When even the New York Times gets it wrong, you know there is deep confusion about the arms control treaty Presidents Bush and Putin will sign this week--inspired in part by the administration's hyperbole. Contrary to the Times reporting on Monday, the new treaty will not "winnow their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds in the next decade" or "eliminate thousands of nuclear weapons," as an op-ed mistakenly said. Ten years from now, when the treaty concludes and expires, the United States and Russia will each have over ten thousand nuclear weapons-exactly what they have today.
The United States and Russia are finalizing a strategic arms reduction agreement in time for the summit meeting of Presidents Bush and Putin in Russia on May 23-24. The agreement is a welcome change from the Administration's previous insistence on unbridled unilateral flexibility in strategic policy.
Listen to audio from the event.
Special advance screening presented by the Carnegie Endowment and Paramount Pictures.
New reports indicate that Russia could be preparing to resume nuclear testing at its Novaya Zemlya test range. New nuclear tests by Russia, or any other state, would be a very negative international development. Russia should quickly and publicly explain its activities to allay concerns about its intentions. Some administration officials, however, are using the intelligence claims as a justification for why the United States needs to resume nuclear weapons development. This reading is unfortunate, and fails to accept the possibility that Russian moves could be a response to U.S. interest in, and discussion of the development of new nuclear weapons.
Special book luncheon
A senior administration official has indicated that Iran is working on a new version of its Shahab missile that could potentially reach European allies such as Italy, Greece, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Followin this, the U.S. indicated it would soon announce sanctions against entities that are contributing to Iran’s ballistic missile and WMD programs. Though continued Iranian progress in missile technology is a cause for concern, there is little evidence of an imminent upgrade in the Shahab series.
Event with US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev, co-sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Audio is available.