“Lessening the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons usable materials is a vital national security and fiscal priority,” said Kingston Reif, director of non-proliferation programs at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “There is an emerging bipartisan and military consensus that a significantly smaller stockpile would meet our security needs. In this time of economic uncertainty, further reductions with Russia could create significant cost savings that would free funding for higher priority security programs.”
Last night, Center Executive Director John Isaacs was interviewed on the Russia Today news program on START.
Watch the video to see John’s views on the impact of the December 5th expiration of START and the timeline for finalizing its successor.
Read the brief excerpt below, and then watch the video on our YouTube channel.
Here we are, almost 20 years after the Cold War ended, and both the US and Russia still have huge [numbers of] – many tens of thousands – nuclear weapons. There are about 23,000 nuclear weapons across the globe, and Russia and the US have over 90% of them. And this treaty is designed to begin the reduction process, which then has to go much further beyond this treaty. The US Senate takes a long time to deal with this treaty, so even if the two presidents of Russia and the United States signed an agreement let’s say the next month, by February, it still will take several months, maybe many months, before the US Senate ratifies.
by Katie Mounts Published in the Register Citizen on January 27, 2010. Whether you are reading this article in Tampa or Tucson, Los Angeles or Long Island, one thing is for certain: It’s six minutes to midnight. While this may not be the normal mode of timekeeping for your dinner plans, it’s true for the […]
Over the weekend I did an interview with Daily Kos’ Plutonium Page on the status of New START. Page’s post as well as excerpts from our discussion can be found here. Topics covered include some key points of contention in the negotiation…
Last week the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation sent around a short primer on some of the problems that continue to divide the U.S. and Russia as they try to negotiate a “New START” agreement to replace START I, which expires on December 5.
The AP’s David Nowak cited our analysis in his report on U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones’ recent visit to Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other high-ranking Russian officials. Writes Nowak:
But the Washington-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation recently noted several sticking points that may take negotiations into the 11th hour.
The obstacles include a divergence on the number of so-called delivery vehicles – a reference to missiles and bombers. Washington has reportedly proposed a limit of 1,100 such weapons platforms, while Russia wants less than half, a discrepancy too great to forge an agreement, the center concluded.
To clarify, while we highlight several issues that could prevent an agreement from being reached on or before December 5, we do not suggest that these divisions are insoluble. For example, as we note, “The wide range for delivery vehicles reflects the opening positions of the two countries….Such a wide range will almost certainly not be in the Treaty, as the U.S. and Russia will either have to agree to a single number or a narrower range.”
As of today, the discrepancy in the U.S. and Russian positions on a number of key issues is still “too great to forge an agreement” (though if this report is accurate, perhaps the delivery vehicle divide is close to being bridged). But given the modest goals laid out by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in July, resolving these problems should be eminently doable. The question is whether it’s doable before December 5.