Understanding New START and the Nuclear Posture Review: ACA Resources and Perspectives

For immediate release: April 5, 2010

Media contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Tom Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

(Washington, D.C.) ACA experts are available to provide analysis and commentary on two major events on nuclear weapons policy this week:  the release of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) in Washington and the signing of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on April 8 in Prague.  Both events will have major implications for U.S. and global nuclear policy and nuclear weapons threat reduction efforts.

The Nuclear Posture Review
One year ago in Prague, President Obama pledged that the NPR "will put an end to Cold War thinking" and "reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy."

In a February 1 letter to President Obama, experts from the Arms Control Association and elsewhere argue for "transformational rather than incremental changes" on several pivotal issues in the NPR relating to: declaratory policy; deeper nuclear weapons reductions and forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons; foreswearing the pursuit of new-design nuclear warheads or new military capabilities for U.S. nuclear forces; and so-called "launch-on-warning posture."

See < http://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/lettertoPOTUS >

For other NPR-related resources see:

"News Analysis: What is a 'New' Nuclear Weapon?" in Arms Control Today, April 2010 < http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_04/NewsAnalysis >

"2008 Presidential Q & A: President-elect Barack Obama," Arms Control Today, December 2008 < http://www.armscontrol.org/2008election >

"Nuclear Posture Review Leaks; Outlines Targets, Contingencies," by Philipp C. Bleek,  Arms Control Today, April 2002 < http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2002_04/nprapril02 >

On Thursday in Prague, Presidents Obama and Medvedev will sign New START. ACA experts have welcomed the treaty as the "the first truly post-Cold War nuclear arms reduction treaty. It will verifiably limit strategic nuclear warheads by roughly 30% below current levels and will set lower limits on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles."

ACA and Arms Control Today resources on New START include:  

"New START: Good News for Arms Control," analysis by Steve Pifer in Arms Control Today: < http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_05/Pifer >

"U.S. Russian Nuclear Arms Control Agreements at a Glance," March 2010: < http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USRussiaNuclearAgreementsMarch2010 >

"Next Steps on New START," editorial in the April issue of Arms Control Today by Daryl G. Kimball:  < http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_04/Focus >