Volume 2, Issue 6, May 26, 2011
On December 22, 2010, a bipartisan majority of Senators endorsed modest, verifiable reductions in the deployed strategic nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia. After weeks of debate and careful consideration, thirteen Republicans joined fifty-eight Democrats to approve the resolution of ratification for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Volume 2, Issue 5, May 24, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet at the G8 Summit in Deauville, France later this week, where they are expected to talk about cooperation on ballistic missile defense. Cooperation with Russia would strengthen U.S. security by enhancing our capabilities to detect a potential missile launch from Iran.
The misperceived "missile gap" became a significant issue during the period between the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the U.S. presidential election of 1960. The story of how it arose and then quickly disappeared 50 years ago carries relevant lessons for assessing military threats today.
Key issues for the next round of U.S.-Russian arms reductions are ballistic missile defenses, nonstrategic nuclear weapons, and strategic conventional weapons. To reach agreement, each side must recognize the other’s security concerns.
In the 20 years since the end of the Cold War, successive U.S. and Russian presidents have gradually reduced the size and salience of their enormous nuclear stockpiles. Nevertheless, the size of each country’s arsenal far exceeds what might be considered necessary to deter nuclear attack. Both sides can and should go lower.
The Russian Duma on March 14 approved a protocol that commits
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty entered into force February 5, but Russia and the United States appear to have difficult negotiations ahead on tactical nuclear weapons and missile defense.
China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plan to meet in Paris to discuss nuclear transparency issues and ways to verify additional arms reductions, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller said Feb. 16 at a nuclear policy conference in Arlington, Va. Gottemoeller’s comments added some detail to an earlier announcement by France that it would host “the first follow-up meeting of the 2010 NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] Review Conference with the 5 nuclear powers recognized by the NPT.” The five nuclear-weapon states also are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, known as the P5.
With Russia’s ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the stage is now set for new discussions between Washington and Moscow on further steps toward reducing the two states’ enormous nuclear arsenals that together comprise more than 90 percent of total nuclear weapons worldwide. Based on statements in Russia’s ratification documents and the statements of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, continued U.S.-Russian disagreements on missile defenses threaten to undermine those future talks. U.S. policymakers need to consider ways to prevent strategic missile defense system development and deployment from becoming an obstacle to progress in enhancing stability and reducing nuclear dangers. In his latest Threat Assessment Brief, ACA’s senior fellow Greg Thielmann analyzes the nature of the U.S.-Russian missile defense challenge.
President Barack Obama, backed by the U.S. military, bipartisan national security leaders, and America’s NATO allies, has made a strong case for approval of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) before the end of this year. New START would reduce Russia’s still enormous nuclear arsenal, re-establish effective bilateral inspection and monitoring, and further enhance U.S.-Russian cooperation on key issues, including containing Iran's nuclear program and further reducing all types of Russian and U.S. nuclear arms.
Transcript of the introduction first panel at "Next Steps in Arms Control," a conference hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Arms Control Association. Speakers include Daryl G. Kimball, Ralf Fücks, Richard Burt, and Eugene Miasnikov.
Volume 1, Number 27
Misinformed sources, such as Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), are claiming that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is somehow in trouble as a result of a recent missile communications incident in Wyoming. These claims are simply false, and the Senate should not let this incident get in the way of ratifying New START when it returns to Washington after the elections.