Chairman Schiff Statement on Trump Withdrawing United States from the Open Skies Treaty
Washington, May 21, 2020
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“For nearly two decades, the Open Skies Treaty has contributed to international peace by allowing the thirty-four signatories to the agreement to perform unarmed reconnaissance flights over other signatory states to promote transparency and build confidence. While the idea of such an agreement was first proposed during the 1950s, it was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush during the waning days of the Cold War.
“Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty is another self-inflicted wound by the Administration in their zeal against international agreements of all sorts.
“Since World War II, U.S. Presidents have sought to use our international power to make the world a safer place and establish international norms that reduce the number of nuclear weapons and the likelihood of their use. This latest action makes clear that under Trump, the United States is no longer leading the way, but instead taking steps that will decrease confidence and could lead to a new arms race.
“The decision by Trump to withdraw the United States from Open Skies will undermine the treaty and could well lead to a reduction in the capability of many U.S. allies to monitor Russia’s actions. While the Russians have not lived up to their commitments under the treaty, the President’s actions may lead to further erosion of the Transatlantic partnership. With the Administration having made little progress towards renewing New START, the last remaining bilateral arms agreement with Moscow, the risk of rising nuclear tensions continues to grow, to the detriment of our security.”