February 12, 2010 | WebMemo on Arms Control and Nonproliferation
Over the past year, the Obama Administration has made several arms control missteps, including pursuing overly ambitious policies that have emboldened Russia and have left America’s allies uneasy.
The following Heritage Foundation research outlines the dangers pursuant to the Administration’s arms control policies while providing policy recommendations that will better defend America and its allies.
START Follow-On Treaty Could Interfere with Conventional Strike Systems
WebMemo No. 2704
The Obama Administration is currently rushing to establish a treaty to succeed the expiring Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Any successor treaty should:
The Senate’s role in the making of treaties is to serve as a quality-control mechanism. The Senate should not fail to perform its constitutional duty just because of the pressure applied by an Obama Administration infatuated with arms control.
Arms Control: One Year Later, the Obama Administration Needs a New Strategy
WebMemo No. 2771
President Barack Obama’s haste to conclude the successor treaty to START and make progress on the “road to zero” (a world without nuclear weapons) is damaging the arms control process. The U.S. needs a different strategy, which should:
These are the prerequisites for an acceptable treaty and the foundation for a new U.S. strategy.
Not a Good Start: The Future of Arms Control
Fact Sheet No. 43
In addition to reviewing fundamental arms control principles, as well as the Obama Administration’s desire to “reset” relations with Russia, this fact sheet provides several critical recommendations for a better arms control solution:
The U.S. should not pursue an overly ambitious arms-control strategy, try to conclude a START follow-on treaty at a breakneck pace, make unilateral concessions in order to conclude the negotiations and/or prevent a new arms race, accept a Russian strategic posture designed to threaten the U.S. and its allies, or further reduce its nuclear threshold.
Dangerous Trajectories: Obama’s Approach to Arms Control Misreads Russian Nuclear Strategy
Backgrounder No. 2338
As the deadline for START follow-on treaty negotiations approaches, U.S. policymakers need to focus on the long-term objectives rather than the short-term goal of simply concluding arms control agreements at any price. Specifically, the U.S. should:
Nuclear weapons have been center stage in U.S.–Russian relations since the 1950s. Today, both countries can avert a new Cold War and move beyond the “mutually assured destruction” paradigm of the 20th century.
Strategic Nuclear Arms Control for the Protect and Defend Strategy
Backgrounder No. 2266
The Obama Administration should observe the following eight rules in pursuing a new strategic nuclear arms limitation treaty with Russia:
As the Founding Fathers wrote into the Preamble of the Constitution, military forces are designed, first and foremost, to provide for the common defense. Diplomacy and arms control should be used to prevent aggression.
As the Obama Administration and the Senate consider the arms control options with Russia, they need to honor these fundamental principles. They should be determined to use arms control to test Russia’s willingness to commit to the same principles. If Russia proves unwilling to do so, arms control should and will fail.
Policies Needed to Protect America
Rather than pursuing arms control for the sake of arms control or to assuage the international community, the White House should focus on making the policy decisions that will best protect America.