The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed by presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, 2010, and went into effect in February 2011. It superceded START I and the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (Moscow Treaty).
The signing of a new strategic nuclear agreement with Russia bolsters U.S. president Barack Obama's diplomatic credentials and opens a new chapter on arms control, but domestic political challenges await, says CFR's Charles Kupchan.
Michael A. Levi says that while President Obama's plan to reduce nuclear weapons is generally a step in the right direction, a complete reduction of nuclear dangers will depend on efforts largely beyond the new strategy's scope.
Violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by Iran and North Korea threaten to undermine the legitimacy of the nonproliferation regime. Paul Lettow proposes a comprehensive agenda for improvements, including tougher sanctions against transgressors, a criteria-based system to limit the spread of enrichment and processing technologies, and expansion of International Atomic Energy Agency authority.
The U.S.-Russia agreement to cut nuclear arsenals could prove a major boost to arms control and nonproliferation initiatives, but at least one important strategic disagreement will linger, writes CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
The idea of nuclear disarmament is gaining traction internationally, but countries supporting it must counter the nuclear proliferation risk created by Iran and North Korea, and make sure disarmament treaties include strong verification mechanisms, says former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
Forty years ago, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) set into place one of the most important international security bargains of all time: states without nuclear weapons pledged not to acquire them, while nuclear-armed states committed to eventually give them up. At the same time, the NPT allowed for the peaceful use of nuclear technology by nonnuclear-weapon states under strict and verifiable control. The NPT is a good deal that must be honored and strengthened.
A CFR expert on nuclear issues, Paul Lettow says President Obama's agenda will be heavily tilted toward nuclear issues in 2010. He says this is "the ideal moment for strong American leadership on these issues," and despite Obama's disappointment in not wrapping up a new START treaty by the end of the year, Lettow expects the treaty to be signed in early 2010.
A comprehensive report by the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament maps out short, medium, and long term goals for policy makers to use in order to completely eliminate nuclear weapons.
Following a post-Cold War erosion of senior level attention to nuclear weapons stewardship, the Air Force general charged with protecting the U.S. nuclear arsenal says his service is finally regaining its strategic focus.
Expert David Albright, says the preliminary agreement by which Iran will ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing "allows time for negotiations" to get Iran to freeze its nuclear program but warns Iran might still block the implementation of the plan.
Listen to Charles D. Ferguson, the Philip D. Reed senior fellow for science and technology at CFR, discuss U.S. nuclear weapons policy and strengthening the nonproliferation regime with students as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.