Posts Tagged ‘START’

Secretary Clinton is visibly upset about the little boy in Syria who was tortured horrifcally and murdered. He was 13 years old.  His name was Hamza Ali al-Khateeb.  His blood is on the hands of Bashar Al-Assad.

Since I do not in fact work for the government,  which is supposed to work for me,  tonight I am wondering why the president bypassed the secretary of state and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and appointed an ambassador to Syria during the Christmas recess in exchange for NONE of the agreements that State Department had been negotiating for six-plus months.   I am wondering .

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Remarks With Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining me and the foreign minister. We’ve just had an excellent meeting that capped a day of intensive dialogue between our governments. The foreign minister and I addressed our delegations earlier, and I certainly underscored how impressed and inspired we are by Colombia’s progress and eager to expand our work together on the full range of issues that we have common concerns about.

Colombia has emerged as a regional and global partner. It sits on the UN Security Council, trains police to help 16 other nations to meet their security challenges, and through the leadership of both the president and the foreign minister, has played the leading role in bringing Honduras back into the inter-American system. At home, President Santos and his government are taking bold steps to heal Colombia’s wounds, redress grievances, consolidate democratic freedoms, and promote human rights. And of course, we are absolutely committed to passing the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to open new markets and create jobs and opportunities for both of our peoples.

Since the first High Level Partnership Dialogue last October, Colombia has made significant progress on human, labor, and civil rights. And we are committed to working with Colombia as they continue their progress. We also discussed social and economic development, climate change, environmental protection, energy, education, and culture.

We had a very productive and wide-ranging dialogue, and Colombia’s progress is a testament to the courage and vision of the Colombian people and their leaders. And it’s also a reminder to the United States about why we sustain investments in our friends and our partners even through tight budgets and tough times.

So, Foreign Minister, thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you on these very important issues.

FOREIGN MINISTER HOLGUIN: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Secretary Clinton. To me, to us, it’s a great pleasure to be here today working at the State Department. We truly value the effort and support that the United States has shown Colombia over the course of many decades.

I believe that the success that Colombia has had in the fight against terrorism, against drug trafficking, is due to U.S. support. We have a well-trained police. We have one of the strongest military forces in the region. And today we are happy to take a second step to take drug trafficking or reduce the importance of drug trafficking and think about other issues that are important for us as well – energy, education, science and technology, environment – and to focus on these issues that are important to both of us in our relationship.

We believe that the work that both delegations have undertaken today lead us to developing a specific agenda on a number of issues that will help us further consolidate the relationship that has been strong in the past.

I want to thank Secretary Clinton for supporting Colombia’s aspirations to accede to the OECD. It’s a great opportunity for us to improve practices in our country, and we thank the United States for their support in this endeavor.

As Secretary Clinton said, we talked about the region, we talked about Honduras, and Colombia is very happy to have given its part to reestablishing Honduras within the organization and to do its part to strengthen democracy throughout the region.

And we talked about the issue of security, and Colombia here has cooperated greatly with Central America and the Caribbean on issues related to the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. And as we talked before, we can continue to be great allies in helping the region, and we believe we can truly contribute to improving the situation throughout.

We thank Secretary Clinton for her support on the FTA, for support on the preferences. We are abiding by the commitments that we achieved during the April agreement, and we are happy to see that our dream that we’ve held for so many months is about to come into fruition.

We also talked about the Summit of the Americas. Colombia will be a host of the summit in April of 2012, and we’ve been talking with many countries about the organization of the summit and we have U.S. support to this end. We want to have discussions on a number of issues that join us, and we hope to have support in the region and throughout the continent, and we’ll see you in Cartagena next year.

I thank you for the work today. I think this is an important step towards strengthening our relationship, a relationship that is no doubt strong already, but there is always room for improvement. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just a few questions. The first goes to Elise Labott from CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. On Pakistan, the Pakistanis have said they’re going to take a new offensive into North Waziristan. Do you see this as a positive sign in response to some of the things that you discussed on your trip in terms of the Pakistanis needing to take action?

And then there are some very troubling signs in the Middle East today. There’s been reports in Syria of the torturing of a young boy, and in Yemen as well the violence is – the government is cracking down on the opposition even further. And it seems as in this second wave of the Arab Spring, if you will, the dictators are really digging in. And in fact, even as you call for them to make a transition, they’re cracking down even further and furthering their oppression. I was wondering if you had some thoughts on that.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Elise, first with regard to Pakistan, as I said on our recent visit, Pakistan is a key ally in our joint fight against terrorists that threaten both of us as well as the region and beyond. And when I was there, we discussed our cooperative efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and to also drive the associated terrorists who are targeting both Pakistanis and, across the border in Afghanistan, Americans, coalition troops, and Afghans. So we are discussing a number of approaches that we think could assist us in this very important fight.

