The U.S. Senate has ratified the New START nuclear-arms reduction treaty, which was signed by the U.S. and Russian presidents on 8 April 2010. The treaty, which must still be approved by the upper house of the Russian parliament, has been applauded by President Barack Obama’s administration and most Democratic members of the Senate.
However, many U.S. military/naval officials and arms-control experts have asked, “Why?”
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was approved by the lame-duck Senate in December 2010. In his 22 December press conference, President Obama declared, “This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades, and it will make us safer and reduce our nuclear arsenals along with Russia.”
In reality, the nuclear-arms reductions agreement approved less than a decade ago—the Moscow treaty of 2002—made a larger cut in nuclear weapons. At intervals of roughly a decade, major U.S.-Soviet/Russian agreements have been made to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads: