Nuclear arms control resumes with five-year extension of the START Treaty

Most people in the United States do not follow, in any serious manner, arms control and efforts at nuclear on-proliferation.  The one exception has been the nuclear agreement with Iran, which Trump turned into a political football with no real analysis of its costs and benefits.

Fortunately, serious people have returned to power in the Biden Administration.

An incredibly important development occurred today, with Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin agreeing in a telephone conversation to extend the START Treaty, which limits the number of nuclear weapons the U.S. and Russia can have.  While the treaty itself is of immense importance, it also harbors a new age of serious efforts at nuclear arms control, including efforts to bolster the non-proliferation regime.  Soon we should see efforts by the Biden Administration and the Government of Iran to resuscitate and perhaps strengthen the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement between the United States, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and Germany.  The United Nations Treaty Banning Nuclear weapons entered into force this week, with some 120 countries having ratified the treaty.  While the Nuclear Weapons States have not signed and are not parties to the treaty, it is clear that the majority of nations in the workd remain intent on achieving the goal set out in the 1967 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of eliminating all nuclear weapons.

Article VI of the NPT provides

Article VI

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

Today is indeed a hopeful day in mankind’s efforts, since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the hostilities with Japan in 1945, to gain control over the nuclear arms race and ultimately to ban their production and use.

The Trenchant Observer