Executive Director John Tierney and Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell were quoted in NBC News about the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty.
Former Rep. John Tierney, D-Ma., the executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, urged the president to “reverse this decision, recommit to working with our allies to fix issues with the Open Skies Treaty and get rid of the staff who keep trying to wreck the global arms control and nonproliferation infrastructure in his name.”
“There are some compliance problems with the treaty, but experts and our allies believe they can and must be solved,” Tierney said. “The Open Skies Treaty has built trust, provided stability, and eased tensions between the United States, Russia and 32 other countries across the Euro-Atlantic region. The transparency it provides has helped prevent miscalculations and misunderstandings that could have otherwise led to conflict.”
Tierney pointed out that following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the treaty has helped provide information to the U.S. and its allies.
Former State Department official Alexandra Bell, currently the senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said START was “too important of a treaty to lose.”
“Our security and the security of the globe will be reduced if we lose new START,” Bell said. “The U.S. would no longer have eyes inside the Russian strategic forces for the first time in half a century — that is an extremely dangerous situation.”
Bell criticized the administration’s move, saying it is “far more comfortable with wrecking and abandoning agreements than putting in the hard work necessary to fix them. They’ve made a veritable sport of breaking treaties.”
“Critics thought Russia is gaining more from the treaty than we are — that doesn’t track with reality. We were getting far more info on Russia than they were getting on us ever,” she added. “Overall the treaty was in our national security interests.”
Bell called the agreement “a Republican legacy treaty.”
“Trump is winnowing away the inheritance he got,” an inheritance that “made his job easier, that makes this country safer,” she said. “I absolutely cannot see a single upside to abandoning this treaty against the advice and wishes of our allies, other than for the people who never liked this treaty and don’t like the idea of the transparency and openness the treaty provides.” Read more