Sunday, March 7, 2010

Quickie: Lugar on State Dept. re-org: Not so fast!

Josh Rogin of The Cable has an update on the reported reorganization of the “T” bureau. It looks like the Senate's leading Republican voice on foreign policy is is not on the same boat as the 7th Floor about the State Department's new plan to reshuffle its arms-control bureaus. Excerpt below:

Senate Foreign Relations ranking Republican Richard Lugar, R-IN, wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week about his concerns with the new plan, in a letter (pdf) obtained exclusively by The Cable. Lugar wrote that he was generally supportive of the 2005 reorganization of the arms control functions at State, and he's concerned that Clinton's rollback of those reforms might not jive with Congress's view of how the arms-control functions should be divided, a view enshrined into law in 1999.

Specifically, Lugar is questioning Clinton's idea to take most arms-control functions out of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) and give them to the Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation (VCI), which will be renamed the "Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance." Adding arms control to the bureau's portfolio will help consolidate and strengthen that effort within T, a State Department official told The Cable.

But Lugar wants those functions to remain in separate shops. "It has been and remains my view that the evaluation of any treaty's verifiability should be a function separate from the efforts to negotiate it," Lugar wrote.

Read the whole thing here.

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