I wonder if the new Arms Reduction agreement will have a short term and a long term effect…
America has 20,0000 warheads if it reduces these two several thousand then there will be plenty left to blow up everyone and at the same time create a huge uranium stockpile of high grade uranium for its reactors… Causing an over-hang in USA supplies. The question is: Will the US export some of this uranium to other countries?
Arms Control’s New Era
Published: March 27, 2010
The negotiations took a lot longer and were more grueling than anyone expected, but the United States and Russia have finally agreed on a nuclear weapons agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Although the deal makes only modest cuts in both countries? arsenals, President Obama deserves credit for reviving an arms control process that his predecessor disparaged as a cold-war relic. He is now leading the way on reducing the nuclear threat.
This new accord will substantially strengthen his hand to press for tighter controls on nuclear materials at a nuclear security summit meeting next month, and then for tighter penalties on nuclear scofflaws like Iran and North Korea at a Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in May.
Mr. Obama cannot rest there. We hope he quickly sends his negotiators back to the table to get going with Russia on a follow-on deal that would make even deeper reductions in deployed weapons and, for the first time, in both the number of stored warheads and tactical nuclear weapons ? the thousands of smaller bombs that are frighteningly vulnerable to covert sale or theft. That is expected to take years to thrash out, rather than the months this latest agreement took.
The United States and Russia cannot credibly argue for restraining other countries? nuclear programs if they are not moving ahead on reducing their own combined total of some 20,000 nuclear weapons.
The broad outlines of the agreement ? to be signed by Mr. Obama and President Dmitri Medvedev in Prague on April 8 ? are encouraging. It calls for both countries to reduce their deployed strategic warheads from the current ceiling of 2,200 to 1,550 within seven years after the treaty enters into force. Delivery vehicles ? missiles, bombers and submarines ? would be cut from 1,600 each to 800.
We, like others, are keen to see the details, which may not be available for a while as negotiators complete technical annexes. That work must not be allowed to drag out. It will only encourage doubts about what was agreed to in the main treaty text and postpone putting the deal before the Senate for ratification.
Three previous arms control treaties ? Start I (1992), Start II (1996) and the Moscow Treaty (2003) ? were ratified with substantial bipartisan support. (Start I expired in December. Start II never took effect because Russia withdrew after the Bush administration abrogated the ABM Treaty in 2002 to pursue missile defense. The Moscow Treaty set the current ceiling of 2,200 deployed warheads.)
Winning approval of this new deal in Washington?s nasty political climate, when Republicans are refusing to cooperate on much of anything, is less certain. Ratification requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate.
The administration must convince senators that the verification regime is credible and that the text does not limit America?s ability to pursue missile defense. Administration officials are confident they can win both arguments, but President Obama must be prepared to make the case himself.