Top U.S. and Russian officials accentuated the positive after a recent high-level meeting, but the two sides remain deeply divided on developing anti-missile systems and managing their future nuclear weapons relationship. (Continue)
Russian and U.S. officials in September meetings failed to resolve disputes over measures to succeed an expiring nuclear arms reduction treaty or U.S. plans to base anti-missile systems in Europe. The two sides vowed to continue meeting. (Continue)
Five years ago at the signing ceremony for the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), President George W. Bush claimed the agreement “liquidates the Cold War legacy of nuclear hostility” between the United States and Russia. Think again. Although SORT calls for deeper reductions in deployed strategic nuclear warheads, to 1,700-2,200 each by 2012, it has not liquidated the weapons nor mutual nuclear suspicions.
The treaty’s emphasis on flexibility detracts from its predictability, lessening its value in building a more stable and secure U.S.-Russian relationship. Unlike the earlier Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) approach, SORT does not require the destruction of strategic delivery systems. SORT also allows each side to store nondeployed warheads. The treaty fails to establish new verification mechanisms, relying instead on those contained in START. (Continue)
As early as the end of May, the Air Force might start trimming the U.S. long-range nuclear ballistic missile force by 10 percent despite the objections of a few lawmakers. The service also is moving forward with plans to cut its nuclear-armed cruise missile fleet by approximately two-thirds. (Continue)
Moscow and Washington recently initiated talks on what measures might follow the upcoming expiration of START, their landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty. Russia favors negotiating another treaty cutting strategic nuclear forces, but the United States prefers a less formal arrangement without weapons limits. (Continue)
Panelists: Steve Andreasen, Matthew Bunn, Joseph Cirincione, Jack Mendelsohn, Daryl Kimball