I would also add that there is no doubt that the progress we have made against al-Qaida and terrorists could have not have happened without Pakistani cooperation between our governments, our militaries, our intelligence agencies. And there’s still a lot of work to be done, so we are in the process of discussing what more the Pakistanis could do. We will continue to do our part working together.

With respect to Syria, I too was very concerned by the reports about the young boy. In fact, I think what that symbolizes for many Syrians is the total collapse of any effort by the Syrian Government to work with and listen to their own people. And I think that as the President said in his speech last week, President Asad has a choice, and every day that goes by the choice is made by default. He has not called an end to the violence against his own people and he has not engaged seriously in any kind of reform efforts. And I have here the name of the young boy whose body was so brutally affected by the behavior and the conduct of those who had him in detention: Hamza Ali al-Khateeb. And I can only hope that this child did not die in vain but that the Syrian Government will end the brutality and begin a transition to real democracy.

QUESTION: Have they completely lost legitimacy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s up to the Syrian people themselves. We’ve obviously, along with others, imposed sanctions, spoken out. We’ve closely coordinated with allies and partners. We’ve imposed an arms embargo. We’ve led the call for a special session in the United Nations. But I think that every day that goes by, the position of the government becomes less tenable and the demands of the Syrian people for change only grow stronger. And therefore, we continue to urge an end to the violence and the commencement of a real process that could lead to the kinds of changes that are called for.

MR. TONER: Our next question goes to Sergio Gomez Maseri of El Tiempo.

QUESTION: Thanks, Madam Secretary and Minister Holguin. You just mentioned that the U.S. is absolutely committed to the passage of the FTA. However, the FTAs – and I mean Colombia, Panama, and Korea – are all hostage of an internal dispute between Republicans and Democrats that has caused deep frustration in Colombia and also questions that come in that you were talking about. So can you tell us if you’re still confident, as you say a couple months ago here, that the FTAs are – are these FTAs going to be passed this year?

And a question for both: Can you comment on what’s expected tomorrow on the general assembly of the OAS regarding Honduras?

FOREIGN MINISTER HOLGUIN: (Via interpreter) On the issue of Honduras, I can say that we are convinced that Honduras will be brought back into the OAS tomorrow, and there has been negotiations on the resolution that took place last week and today. And I can say that most countries, if not all, wish to see Honduras return to the OAS and wish to see the strengthening of democracy in that country, and I can say that the only surprise that we can expect tomorrow is Honduras coming back to the organization.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And yes, I am confident that we are going to pass the Free Trade Agreement. I hope that the people of Colombia do not lose heart in watching the activities of our Congress, because there always is a lot of rhetoric and skirmishing between the parties before they finally hit the deadline to get the work done. And so I am absolutely sure we’re going to get it passed.

QUESTION: Can you (inaudible) Honduras?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I agree with the foreign minister. And I commend Colombia for the leadership role that it has played in enabling us to reintegrate Honduras tomorrow at the OAS.

Thank you all very much.

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Remarks After Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the New START Treaty


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DCFebruary 5, 2011

Today, we exchange the instruments of ratification for a treaty that lessens the nuclear dangers facing the Russian and American people and the world. Two years ago, we all laughed about the translation of the ceremonial “Reset Button” that I gave the Foreign Minister in Geneva, but when it came to the translation that mattered most, our two countries, led by our two presidents, turned words into action to reach a milestone in our strategic partnership. And when it comes to the button that has worried us the most over the years — the one that would unleash nuclear destruction –today, we take another step to ensure it will never be pushed. Our countries will immediately begin notifying each other of changes in our strategic forces. Within 45 days, we will exchange full data on our weapons and facilities, and 60 days from now we can resume the inspections that allow each side to trust but verify.

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Additional information on START is available. See links below.

New START Treaty Entry into Force

The Role of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to the Munich Security Conference

Press Statement

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 1, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Munich, Germany, on February 4 to 6, to participate in the Munich Security Conference where she will conduct a series of bilateral meetings and give remarks highlighting the importance of the transatlantic security relationship.

On Saturday, February 5, the Secretary and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will exchange instruments of ratification for the New START Treaty. Once this exchange occurs, the New START Treaty will enter into force.

