A New Start with START

Does the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty move us any closer to a world free of nuclear weapons?

by Alice Slater – posted Mar 31, 2010, Published in Yes Magazine

Following the first START agreement, the United States destroyed hundreds of B52 bombers and displayed them for view by Russian satellites. Both nations have destroyed Cold War weapons, ranging from nuclear warheads to bombers to missile silos.

The United States and Russia reached agreement on a new START treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) to lower their count of deployed atomic warheads from 2,200 each to between 1,500 and 1,675. They would also cut their stocks of strategic bombers and land- and sea-based missiles from a current level of 1,600 each to 800. The treaty replaces the 1991 START agreement, which expired last December. Since each country still has about 10,000 weapons, mostly undeployed and in storage, the new START is a modest step forward. It is, however, a down payment on improved U.S.-Russia relations and a possible prelude to the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Presidents Obama and Medvedev will sign the new treaty in Prague, the site of President Obama’s groundbreaking speech one year ago in which he set out a vision for a nuclear free world.

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