Journal Article

New START, A Preliminary Analysis

Paul Rusman

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 15, issue 3, pages 557-572
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI:
New START, A Preliminary Analysis

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The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) treaty marks a stage in the continuing reduction of nuclear weapons stockpiles. It also contains novel, genuinely cooperative rules for the verification of the reductions. Both qualities are needed to bring comprehensive nuclear disarmament nearer. Further reductions may lead to a worldwide drawdown of nuclear arsenals to the quantities required for minimum deterrence. And practical experience with cooperative verification routines may allow the creation of the confidence needed to compel further reductions. In this light, the experience gained with a special status of non-deployed weapons may even play a positive role. On the debit side of the balance is the loss of detailed, confidence-boosting verification practices of the START era, although these are balanced by novel verification rules. The results are robust, but the negotiations took longer than expected as a result of what seemed to be internal political struggles. Follow-on negotiations may become tougher. New START does not answer the question whether the Russian Federation will become just a regional nuclear power, adapting to a changing strategic environment. How will its new nuclear order of battle affect strategic stability? Will it rely more rather than less on nuclear deterrence? Formal arms control cannot solve these questions, but will ultimately be judged with these questions in mind.

Journal Article.  7370 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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