Arms Control and Strategic Nuclear Weapons: Unilateral vs. Bilateral Reductions [December 17, 2001] [open pdf - 215KB]
From the Document: "On November 13, 2001, President Bush announced that he planned to reduce U.S. strategic nuclear weapons to between 1,700 and 2,000 operationally deployed warheads. He noted that he would make these reductions unilaterally, without pursuing a formal arms control agreement with Russia. President Putin welcomed the proposed reductions, but argued that they should be made through a formal treaty. Officials in the Bush Administration have frequently argued that the United States should not be bound by many of the formal arms control treaties considered or signed by previous administrations. It argues that these agreements do too little to limit threats to the United States and go too far in restricting U.S. flexibility in ensuring its national security. But, the absence of formal arms control treaties would bring about changes in the role of Congress; the Senate has a constitutionally-mandated role in giving advice and consent to the ratification of formal treaties but would have no role in approving informal agreements. This approach would also change the role of arms control in the relationship between the United States and Russia."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31222
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/