Hellman argues that “Russia has violated the treaty,” which is why some people want in Washington want to move forward with the program. “But opponents, which include former State and Defense Department officials who helped negotiate the treaty, say it would doom the treaty altogether,” he says.
The analyst suggests the Senate freeze money directed toward the ground-based missile program “until the Defense secretary submits a report about the weapon.”
If the measure goes forward it will constitute "one more coal on the fire of US-Russian relations," John Kiriakou, CIA officer-turned-whistleblower, told Sputnik News Friday.
The Arms Control Association reports that “as the possessors of over 90 percent of the world's roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia have a special responsibility to avoid direct conflict and reduce nuclear risks.”
Passing the provision into law “would deal a major, if not mortal, blow to longstanding, bipartisan arms control efforts,” the Arms Control Association wrote in a July issue brief, adding that the FY2018 NDAA fails to “provide effective oversight of the rising costs of the government’s more than $1 trillion-plan to sustain and upgrade US nuclear forces.”
If these points weren’t enough to make policymakers reconsider the measure, the new NDAA proposes further funding for an “expanding US missile defenses that make neither strategic, technical, or fiscal sense,” the nonpartisan group said.
The US Congress passed a sanction bill against Russia that was signed into law by President Trump on August 2 — though the president described it as "seriously flawed.""This bill makes it harder for the United State to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together," Trump said in a statement following passage of the law.
One day after signing the sanctions bill Trump declared via Twitter that Washington’s “relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us Hcare,” referring to Republicans’ 7 year mantra of “repeal and replace” that they party cannot pass through Congress despite holding majorities in both chambers.
On September 7, the White House made its position clear. “The Administration objects to section 1635, which would establish a program of record to develop a road-mobile, ground-launched missile system and would prohibit any authorization of funds for research and development until a detailed analysis of systems is delivered to defense committees,” according to a White House policy document on the NDAA.