On Monday 29 November 2010, several members of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation published a letter in the New York Times calling for the US Senate to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
The bilateral treaty between the United States and Russia will, over a period of seven years, cut the number of US and Russian strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 from the current figure of 2000 as well as reduce the numbers of total land, sea and air-based launchers to 800 with no more than 700 deployed.
The new agreement succeeds the 1991 START treaty, which expired last December, but awaits ratification by the US Senate.
In addition to cutting warhead numbers and limiting the number of deployed launchers ratification of the New START treaty will reinstate the suspended verification and inspection regime, to allow on-site inspections of the nuclear arsenals of both countries.
To date, six former U.S. secretaries of state, five former U.S. secretaries of defense and three former national security advisers have endorsed ratification of the treaty, along with seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command and the entire current U.S. military leadership.
To read the letter in the New York Times, please click here.
The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security challenges of our time.