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NEW START TREATY: Little to Show One Year Later

Broken Promises

  • No Increase in Global Security: Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon, according to a November IAEA report. North Korea has enough fissile material for six to eight nuclear weapons. China already has hundreds, and Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads. Several Arab countries are considering pursuing their own nuclear programs. Signing New START has done nothing so far to make the world safer.
  • No Effective Nuclear Modernization: The Administration requested $7.6 billion for nuclear weapons activities in fiscal year 2012, but Congress has cut $400 million already from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities. Meanwhile, Russia is undertaking its largest nuclear modernization program since the Cold War. It plans to double missile production in 2013. 
  • The U.S. Has No Comparable Modernization Program: Under current policy, replacement systems will not enter the U.S. arsenal until 2030. By then, the U.S. will have 60-year-old intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs), 40-year-old submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and 35- to 70-year-old bombers. There is currently no plan to develop a new nuclear warhead. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that, under sequestration, the U.S. would be forced to abandon ICBMs and delay other modernization plans.

Little Improvement in Bilateral Relations

  • No Russian Reductions in Nuclear Warheads: On October 25, the State Department announced that Russia’s numbers of nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers increased by 29 from June to October.
  • No Increase in Russian Cooperation: Ratifying New START has not significantly improved Russian cooperation on major global threats, as the Administration promised. Moscow has continued to condemn tougher U.S. sanctions on Iran, which is advancing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and has threatened to limit U.S. access to Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network.

Further Concessions Possible

  • No Negotiating Transparency: The Administration refused to provide the Senate with access to the negotiating records to alleviate their concerns. One year after ratification, the Administration has not made the instruments of ratification available to the public, raising the question of whether the language in the resolution of ratification that Senators had agreed to had been modified in any way.
  • No Effect on Russian Opposition to Missile Defense: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has threatened to deploy Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, a region bordering Poland and Lithuania, should the U.S. deploy missile defenses in Europe. Moscow threatened to boycott the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago in 2012 if agreement on this issue is not reached.
  • Vigilant Congress Needed: Congress as an institution needs to come together in a commitment to mitigate and reverse the damage caused by New START.

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