Smith, Engel concerned about Open Skies Treaty

By John Liang / November 22, 2019 at 3:44 PM

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) are worried about the future of the Open Skies Treaty and whether the Trump administration plans to withdraw from the pact.

"We write to express our concerns regarding the future of the Open Skies Treaty, which plays an important role in advancing Euro-Atlantic security," Smith and Engel write in a letter sent today to national security adviser Robert O'Brien. "Given the importance of the Treaty, which is a key element of the existing arms control framework that allows the U.S. and our allies to monitor Russia's military maneuvers, we are again bringing this matter to your attention and seeking clarity regarding the administration's intentions."

Specifically, the two congressmen write of their concern related to reports indicating that the Defense and State departments have been ordered by the White House not to discuss the Open Skies Treaty with Congress.

"This stonewalling only serves to undermine collaboration between the executive and legislative branches of our government on matters of national security," their letter states.

Read the full letter.