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.
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.
The leaders of NATO’s 28 countries last month endorsed a
Volume 1, Number 39
It is ironic that critics of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) use missile defense as an excuse to oppose Senate approval. In reality, New START clears the path for missile defense, as shown by the recent U.S.-NATO agreement to deploy new missile defenses in Europe.