New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
In a ceremony at the White House on February 2, President Obama signed the final ratification documents for the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
In a dramatic show of bi-partisan support for national security, the United States Senate voted on December 22, 2010 to give its advice and consent to pass the Resolution of Ratification of the New START Treaty by a vote of 71 to 26. To see how your Senator voted, click here.
History of the New START Treaty
The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was a bilateral treaty between the United States and Union of Soviet Socialist Replublics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The treaty was signed on the 31st of July in 1991 and entered into force on December 5, 1994.
START I negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history. START codified the end of Cold War nuclear competition and reduced immediate dangers associated with excess nuclear weapons arsenals. The treaty expired on December 5, 2009.
What Does It Mean?
The new treaty limits the U.S. and Russia to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles. The treaty also includes a streamlined and updated system of verification provisions to ensure each side that the other is complying with the treaty stipulations.
The New START will strengthen efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. The U.S. and Russia possess approximately 95% of the entire world arsenal. A reduction in the bulk of the world’s nuclear weapons lessens the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.
The New START will strengthen efforts throughout the world to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The treaty sends a strong message the U.S plans to play an integral role in upholding its obligation to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
The New START will improve U.S. and Russian relations and helps to set the stage for discussions about further nuclear arms reductions. The formal process will make it easier for the U.S. to pursue other objectives that require Russia’s assistance, including reigning in Iran’s nuclear program.
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