A responsible partnership between the world’s two largest nuclear powers to limit our nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability is imperative to promoting global security. With New START, the United States and Russia have reached another milestone in our bilateral relationship and continue the momentum Presidents Obama and Medvedev created with the “reset” nearly two years ago.

We can all be thankful to Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov for the success of the ratification of New START.

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No one was more invested in today’s Senate ratification of New START than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The treaty was her baby. She won Sergei Lavrov’s cooperation and respect. Their teams and they negotiated this treaty together, and Secretary Clinton has worked very hard behind the scenes to achieve those Senate votes. Here are some remarks and responses on the subject from P.J. Crowley’s press briefing today.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
December 22, 2010 

“… Clearly, from the Secretary on down we are monitoring the Senate and anticipate a vote on the New START Treaty perhaps in the next hour. The Secretary has been monitoring developments this morning from home. She actually plans to go up to the Hill, perhaps is leaving her house as we speak, and will be there when the vote takes place.Over the course of a number of months either in phone calls, meetings, or interactions on the Hill, she has perhaps touched virtually every member of the Senate where she has great friendships from her time there. And we believe this will be a strong bipartisan statement and an important development both in the nonproliferation agenda and demonstrates our commitment to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons. It is certainly appropriate that the two countries with the leading nuclear arsenals should demonstrate a commitment to arms control and to reduction in the size of their respective nuclear forces.

QUESTION: Why did you use the word perhaps?

MR. CROWLEY: Perhaps. Perhaps what?

QUESTION: She has perhaps touched –

MR. CROWLEY: I can’t say that she has talked to every single senator, but I think she has touched virtually everyone if not everyone. I can’t – I haven’t got a whip count. So that’s why I qualified it slightly.”

And here are some photos from today.

Going into the Senate chamber with her fingers crossed.

Jubilant (and probably greatly relieved) after te vote.

Cutie with a Christmas tree pin.

Outside Joe Biden’s Senate office.

Merry Christmas, Mme. Secretary!  It should be a very happy one for you.  Thank you for all of your very hard work negotiating this treaty for us and negotiating the vote!

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I saw her on the Senate floor thanking the “aye” voters. I am so happy for her! She worked very hard to negotiate this and to get it passed. Awesome job, Mme. Secretary!!!!


Senate Approval of New START


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 22, 2010

Today the Senate took a great step forward in enhancing our national security by providing its advice and consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. I congratulate the Senators of both parties who worked tirelessly to ensure that New START was approved, and I thank all the Senators who voted for this treaty for their commitment to our national security.

Once this Treaty enters into force, on-site inspections of Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons facilities can resume, providing us with an on-the-ground view of Russia’s nuclear forces. The information and insight from these inspections forms the core of our ability to “trust but verify” compliance with New START. A responsible partnership between the world’s two largest nuclear powers that limits our nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability is imperative to promoting global security. With New START, the United States and Russia will have another important element supporting our “reset” relationship and expanding our bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues.

President Obama and Vice President Biden have been unwavering in their dedication to this treaty to both strengthen our domestic security and reduce the international threat of nuclear weapons. This day would not have been possible without their leadership or the efforts of Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. I also thank President George H.W. Bush and all the former Secretaries of State who added their support to this Treaty and worked to see New START approved. I and all my colleagues at the State Department look forward to working with our Russian partners to conclude the approval of New START in Russia, bring the Treaty into force, and deliver the global and national security benefits of New START.

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**Keatsian post alert**

Not that there are no serious stories to follow this weekend, in fact the air is thick with storm clouds that involve our Mme. Secretary one way or another, and certainly if and as events are confirmed, posts will appear on this blog. Meanwhile, the day after Black Friday seems to cry out for lighter fare.

Diane reminded me this morning that I once referred to Hillary Clinton’s “kissy-mouth.” This is a position her lips take when she is producing any of the back vowels (Ɔ O Ʊ U), the bilabial consonants (b p m), and the glide (w). Most speakers of Standard American English do not articulate these phonemes with quite the care Hillary Clinton is wont to take – especially when she is speaking to audiences that are not native speakers of English or to whom she wants to make her message eminently clear.

Aside from enhancing the comprehensibility of her message, the visual effect of this oral idiosyncrasy, the formation of the “kissy-mouth,” (a very handy mouth to be able to make if one is attempting to speak French with any modicum of comprehensibilty) is also disarmingly attractive.   Mme. Secretary does not use French, but she has mastered the kissy-mouth and would probably sound quite good in French.

