements lightly, and their unambiguous support should serve as a
wake-up call — without New START, our national security is at risk.