Thanks to the reporting of Steve Liewer of the Omaha World-Herald, we have learned about the latest effort by House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry to drive a stake into the heart of the Open Skies Treaty. Liewer reports that Thornberry has struck funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Authorization Act for two replacement Open Skies aircraft and upgraded sensors because Moscow is misbehaving.
This is an odd way to punish the Kremlin since Open Skies cooperative monitoring flights help the United States and its friends and allies, not Russia. Open Skies missions allow U.S. aircrews to provide ride-sharing opportunities with countries that feel threatened by Vladimir Putin’s revanchist tendencies.
Read the full piece in Arms Control Wonk.