WASHINGTON - Following notification from the Trump Administration, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on new restrictions the Administration is making to Open Skies flights.
"There is no good reason to allow the Russians to have nearly unfettered access to American airspace for intelligence collection. My colleagues and I repeatedly raised concerns with the Obama Administration and no action was taken. I am encouraged to see President Trump take a tougher stand to defend our security."
Senior U.S. military leaders repeatedly expressed serious concerns about the treaty. At a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing in February 2016, Admiral Cecil D. Haney, commander of Strategic Command, testified that he was "concerned in terms of overflights of any ability of another nation to learn more about our overall critical infrastructure."
In March 2016, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified to the Committee that the "digital techniques allow Russia, in my opinion, to get incredible foundational intelligence on critical infrastructure, bases, ports, all of our facilities, so from my perspective, it gives them a significant advantage."