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Us Russian Nuclear Agreement

Demonstrable nuclear force limitation treaties improve the security of Russia and the United States in two ways. First, they can help avoid costly weapons construction that would exacerbate geopolitical tensions. The inferiority of strategic weapons is unacceptable to both Moscow and Washington.1 The search for sufficient capabilities to avoid inferiority (let alone those necessary to achieve superiority) may, however, trigger an arms race. Arms control agreements prevent this outcome by demonstrating that they allow for a lower parity than would otherwise have been the case. And resource savings go beyond weapons that are not built. Additional efforts to gather the information needed to monitor a potential adversary`s nuclear forces without cooperative verification agreements with a high degree of trust would be far more costly than data exchange and inspections. The sharp decline in U.S.-Russia relations since New START went into effect has increased the risks of both a quantitative arms race and the kind of deep crisis or conflict that could lead to possible nuclear use. The need for strategic arms control is therefore greater today than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Indeed, the U.S.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020, passed with overwhelming inter-party support, emphasizes that „legally binding and verifiable limits on Russia`s strategic nuclear forces are in the U.S. national security interest.“ 2 If history is any indication, negotiations on such a provision would proceed in a predictable manner. Given Russia`s concerns about conventional counterattacks, it would likely argue that a new type of strategic offensive arm could be nuclear or non-nuclear. As a precedent, it could find that conventional weapon ICBMs and SLBMs would be held accountable under New START. However, the U.S. would be concerned that Russia would attempt to use a provision that is too broad for new species to undermine the U.S. conventional military advantage by claiming that it applies to U.S. non-nuclear capabilities that do not threaten Russian nuclear forces. Boost Glide missiles (SLBGMs) armed with long-range nuclear missiles could, when used, perform a military function similar to that of maritime ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Russia and the United States should therefore agree that nuclear long-range SLBGMs would be a new type of contractually responsible strategic offensive arm. In order to facilitate inspection, they should also agree not to use such weapons on ships or submarines on which non-nuclear non-nuclear non-nuclear cruise missiles (SCMMs) or long-range non-nuclear SLBGMs are stationed.

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