Responding to the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty the previous day, Russia declared it would no longer be bound by START II.
At November’s Washington-Crawford summit, President George W. Bush announced his intention to reduce U.S. strategic nuclear forces from today’s 6,000 deployed warheads to 1,700-2,200 deployed warheads within 10 years. The proposal, along with the Texas-style hospitality extended to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was intended to signify Bush’s desire to move beyond the Cold War. By the administration’s strategic calculation, the United States and Russia are now “friends,” who should size and orient their respective strategic offensive and defensive arsenals to meet the threats of the future, not one another. (Continue)
Despite a flurry of summer meetings between top U.S. and Russian officials on offensive and defensive strategic forces, Moscow remains unconvinced by U.S. arguments to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which proscribes nationwide defenses against long-range ballistic missiles. (Continue)
During a July 1-3 summit in Russia with French President Jacques Chirac, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested holding multilateral “strategic stability” talks, at which further U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear warhead cuts could be discussed. (Continue)
U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have both spoken out in the last year on the idea of unilateral reductions in strategic nuclear forces. During his election campaign, Bush let it be known that he preferred to move quickly to reduce nuclear weapons, not waiting, as he put it, for “years and years of detailed arms control negotiations.” Bush reaffirmed this view in his May 1, 2001 speech on strategic issues, when he said, “My goal is to move quickly to reduce nuclear forces. The United States will lead by example to achieve our interests and the interests for peace in the world.” Putin, for his part, announced in November 2000 that he was ready to pursue strategic nuclear arms reductions “together or in parallel”—this, even before it was clear that Bush would be entering the White House. Putin stressed that Russia was ready to reduce its arsenal to 1,500 deployed strategic warheads or even lower, going below the 2,000-2,500 warheads that Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin had agreed to at Helsinki as targets for START III. (Continue)
Although President George W. Bush expressed satisfaction during a mid-June visit to Europe that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other European leaders had showed “receptivity” to his intention to develop a new strategic framework, including missile defenses, Putin and key NATO leaders reiterated their concerns with U.S. plans and warned the United States against pushing ahead alone. (Continue)
In a May 1 speech at National Defense University, President George W. Bush said that the United States “must move beyond the constraints of the 30-year-old ABM Treaty” and replace it with a “new framework.” Bush offered few details about what such a strategic framework would look like, but he reaffirmed his intention to deploy ballistic missile defenses and further reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. (Continue)
From an arms control perspective, the first 100 days of George W. Bush's presidency have been a disaster. President Bush has demonstrated that he believes, and intends to implement, his campaign rhetoric condemning past arms control accomplishments and even the concept of arms control itself. Unless he changes direction, Bush will have effectively demolished the arms control regime that has been painstakingly built over the past 30 years. (Continue)