Decisions on the next phase of strategic force reductions and how to achieve them will have to await the resolution of larger issues related to the future of the U.S. strategic force posture and national missile defense. Once the Bush administration completes its Nuclear Posture Review, however, it will need to decide whether to continue the Cold War-style strategic arms reduction process or explore alternatives for reducing nuclear threats to national security and transforming the U.S.-Russian strategic relationship. The traditional arms control process of negotiating legally binding treaties that both codify numerical parity and contain extensive verification measures has reached an impasse and outlived its utility. To jump-start this process, the administration should give top priority to repealing legislation that prohibits the Nation from unilaterally reducing strategic forces until START II (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ) enters into force. Unless the United States embraces a more flexible and innovative approach to strategic arms control, progress will be stymied in developing a nuclear weapons posture for the new security environment. America and Russia are no longer enemies and the nuclear arms race between the two countries is, for all intents and purposes, over. The likelihood that Russia could marshal the economic resources for clandestine production of new nuclear weapon systems on a militarily significant scale is extremely remote.
Strategic Challenges for the Bush Administration: Perspectives from the Institute for National Strategic Studies, p.71-76