Trump to pull US out of Open Skies Treaty

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Binman4OSU

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#4
US Military just made it clear...they do not support Trump pulling the US out of the Open Skies treaty and are in support of the US staying in

https://twitter.com/US_Stratcom/status/1181549829589258242
 

Binman4OSU

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#6
It says there are 34 member states. I'd like to know what this costs and how much of it is being paid by the US.
The cost is to be a member you must allow a min # of flyovers every year to other nations to meet a min quota

Signed March 24, 1992, the Open Skies Treaty permits each state-party to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Observation aircraft used to fly the missions must be equipped with sensors that enable the observing party to identify significant military equipment, such as artillery, fighter aircraft, and armored combat vehicles. Though satellites can provide the same, and even more detailed, information, not all of the 34 treaty states-parties1 have such capabilities. The treaty is also aimed at building confidence and familiarity among states-parties through their participation in the overflights.

President Dwight Eisenhower first proposed that the United States and the Soviet Union allow aerial reconnaissance flights over each other's territory in July 1955. Claiming the initiative would be used for extensive spying, Moscow rejected Eisenhower's proposal. President George H.W. Bush revived the idea in May 1989 and negotiations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact started in February 1990.

Treaty Status: The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002. Twenty-six of the treaty’s initial 27 signatories have ratified the accord and are now states-parties. Since the treaty entered into force, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Sweden have become states-parties. Russia conducted the first observation flight under the treaty in August 2002, while the United States carried out its first official flight in December 2002. In 2008, states-parties celebrated the 500th overflight and since then the number of flights flown has risen to more than 800.

Territory: All of a state-party's territory can be overflown. No territory can be declared off-limits by the host nation.

Flight Quotas: Every state-party is obligated to accept a certain number of overflights each year, referred to as its passive quota, which is loosely determined by its geographic size.2 A state-party's active quota is the number of flights it may conduct over other states-parties. Each state-party has a right to conduct an equal number of flights over any other state-party that overflies it. A state-party's active quota cannot exceed its passive quota, and a single state-party cannot request more than half of another state-party's passive quota.

Process: An observing state-party must provide at least 72 hours' advance notice before arriving in the host country to conduct an overflight. The host country has 24 hours to acknowledge the request and to inform the observing party if it may use its own observation plane or if it must use a plane supplied by the host. At least 24 hours before the start of the flight, the observing party will supply its flight plan, which the host has four hours to review. The host may only request changes in flight plans for flight safety or logistical reasons. If it does so, the two states-parties have a total of eight hours after submission of the original flight plan to agree on changes, if they fail, the flight can be cancelled. The observation mission must be completed within 96 hours of the observing party's arrival unless otherwise agreed.3 Although state-parties are allowed to overfly all of a member’s territory, the treaty determines specific points of entry and exit, and refueling airfields. The treaty also establishes ground resolution thresholds for the onboard still and video cameras. The aircraft and its sensors must undergo a certification procedure before being allowed to be used for Open Skies in order to confirm that they do not exceed the allowed resolutions.

Aircraft: The treaty lays out standards for aircraft used for observation flights. Aircraft may be equipped with four types of sensors: optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, infra-red line-scanning devices, and sideways-looking synthetic aperture radar. For the first three full years after the treaty entered into force, the observation aircraft had to be equipped with at least a single panoramic camera or a pair of optical framing cameras. The states-parties may now agree on outfitting the observation planes with additional sensors.

Data: A copy of all data collected will be supplied to the host country. All states-parties will receive a mission report and have the option of purchasing the data collected by the observing state-party.

Treaty Implementation: The Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC), comprised of representatives of all states-parties, is responsible for the implementation of the Open Skies Treaty. The OSCC considers matters of treaty compliance, decides on treaty membership, distributes active quotas, and deals with any questions that may arise during the implementation of the treaty.

The 2nd Review Conference for the Open Skies Treaty was held in Vienna on June 7-9, 2010 under the chairmanship of the United States. The Conference’s Final Document paves the way for the use of digital cameras and sensors in the future by requesting states-parties consider the technological and financial aspects of converting to digital systems. The document also encourages the expansion of the Open Skies Treaty to other countries, particularly those in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, where the OSCC is headquartered.
 

