Nuclear Offensive Arms Reductions: Past and Present   [open pdf - 51KB]

The process of implementing arms control agreements that reduce nuclear arms has been complicated, especially with the backdrop of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the new states that took its place. Future historians will debate whether the increased openness regarding the implementation of both START and INF contributed to a more general easing of relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union. The Moscow Treaty is not just a new treaty, but a new kind of treaty. Reflecting the mutual trust and cooperation in the new U.S.-Russian strategic relationship, the Moscow Treaty affords a great deal of flexibility to each Party to meet unforeseen future contingencies. It is simple -- just five articles and 485 words, barely two pages long, with no annexes or protocols, as opposed to the 47 pages and 19 articles of START, with its hundreds of pages of annexes and protocols. It gives each side the flexibility to carry out reductions, for example, by removing warheads from bomber bases and missiles, or by removing missiles, launchers, and bombers from operational service. In contrast, START mandated precise "counting rules" that force -- sometimes unrealistically -- over- and under-counting of actual weapons in the name of strict parity and unambiguous accounting. The flexibility provided by the new treaty allows each side to determine how to make its own reductions.

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WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction: The New Strategic Framework: U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda: An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State, v.7, no.2, p. 16-18
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