The National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1197) is on the Senate floor, and there may be debate on how much latitude the President should have when seeking to reduce excess U.S. nuclear forces. Some will argue that any future nuclear reductions can only occur via a formal treaty; others will counter that informal approaches should also be an option. There is an obvious, bipartisan answer: Current and future presidents should have as much flexibility as previous presidents, both Republicans and Democrats.
At a time when relations between Russia and the United States have seemed to chill, the two sides have signed an agreement updating a 1987 accord establishing a communications hotline between the two countries in order to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear exchanges.
Recent studies have provided extensive data on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war, but the five recognized nuclear-weapon states are boycotting efforts to focus attention on this issue.
The U.S. president laid out his arms control agenda, prompting a cool reply from Russia and a partisan reaction from Capitol Hill.