CocoCincinnati

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#7
That was informative but didn't really answer my question. What do we spend on these flights every year?

And I'm guessing we fly over eastern Europe many times more than European countries fly over Alaska. So how much of the cost do we cover?
 

Binman4OSU

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#8
That was informative but didn't really answer my question. What do we spend on these flights every year?

And I'm guessing we fly over eastern Europe many times more than European countries fly over Alaska. So how much of the cost do we cover?
The Host country has the option to provide the planes to be used by the country for the fly over missions and US military members fly with the country....meaning we supply the planes and tech that can be used by the other country for the flyover. We always make the other countries use our plane and the tech we provide them outside of Alaska and the West Coast which is pretty much a tit for tat with Russia on Flyovers

The Trump Admin asked for $222 million to buy 2 new airliners for the 55th Wing with upgraded tech for the Treaty to fly recon missions over the US for Russia and Ukraine in their 2019 budget. However the House Armed Services Committee rejected it.


The current planes flying these missions are two OC-135 Open Skies Jets that were built in 1961. The Air Force said these jets had suffered mech breakdowns in recent years forcing air crews to spend weeks at a time in Russia while they are being repaired. Russia has allowed the US to use their own planes and tech, but have tried to restrict the air space where they can fly (which isn't in line with the treaty)

The Air Force wing who operates the Open Skies missions is the 55th Wing and have not been granted $$ to buy new planes since pre Open Skies in 1967 for any of their aircraft

Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) removed funding for part of Open Skies funding in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act in a move he was was to comfort Russia over its allegations the US was violating the Open Skies Treaty to use it to spy on Russia's expansion and modernization of its nuclear arsenal by using banned technology in the fly overs we conduct over Russia

Thornberry also said the US would not provide new $$ for new recon planes and tech for other countries usage until Russia complies with the treaty and stops restricting US fly overs and he also demanded that Russia agree to extradite Russian nationals who were charged with interfering in the 2016 US Election as part of the deal to get the US to pay to upgrade its planes and tech we provide for the Flyovers

Thornberry did agree to an amendment by another member of the Committee which requires the Pentagon to deliver a report to Congress on the state of the OC-135 aircraft in use for Open Skies by Jan 2020

So it isn't cheap. The Trump Admin had asked for additional funding from the $750+ billion Defense spending be put toward Open Skies but it was shot down in Congress.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#11
I can see a 5-gallon bucket of golfballs and my practice mat in my backyard just using google earth. Pretty sure images from surveillance satellites are much more concise and can tell us everything we need to know.

Edit--
I am also not too concerned since there is a 72 hour advance warning to the treaty. In 72 hours, every piece of military hardware could be removed or concealed from just about every conflict zone so the fly-over would be pointless. We can look down at will when we want with satellites which will provide a much better look into what is going on.
 
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Binman4OSU

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#12
So it sounds like Russia isn't abiding by the treaty. Why should we?
Not sure. The Trump Admin thought it was a good treaty and asked to spend $222 million more on it....that spending was blocked by Congress....Trump now says the US considering pulling out of it and Now the US Strategic Command is publicly asking him not to
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#13
Not sure. The Trump Admin thought it was a good treaty and asked to spend $222 million more on it....that spending was blocked by Congress....Trump now says the US considering pulling out of it and Now the US Strategic Command is publicly asking him not to
My father spent 25 years in the Air Force, retired as a colonel. Just from the sidelines I can tell you that every AF group is ridiculously protective of the work they do and do not want any other agency to beat them to discovering a situation. Makes them look bad. There is a good reason why Strat Com is now a joint agency and not just AF....
 

CocoCincinnati

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#14
Not sure. The Trump Admin thought it was a good treaty and asked to spend $222 million more on it....that spending was blocked by Congress....Trump now says the US considering pulling out of it and Now the US Strategic Command is publicly asking him not to
Military wanting to keep this thing going isn't surprising, of course they do. I'm not arguing a good thing or a bad thing, I just think it's funny to see some people already pushing the Russia angle. If Russia isn't abiding by the treaty and we are, then it actually benefits Russia for us NOT to withdraw from it.