Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Moscow Treaty Speeds Along, in the Face of US-Russian Diplomatic Tension

Posted by proliferationpr on February 13, 2009

WaPo discusses America’s speedy progress with the Moscow Treaty, a U.S.-Russia agreement that has sharply reducing the number of deployed nuclear warheads–giving the Bush administration some credit. Sadly, America’s headway there does not diminish current U.S.-Russian tensions.

From WaPo: 

Some experts think the Bush administration does not get enough credit for the reductions it has made in nuclear weapons. Robert S. Norris, a senior research associate at the Natural Resources Defense Fund, said yesterday, “It is little appreciated or known that the two Bush presidencies have gotten rid of three-quarters of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.”

According to Norris, the United States had about 22,000 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads at the end of the Cold War. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush ordered the withdrawal of all tactical weapons and signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), cutting the total to approximately 11,000. “His son cut it in half again by the end of his administration,” Norris said, “and this will be the baseline for further reductions during the Obama administration.”

As the Bush administration was reducing deployed warheads, it was pressing Congress to approve funding for development of a new warhead under the Reliable Replacement Warhead program. The RRW was to be based on an old, tested design with no new testing needed before being deployed. It was to be more secure and reliable over the next decade than today’s aging Cold War nuclear warheads, even those that had been refurbished. Congress, however, eliminated funding for the RRW in fiscal 2009, with members saying they would await results of the Obama administration’s nuclear posture review.

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