From a purely Keatsian point of view, the kissy-mouth makes for pretty pictures to satisfy the guilty pleasures of Hillary-watchers no matter whether their names have a D, R, or I behind them.   To a deeper extent, it is seductive and might actually be hypnotic!

My suggestion for the coming weeks:   Mme. Secretary should meet face-to-face, no phone calls, with the Republicans who are showing soft on START.   I have faith that the kissy-mouth can help get those 67 votes. (It’s worth a try.  Smart power.  Those Senators have been missing their eye-candy ever since she left for DOS.)

This post is dedicated to Robyn and Diane.

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Even from this side view, you can tell that Mme. Secretary is wearing her game face. THAT is the face I fell in love with! THAT is the She-Means-Business face. Whoa! Look out below! Hillary says it’s “Bombs away!”   Or actually, out front, as it were.

Getty Images 24 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) makes a statement during a meeting on the New START treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House November 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. With Obama are (L-R) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Obama, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Vice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). The New START treaty is a nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia.


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Super-efficient and never one to waste a moment’s opportunity,  Hillary Clinton took advantage of her visit to Capitol  Hill today by promoting recommendations resulting from her self-initiated Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).  She began the day early at a breakfast with congressional leaders for the primary reason of encouraging a rapid ratification of the New START treaty, but according to Matthew Lee at AP, she made the trip worth her while by introducing the revisions recommended in the QDDR.

Clinton seeks revamp of State, USAID

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to reorganize the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to better coordinate American diplomacy and foreign aid.

Read the article>>>>

You have got to love the way Mme. Secretary manages to weave her causes and issues into a cloth and presents complex, seemingly unrelated subjects as parts of a whole and overarching vision. She went in there today with two shoes, and before she left, she let both of them drop.

As I have said before, watch the progress on START, but also watch what happens with the QDDR. This is her gift to the State Department … her legacy. She will always be remembered for instituting this quadrennial review.

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Remarks on the New START Treaty

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Senator John Kerry, and Senator Richard Lugar
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC
November 17, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hi, everybody. Nice to be back in familiar surroundings. Let me start by thanking the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for hosting a breakfast this morning with leadership from both the House and the Senate on some of the most critical national security issues facing our country. And in particular, I want to thank both Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar for their outstanding leadership on the New START Treaty. With their stewardship, this treaty is ready to be voted on by the United States Senate. They have held a dozen hearings. Other committees have held an additional half dozen. They crafted a resolution of ratification, incorporating input from senators on both sides of the aisle, and they were ultimately able to usher the treaty through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a strong, bipartisan vote of 14 to 4.

As Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kerry has shown exceptional leadership on arms control. And Senator Lugar has devoted decades to ensuring the safety of the American people. Both of these leaders understand that nuclear weapons pose the unparalleled threat to our world.

Now, we’ve had very encouraging discussions over the past months with a number of senators, in particular with a number of Republican senators who share our commitment to ensuring a robust nuclear modernization program. We will continue and intensify those discussions in the coming days, and we are heartened that there well may be a bipartisan consensus emerging on the need for such funding.

Now recently some have suggested we should hit the pause button; that it is too difficult to do this treaty in a lame duck session. I strongly disagree. This is exactly what the American people expect us to do, to come together and do what is necessary to protect our country. We can and we must go forward now on the New START Treaty during the lame duck session. We have an opportunity to ratify this treaty and to lock in consensus on modernization funding.

And perhaps most importantly, and I want to stress this because I’m not sure that everybody really understands that when the prior treaty expired we lost the ability to have inspectors on the ground. We need to get our inspectors back into Russia after a gap of nearly a year. As our intelligence and defense colleagues have repeatedly noted, we are much better off with New START than without it. Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said yesterday, the earlier, the sooner, the better. We need the stability, transparency, and predictability that New START will provide by giving us insight into Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal. That is a rationale that previous presidents and congresses of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties have repeatedly and overwhelmingly supported.

This is also a treaty that is critical to our bilateral relationship with Russia. We have enhanced our cooperation to the benefit of our country on Iran, on Afghanistan, on nuclear nonproliferation, on counterterrorism, and on counternarcotics. That’s why our entire military leadership, as well as six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisors, and seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command support this treaty and support it now. Now, we look forward to the Senate quickly completing its advice and consent process.

