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)
Events since the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington could fundamentally change the U.S.-Russian relationship. A sustained military and diplomatic campaign against terrorism will necessitate a broad international coalition and the close cooperation of nations bordering terrorist operational bases. Russian support and intelligence could prove vital to the success of allied air and ground operations against camps in Afghanistan. In return for such aid, Russia appears to expect that the United States will reciprocate in some fashion, perhaps by compromising on security issues that have recently stressed the relationship. (Continue)
To much of the world, the United States is emerging as an irrational rogue state that is increasingly out of step with the rest of the international community. The starkest example of a growing U.S. unilateralism and undisguised contempt for the views of others is the administration’s approach to national missile defense (NMD) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. In order to facilitate its pursuit of an NMD, the United States has by now made it clear that it intends to eliminate the ABM Treaty, whatever the consequences. Promised discussions with Russia, China, and U.S. allies have turned out to be simply briefings on U.S. testing plans, which the administration claims will conflict with the ABM Treaty “in months.” (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)
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)
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)