Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


U.S. and Russian Statements Confirm Their Commitment to START Treaty

Feb. 5, 2018 (EIRNS)—Both the U.S. and Russia have issued statements reaffirming their commitment to the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). TASS points out that these statements are occurring at a time when the two countries are expected to reach the limits set by the treaty.

“The United States will continue to fully implement New START, which contributes to preserving strategic stability between the United States and Russia and is a critical component of global nuclear nonproliferation efforts,”

a State Department official told TASS. The U.S. issued a statement last week.

The U.S. official, reported TASS, declined to comment on whether the U.S. will seek to extend the treaty for another five years or call for negotiations aimed at further reductions. He said, “We will consider the next steps related to the Treaty at the appropriate time,” and that

“within the next month or so both countries will exchange data on their strategic nuclear arsenals, as we have done twice a year under the Treaty’s terms for the last seven years. Our focus in the near term is on that next data exchange, after which we hope each country will confirm the other’s compliance with the Treaty’s central limits as soon as possible.”

The START treaty came into force in 2011 and extends for seven years, at the end of which each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed missile launchers.

According to a U.S. State Department document issued on Sept. 1, 2017, Russia had 501 deployed nuclear delivery means and 1,561 deployed warheads, whereas the United States had 660 deployed nuclear delivery means and 1,393 deployed warheads.

The Russian Foreign Ministry published a statement on its website today, according to TASS, saying:

“Russia confirms its commitment to the New START treaty. At the same time, Russia urges the United States to continue the meaningful search for mutually-acceptable solutions for issues related to the reequipment process and exclusion of nuclear arms from the calculations, as well as for any other issues the parties may face while implementing the treaty....

“Russia is in full compliance with its liabilities to reduce strategic offensive weapons. As of February 5, 2018 our aggregate potential is as follows: 527 operational intercontinental ballistic missiles, operational submarine-launched ballistic missiles and operational heavy bombers; 1,444 warheads on operational intercontinental ballistic missiles, operational submarine-launched ballistic missiles and operational heavy bombers; 779 operational and non-deployed ballistic missile launchers, operational and non-deployed submarine-based ballistic missile launchers and operational and non-deployed heavy bombers.”

As the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review showed, the Mutual and Assured Destruction doctrine is still very much alive; therefore the discussion of renewing or expanding the START treaty would serve as an ideal opportunity to once again bring up the Strategic Defense Initiative.

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