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North America Military News From United States, Canada & Mexico.

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Old 08-04-2016, 10:04 PM
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Thumbs down Obama wants to give UN power to stop U.S. nuke testing

Obama Wants To Give UN Power To Stop U.S. Nuke Testing
By Josh Rogin


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...clear-testing/


President Obama has decided to seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would call for an end to nuclear testing, a move that leading lawmakers are calling an end run around Congress.

Top administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, briefed lawmakers and congressional staffers this week about President Obama’s decision to push for the U.N. action this September, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was adopted in September 1996 but was never ratified by the Senate.

National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price told me that the administration still would like to see the Senate ratify the test ban treaty but is “looking at possible action in the UN Security Council that would call on states not to test and support the CTBT’s objectives. We will continue to explore ways to achieve this goal, being careful to protect the Senate’s constitutional role.”

The administration did not consult Congress before making the decision, and leading Republicans, including those who opposed Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, are irate that the White House plans another major national security move without their advice or consent.

This is a plan to cede the Senate’s constitutional role to the U.N. It’s dangerous and it’s offensive. Not only is this an affront to Congress, it’s an affront to the American people,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told me. “It directly contradicts the processes that are in place to make sure that Congress appropriately weighs in on international agreements.”

The Obama administration has tried for years without success to build Senate support for ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which has been ratified by 164 countries. The Clinton administration signed the treaty, but the Senate refused to ratify it in 1999. There’s no chance that the current Republican-led Senate would ratify it before Obama leaves office.

Corker said Congress still hasn’t been able to see the proposed resolution, and administration officials did not specify any role for Congress in the U.N. effort. Lawmakers fear that a Security Council resolution could constrain the United States and subject American national security decisions to international oversight and potential legal liability.

“What it really does is allow countries like Russia and China to be able to bind the United States over our nuclear deterrent capability without the scrutiny of Congress,” Corker said. “Should we ever decide we may wish to test, we could be sued in international courts over violating a United Nations Security Council resolution that Congress played no role in.”

Corker said that regardless of one’s view on nuclear testing, all senators should be outraged that the administration has now changed tactics, choosing to abandon the effort to get the treaty ratified in favor of going through the United Nations. As with the Iran deal, there’s very little Congress can do to prevent the administration from executing its new strategy.

The White House decided not to submit the Iran deal to the Senate as a treaty, calling it an executive agreement. Republicans introduced a congressional resolution that would have expressed disapproval of the deal and potentially made the deal’s implementation more difficult. That resolution failed along a largely party-line vote. Said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.): “The administration’s intention to once again not use the Constitutional process of ratification in the Senate, choosing the undemocratic method of going to an international organization to circumvent the democratic process, is precisely what happened between the U.S. and the Ayatollah.”

Several lawmakers and staffers acknowledged that another congressional effort to stop Obama’s new U.N. plan would have little chance of success, especially because of the distractions of the election season and the shortage of days lawmakers are in session this fall.

“They devised a plan to keep the United States Senate and Congress in general from weighing in on an important agreement that’s going to limit our ability to ensure our nuclear deterrent is in place,” Corker said.

Congressional aides briefed on the issue are already devising a list of options for how Congress can express its anger to the administration and perhaps exert some penalty, if preventing the move proves impossible. Options include cutting U.S. funding for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an international body that receives about a quarter of its money from U.S. taxpayers.

Lawmakers and staffers also point to several administration officials who have publicly said they favored working with Congress on the issue. Only last September, undersecretary of state Rose Gottemoeller gave a speech during the U.N. General Assembly promising the administration would work with Congress on the test ban treaty.

“Ratification of the CTBT will require debate, discussion, questions, briefings, trips to the National Labs and other technical facilities, hearings and more, as was the case with the New START Treaty,” she said. “The Senators should have every opportunity to ask questions — many, many questions — until they are satisfied. That is how good policy is made and that is how treaties get across the finish line.”

The president’s push for U.N. action on nuclear testing came after months of debate inside his administration over how to advance his nuclear non-proliferation agenda. The president decided to move forward with this item after meeting with his entire National Security Council at the White House. Other nuclear policy changes could be decided and announced in the coming months.

The Obama administration and Congress share the blame for the lack of cooperation between the two branches. But the White House is cementing a bad precedent that will impact the next Congress and the next administration.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...clear-testing/



How Obama Will Be Remembered Paparock
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Last edited by Paparock; 08-05-2016 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:09 AM
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The only ones stupid enough to join this treaty are the Europeans and Americans and other small nations who dont even have Nuclear weapons.

The other nations, Russia, Pakistan, Iran etc will not even adhere to it.

Basically like the guns issue in America, disarm the good owners and you end up letting the criminals have all the guns.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:36 PM
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Exclamation Quick Reactions to Obama’s UN Gambit on Nuclear Testing

Quick Reactions to Obama’s UN Gambit on Nuclear Testing
By Jack Goldsmith


https://www.lawfareblog.com/quick-re...uclear-testing


Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reports that “President Obama has decided to seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would call for an end to nuclear testing, a move that leading lawmakers are calling an end run around Congress.” The piece’s title says Obama’s gambit will “bypass” Congress. The Wall Street Journal editorialists similarly maintain (http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-n...l-1470353727): “Our sources say the President has also decided to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution banning the testing of nuclear weapons. This means that two decades after the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Mr. Obama may usurp the Senate’s constitutional treaty powers with an end-run to the U.N.” And Senator Corker, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says:

This is a plan to cede the Senate’s constitutional role to the U.N. It’s dangerous and it’s offensive. Not only is this an affront to Congress, it’s an affront to the American people. It directly contradicts the processes that are in place to make sure that Congress appropriately weighs in on international agreements.

