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President Joe Biden will have just 16 days from Inauguration Day to rescue the New START Treaty

Biden May Have 16 Days to Stave Off a Nuclear Arms Race,  Preserving the New START treaty with Russia will be one of his earliest missions, Bloomberg, By Peter Coy  , 25 Nov 20, 

The New START Treaty is the last bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia. It’s scheduled to expire on Feb. 5. Assuming the Trump administration doesn’t agree with Russia on an extension—and it hasn’t done so in nearly four years–President Joe Biden will have just 16 days from Inauguration Day to rescue the pact.

If New START is allowed to expire, a nuclear arms race could break out. Retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, wrote in a Bloomberg Opinion column on Oct. 30, that a stop to New START would allow both sides to deploy more nukes of current designs as well as make more advanced systems, “all of which would be very destabilizing.”

Some pressure, right? For insight into what Biden and his team will do, I interviewed Jon Wolfsthal, who served from 2014 to 2017 as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. He was also a senior adviser to Vice President Biden on nuclear security and nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012.

Some pressure, right? For insight into what Biden and his team will do, I interviewed Jon Wolfsthal, who served from 2014 to 2017 as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. He was also a senior adviser to Vice President Biden on nuclear security and nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012.

Wolfsthal says he’s optimistic about Biden’s chances of staving off a fresh nuclear arms race……….

Biden and his team will have a long list of nuclear weapons problems to deal with, including the rapid growth of China’s

 arsenal. But what to do about New START will have to be at the top of the list. The treaty limits the U.S. and Russia
to deployment of 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads and 700 long-range delivery vehicles each. Russia is willing to
renew the pact for five years without preconditions, but the Trump administration has balked.

………… Wolfsthal says New START, which went into effect in 2011, is flawed but shouldn’t be left to expire, because

it has allowed us to maintain security at lower level of nukes. It least allows us to know how many weapons Russia
has.” Without the verification that New START permits, he says, “there would be claims of a missile gap,” as there
were under Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan. “We’ve seen that movie play out before,” namely in a costly and
dangerous arms race, Wolfsthal says.

Nuclear arms control doesn’t get as much attention as other priorities for Biden’s first 100 days, but nothing is more

 important for the safety of the human race.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-25/biden-may-have-16
-days-to-stave-off-a-nuclear-arms-race

November 26, 2020 - Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war

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