Report: Non-treaty nuke cuts have historical precedent
November 26, 2013
By Leigh Munsil
Not all nuclear arsenal reductions need to be done by treaties with Russia, according to a new report by the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation.
The largest and most visible changes to the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal have been done through formal arms control agreements like the New START treaty. But there’s historical precedent for reducing the stockpile without treaties or formal agreements, according to the report, provided to POLITICO.
“Presidents have routinely reduced the size of the nuclear arsenal outside the auspices of treaties with Russia,” says the report, authored by Usha Sahay, director of digital outreach at the arms control center, and Kingston Reif, director of nuclear non-proliferation.
“There are two main ways in which presidents make such changes to the numbers of nuclear weapons,” the report says: “First, ‘parallel’ or ‘reciprocal’ reductions with Russia that don’t involve a formal treaty, and second, unilateral reductions intended to align U.S. nuclear posture with shifting strategic and budgetary requirements.”
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