What it really does is allow countries like Russia and China to be able to bind the United States over our nuclear deterrent capability without the scrutiny of Congress. Should we ever decide we may wish to test, we could be sued in international courts over violating a United Nations Security Council resolution that Congress played no role in.


My first reaction is to doubt that the President will (as the WSJ says) seek a U.N. Resolution “banning the testing of nuclear weapons.” It is unclear whether the Security Council would have the authority to issue such a ban, even assuming that one of the other permanent five would not veto it. Rogin’s claim is more circumspect, and probably more accurate. He says the planned Resolution would “call for an end to nuclear testing,” and says that the NSC Spokesman told him that the administration is “looking at possible action in the UN Security Council that would call on states not to test and support” the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s objectives. Rogin’s reporting make it sound like the administration is considering a hortatory Resolution that would state the ambition or goal to end nuclear weapons testing, not one that would impose a ban on such testing. Those are two very different things, and the former is much less significant than the latter (though not insignificant).

If I am right that what is planned is not a ban on nuclear weapons testing, then the significance of the UN action is much less a threat to Congress’s prerogatives than is suggested in the two articles. But what are Congress’s prerogatives here? The situation is akin to the one in the Paris Agreement and the Iran Deal, which I have written a lot about in these pages (and in succinct form in the second half of this essay - http://www.harvardilj.org/wp-content...2016_Final.pdf ). In those examples, the President acted (1) in the face of opposition by the current Congress, but (2) based on older authorities delegated by Congress to the President, to (3) effectuate domestic law change in order to satisfy pledges made in non-binding international agreements. Or, simplifying a bit, the President used an authority delegated by a prior Congress to achieve an international goal without seeking contemporary approval from Congress. Something like that is happening here, though the international “agreement” will come in the Security Council rather than a broader multilateral pact, and I don’t see any need to change domestic law.

The Senate has for two decades refused to consent to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and it is not inclined to gives it consent in the last six months of the Obama administration. So the President is doing what he can—probably no more, at best, than a Resolution encouraging a universal test ban, or starting an alternative process toward one. And where does the President get this authority to make policy and cast votes in the U.N .Security Council? Presidents have exercised discretion under Article II of the Constitution to speak and vote for the United States in the United Nations—with enormous consequences on a variety of topics, and without congressional input or approval on particular matters—since the 1940s. And importantly, Congress has expressly approved and authorized this practice in broad and unqualified terms.

Section 287 of Title 22 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/287) provides that the President, with the Senate’s advice and consent, “shall appoint a representative of the United States to the United Nations” who “shall represent the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations.” And Section 287a of Title 22 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/287a) provides that the U.S. representative to the United Nations “shall, at all times, act in accordance with the instructions of the President” and shall “in accordance with such instructions, cast any and all votes under the Charter of the United Nations.” In sum, Congress has delegated unqualified authority to cast votes in the U.N. Security Council to the President.

I am not suggesting that there are no limits on what the President can do, or how he can vote, in the Security Council. He may not be able to vote in ways that violate a specific domestic law restriction or a U.S. treaty obligation. I do not know what domestic laws or treaties might hand-tie the President related to nuclear test bans, but it is quite possible that none exists. (Non-consent to a treaty doesn’t count). There also may be some constitutional limit on the President agreeing to a U.N. Security Council Resolution that imposes large and novel international law obligations on the United States. This is entirely untested legal ground, as far as I know. But I can imagine an argument that at some point an international law-creating U.N. Security Council Resolution violates the Senate’s or Congress’s exclusive constitutional prerogatives even if it does not run afoul of prior law. And yet this would be a hard argument to make, I think, since (i) Congress has expressly authorized the President to vote in the Security Council in open-ended terms, and (ii) Presidents have for 60 years exercised this authority in a number of very consequential ways without prior congressional input. The constitutional argument would have to be that the delegation itself was somehow unconstitutional. But Congress’s power to delegate is, according to a long line of Supreme Court cases, at its apex in the foreign relations context.

So this once again seems like a situation where President Obama is taking advantage of congressional non-action on one front (the refusal to Consent to the CTBT) and congressional delegation on another front (authority to vote in the U.N. Security Council) to achieve an international goal that many and perhaps most in Congress do not like. Once again, Congress seems defeated by its own delegation.

I want to emphasize that I am not arguing here in favor of a nuclear test ban or even a hortatory U.N. Security Council Resolution. I simply want to underscore that once again, Congress is complaining about the President circumventing its prerogatives when in fact the President is exercising authority that Congress gave him. In a world in which constitutional etiquette between the branches has evaporated, a president will fall back on his hard-law prerogatives, especially those expressly delegated from Congress, especially at the end of a second term. It is a lesson that Congress should consider—but likely won't—the next time it gives away foreign relations authorities to the President.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/quick-re...uclear-testing
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O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


Last edited by Paparock; 08-06-2016 at 06:47 PM..
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