Op-ed: A Real Nuclear Triumph for Trump: Extend New START

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell co-wrote a piece in Breaking Defense on the need to extend the New START Treaty between the United States and Russia.

As President Trump prepares to meet Vladimir Putin in a high-stakes one-on-one meeting, there is growing and legitimate concern in Washington and European capitals about concessions Trump might make in the hopes of getting along with the Russian strongman.

The anxiety is warranted, given President Trump’s public statements on NATO and the invasion of Ukraine, as well as his dismissal of Russian election interference. There is, however, a possible US-Russian compromise that should be welcomed and encouraged: the extension of the landmark New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.

Yes, relations between the United States and Russia have deteriorated significantly in recent years, with contacts cut off at many levels. Nevertheless, the two countries still have to talk about a basic, life-or-death reality: They possess between them over 90 percent of the roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons on the planet, and each presents an existential threat to the other. Given that grim fact, leaders in Washington and Moscow have a special responsibility to avoid direct conflict and reduce nuclear threats. Read more