Mrs. Tauscher told the Arms Control Association in a speech May 10 that the Obama administration’s next goal is to try to win Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was voted down by the Senate in October 1999 as not being in the U.S.’s national security interest. A procedural move by pro-treaty advocates at the time kept the treaty from dying.
The treaty bans underground nuclear testing, and critics say its verification and enforcement provisions are weak and that it has had a minimal impact on stemming the spread of nuclear weapons.
Sen. Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is continuing to oppose ratification of the test-ban pact.
“Sen. Lugar’s position hasn’t changed since he voted against the treaty in 1999, in part because the treaty has not changed,” Mark Helmke, an aide to the senator, told Inside the Ring in an email. “There is no clear definition of what a test is, and the ability to verify the treaty is still questionable.”
Mr. Lugar is among the more arms-control-friendly Republicans, and his opposition means any effort to ratify the CTBT will be an uphill fight.
Mrs. Tauscher said in her speech that the Obama administration is preparing to launch an “education campaign that we expect will lead to ratification” of the treaty.”
The top State Department arms-control official also has been trying to reach an agreement with the Russians on missile defense that she said in the speech she hopes will “turn what has been an irritant to the United States and Russia relations into a shared interest.”
She did not explain why defending the United States and its allies from missile attacks was an irritant to U.S.-Russian relations, but the policy does not appear to be working.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said in Moscow on Wednesday that his government wants strong guarantees on U.S. missile defenses and threatened a new arms race if Washington failed to give in to its demands.
“In that case, we will have to develop our offensive nuclear potential; that would be a very bad scenario that would throw us back to the Cold War,” Mr. Medvedev said.
While some in the news media promote the romantic view of the secretive Muslim Brotherhood, new WikiLeaks files from Guantanamo Bay show the Islamist organization has been a career path for some of al Qaeda’s most ruthless members.
WikiLeaks files show Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed started his terror career as a teenager in the Brotherhood in Kuwait, reports special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.
“At the age of 16, detainee joined the Muslim Brotherhood,” one Pentagon report states. “After joining the Muslim Brotherhood, detainee became more dedicated, read more about religion and taught others about Islam in order to recruit them into the Muslim Brotherhood.”
It was the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which says it wants democracy, that nourished the radical Islamic views of Ayman al Zawahri, al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader.