Senior Policy Director John Erath spoke with the Washington Post about the New START agreement and Russia’s announcement that it would suspend participation in it.
The deal allows both Russia and the United States to hold onto hundreds of powerful nuclear weapons that, if deployed, could wreak widespread death and destruction. The quantity is sufficient to act as a deterrent for launching a nuclear weapon, Erath said.
The treaty “has done its job in that there has not been a renewal of an arms race between the U.S. and Russia,” he added.
“It’s entirely symbolic,” Erath said, since Russia had not been permitting inspections anyway. The move appears to be aimed at pressuring President Biden and allies to approach Moscow about ending the war in Ukraine, “so Russia can dictate the terms under which that would happen.”
But Russia can’t afford an arms race, either. Mired in a costly conventional war in Ukraine, “the last thing they need is to try to get into a nuclear weapons-building competition with the U.S.,” Erath added. Read more