Washington (AFP) August 15, 2000 - A former CIA head suggested Tuesday that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty would have to be ratified again by the US Senate to remain valid after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The ABM treaty has been under attack in the United States because of plans to deploy a nationwide missile defense system, a project that would be illegal under the accord.
"According to longstanding principles of international law, when one country has a bilateral treaty with another and is then 'succeeded' by a different state ... the bilateral treaty remains in effect only if both states so affirm," former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey wrote in the Washington Post.
Woolsey, who also helped negotiate five US-Soviet arms control agreements between 1969 and 1991, argued that the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union had converted the treaty from a bilateral to a multilateral accord, and drastically shrunk the territory under its coverage.
He said that because of these changes "it is impossible to make the argument with a straight face that the changes are not 'substantive.'"
Therefore, argued Woolsey, the treaty must be again submitted to the US Senate, which will have to consider all the changes and agree to them.
"On substantive changes in treaties, the executive cannot act for the United States by itself," wrote Woolsey. "The Constitution requires the consent of two-thirds of the Senate."
Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush has vowed to abandon the ABM treaty altogether, if Russia refuses to amend to suit US missile defense plans.
The ABM treaty allows the United States and the Soviet Union only one regional missile defense system each.
But Woolsey suggested that "there is nothing to abrogate" unless the Senate reaffirmed the 28-year-old treaty.
Copyright 2000 AFP. All rights reserved. The material on this page is provided by AFP and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|