And I want to stress how the American people want to see Republicans and Democrats working together on behalf of national security. That’s why in 1991, under a Republican president, the Senate approved the START Treaty by a vote of 93 to 6. That’s why in 2002, under a Republican president, the Senate approved the Moscow Treaty, which included no verification measures by 95 to nothing. I had the privilege of voting for that treaty. This treaty deserves the same overwhelming bipartisan support.

SENATOR KERRY: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, for joining us today. We had a very broad discussion on all of the national security challenges to our country today from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iraq to the Middle East. And the Secretary was comprehensive in her engagement with members of the House and the Senate leadership. But this issue of the START Treaty is really at the top of the list and it was at the top of the discussion.

Our country is strongest and we protect it best when we come together in a bipartisan way or in a nonpartisan way. And historically, we have made our greatest advances in terms of national security when we leave politics at the water’s edge. That’s how we got a 95 to nothing vote on the Moscow Treaty, which had no verification at all, as the Secretary just said. People who are today in the Senate on the other side of the aisle, voted for that Moscow Treaty. Here we have a treaty that for the first time provides additional ability to count warheads on both sides. Here we have a treaty that allows us to have a spot random inspection to find out what the other side is doing. But for one year now we have had no inspections, no American boots on the ground in Russia able to protect American interests. And we will not have them on the ground protecting American interests until this treaty is ratified.

We’re in two conflicts, two wars right now. We face the threat of terror every single day. We face the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons. This treaty is the best way to reduce and address threats to our country, and we need to proceed forward to address it now. Now, we have reached out for months. I made a decision as a chairman to delay asking for a vote on this at the request of a number of members on the other side of the aisle so we could give people more time to be able to evaluate this treaty. We have done that. As of today, I know that the last questions that were posed by some senators have been answered, and those questions up here on the Hill available for analysis.

The American people have just expressed their will in a very divisive, difficult election year. They asked the United States Congress to do its business. They asked the Congress to get rid of the politics. They asked us to protect American interests. And it is this Congress that has done the work on this treaty. It is these senators, elected here and now, who have a constitutional responsibility now to deal with this treaty. It is this Congress that has done its homework, analyzed the treaty, gone to the hearings. These are the senators who have the responsibility to vote. And the President and the Secretary of State, the Vice President, who has been deeply engaged in this, are asking the United States Senate to do its job.

Now, let me just say I talked yesterday with a number of senators on the other side of the aisle, and we discussed the outstanding issues. As of now, there is no substantive disagreement on this treaty. What separates apparently the sense of ability to move forward is a question about money out 10 years into the future, for modernization. As of now, the President has put $80 billion on the table for modernization and an additional 4.1 billion to meet the request of Senator Kyl. And so, Senator, in a way, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the President of the United States, the Secretary of State have all said we’re committed to the modernization. As to next year, the House of Representatives will be run by the Republicans, and we would hope that a Republican leader in the Senate can get an agreement from a Republican in the House as to what is going to go forward with respect to that.

So we stand ready to negotiate. We have two weeks. We’re going to be out of here over the course of the Thanksgiving break. We stand ready to work on any day during that period of time. We have at least two weeks before this might come before the Senate. I refuse to believe that the door shouldn’t remain open, that we can’t find the good faith to negotiate on behalf of our country in order to deal with the modernization funding and in order to resolve any outstanding questions. The national security of our country demands nothing less than that effort, and we are committed to providing it. And I’ve had no – one could have no greater partner. Vice President Biden shared that privilege for 36 years or so. I’ve shared it now for 25 years with Senator Lugar. There’s no stronger, more powerful voice for common sense with respect to proliferation and counterproliferation efforts than Senator Lugar, and we appreciate his leadership on this enormously.

Senator Lugar.

SENATOR LUGAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Madam Secretary. Let me simply summarize this point of view. We’re talking today about the national security of the United States of America. The point is not simply a debate among senators at this point, it is a voice of the American people that has to inform senators that this treaty must be ratified and must be ratified in this session of the Congress. Why? Because, as Senator Kerry and Secretary Clinton have pointed out, since December 5, last December 5, we’ve had no boots on the ground to inform us of what, in fact, is occurring with regard to the nuclear weapons of Russia.

This is very serious. In my office, we have a scorecard that says at the beginning of the so-called Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, there were 13,300 nuclear warheads aimed at us, our cities, our military installations, everything we have – 13,300. I’ve stated frequently to my constituents any one of those warheads could obliterate the city of Indianapolis and there are thousands still there. The American public might have forgotten about it. The senators may have forgotten about it. We are deeply concerned about North Korea and Iran and other programs in which there are maybe one, two, five, 20. But we’re talking about thousands of warheads that are still there, an existential problem for our country. To temporize at this point I think is inexcusable.

