February 5, 2020 8:39 AM EDT
New START mandates an intensive monitoring and verification regime that provides the U.S. and Russia with vital transparency into each other’s nuclear arsenals. Photo: Randy Montoya/Sandia National Laboratories.
One year from today, on February 5, 2021, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is scheduled to expire, leaving the United States and Russia without a single bilateral nuclear arms control agreement for the first time in nearly 50 years. This would mean the end of constraints on either country’s nuclear arsenal which, especially when combined with worsening relations between the two, could be a recipe for a new nuclear arms race. It will also end the intrusive verification measures that have provided both countries with substantial confidence in their assessments of each other’s arsenals over the past several decades.
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