With the U.S. Senate vote in late December to provide consent to ratification and the second reading in the State Duma on Friday, the New START arms control agreement is now only a few steps away from coming into force. The two governments should be proud of their accomplishment, especially given the critical need to restore mutual inspections after more than a year’s pause since the original START expired.
But as long as mutual nuclear deterrence defines the relationship between the United States and Russia on nuclear issues, future arms deals will likely prove far more difficult to negotiate and be subject to even greater domestic political resistance. To change these dynamics, instead of pursuing a further round of numerical cuts, Washington and Moscow should consider using the next treaty to renounce deterrence.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Moscow Times.
Click here to view the full article.