Now I have supported the modernization of our nuclears. I’ve supported all the efforts of the President, Senator Kerry, and to work with others in the Republican Party essentially, but we are at a point where we are unlikely to have either the treaty or modernization unless we get real. That’s the point of our meeting today, and I appreciate the Secretary sharing so vividly her impressions of indefatigable travel. I appreciate the chairman’s patience through the hearings, through negotiations. We thank each one of you for helping us share this with the American people.

MODERATOR: Are there any questions?

QUESTION: What are you telling the Russians right now about the status? Is it really dead in the water (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope that through our own outreach efforts to the Russians, which have been ongoing as we have discussed the process of ratifying this treaty, I hope the statement from the Vice President, I hope that the very strong statements that you just heard from Senators Kerry and Lugar send an unmistakable message that we intend to do everything we can during this lame duck session to get a vote to ratify this treaty. And I think it is, to me, essential that we bring this before the Senate. I think what Senator Lugar said is so important. Nobody knows more about this issue than Senator Lugar. And for anyone to think that we can postpone it or we can avoid it is, I’m afraid, vastly underestimating the continuing threat that is posed to our country. So we hope our friends in the Senate will bring this up, pass this treaty, and then I can inform the Russians that it’s now their turn to do the same, which they’ve told us they will intend to do.

QUESTION: Secretary, do you believe that you have enough votes to get this treaty passed? And don’t you think that the Republicans are trying to go after the START for political reasons, which has nothing to do (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that both Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar are experts at dealing with their Senate colleagues. I had the privilege, as you know, to serve with them for eight years. They both believe that this must be done in the lame duck. The Administration will stand with them, will do whatever it takes, literally around the clock, to reach out, to answer questions, to have discussions, because we – this is not an issue that can afford to be postponed. So we think once we take that message with the urgency that you’ve heard from the three of us, we will get the votes and we will pass this treaty. Thank you all very much.

SENATOR KERRY: Thank you all very much.

SENATOR LUGAR: Thank you very much.

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Well, I am sure there will be more to her day than this, but she had a crazy busy day today starting early in NYC at the Security Council and ending later tonight in DC, and tomorrow promises to be heavy as well. The first item on the agenda gives me hope that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be initiating an effort to get te full Senate to pass START.  Here is a pretty picture.

Secretary Clinton and Senators Kerry and Lugar to Hold Press Availability On New START on November 17 at 9:00 a.m.

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 16, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN) will hold a press availability to discuss the need for the Senate to approve the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) at 9:00 am on November 17. The availability will take place outside of room S-116 in the U.S. Capitol.

New START will advance critical national security objectives: reducing the number of deployed nuclear weapons while retaining a safe, secure and effective deterrent; providing direct insight into Russia’s nuclear arsenal; and creating a more stable, predictable and cooperative relationship between the world’s two leading nuclear powers.

Six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense and three former national security advisers have endorsed ratification, along with seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command and the entire current U.S. military leadership unanimously support New START.

On April 8, 2010, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed New START to replace the original START accord, which expired nearly a year ago in December 2009. On September 16, 2010, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of New START with 3 Republicans joining 11 Democrats, continuing a tradition of broad bipartisan support for strategic arms agreements that spans four administrations.


Secretary Clinton To Address Overseas Security Advisory Council Annual Briefing on November 17

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 12, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks to the 25th Annual Conference of the Overseas Security Advisory Council on November 17 at 1:00 p.m., in the Department of State’s Dean Acheson Auditorium.

Secretary Clinton will discuss information-sharing between the federal government and American private sector organizations. More than 1,000 security professionals will attend the conference.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council is a public-private partnership that exchanges security information between the U.S. Government and American private sector organizations operating abroad. The Overseas Security Advisory Council is administered by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and provides a forum for best practices and provides the tools needed to cope with evolving security challenges overseas. Today more than 4,000 U.S. companies, educational institutions, religious and non-governmental organizations are constituents of the Council.


Secretary Clinton to Release Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 15, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will release the 2010 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday, November 17, at 1:20 p.m. in the Press Briefing Room at the U.S. Department of State.

Secretary Clinton will introduce the report and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner will take questions.

This event will be open to credentialed members of the media.

The Annual Report on International Religious Freedom covers the legal status of religious freedom, as well as societal attitudes towards it, in almost 200 countries and territories around the world.

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