By Rachel Oswald
December 18, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Senate faces the loss of much of its institutional knowledge of complicated nuclear weapons matters with the imminent exit of two veteran Republican national security hands and the expected departure of the Democratic head of the Foreign Relations Committee, experts say.
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is retiring, Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) failed in his re-election bid, and John Kerry (D-Mass.) is widely anticipated to be nominated to become the next secretary of State.
Those three lawmakers are largely what remains of the upper chamberâ€™s expertise on strategic issues as other experienced senators have retired or been ousted by voters. Few arms control accords have come before the Senate since the Cold War ended to force members to keep up with the highly technical and nuanced topic.