More than ever, preventing nuclear weapons proliferation requires cooperation among the United States, Russia, and China, plus emerging powers. To achieve this cooperation, measures must be crafted to uphold the bargain between disarmament and nonproliferation.
While Russian leaders support the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons in theory, the Russian security community is still committed to the principle of nuclear deterrence.
Opponents of the START follow-on agreement are employing scare tactics to impede Senate ratification of the treaty at the long-term risk of imperiling national security.
Recent arguments against a withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany are based on anachronistic perceptions regarding NATO’s nuclear weapons capacity, but bring up important points concerning broader implications for nuclear disarmament.
A treaty to replace the expired START agreement is an essential step not only toward global nuclear disarmament, but also toward managing the risks associated with Russia's nuclear arsenal, which still poses the single greatest existential threat to the United States.
Although the atomic bomb poses profound challenges to American constitutional governance, the post-Cold War environment should allow alternative ways to balance nuclear deterrence with a deliberative decision-making process that does not put nuclear weapons solely in the hands of the executive branch.
The International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament recommends practical policymaking options designed to galvanize action by governments to achieve progress on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, including positive outcomes at the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
Nuclear-armed states and non-nuclear-weapon states alike can and should work together in the short term to overcome the technical challenges of verifying disarmament and help advance the longer-term goal of abolishing nuclear weapons.
The United States has not convinced allies of its resolve to make extended deterrence credible. A new, effective strategy of communicating U.S. resolve must disentangle the concepts of capabilities and resolve while engaging more closely with allies.
The best way to begin accounting for and reducing obsolete U.S. and Russian battlefield nukes is to finalize the new START agreement and, as the Obama administration has suggested, begin a new and more comprehensive round of talks early next year to arrive at limits on all types of U.S. and Russian nuclear forces.