Issue Brief #14: New START: Extension under what Circumstances?


The New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (New START) is at risk of expiring on February 5, 2021. At the same time, there has been no substantial progress in negotiations on a follow-on nuclear arms control agreement. The Trump administration has offered a short-term extension of New START – should Russia agree to a freeze on all U.S. and Russian nuclear warhead stockpiles including non-strategic warheads and to be monitored by unspecified verification measures. This could pave the way to preserving New START, along with an agreement on a politically binding framework for a future agreement. But time appears too short to resolve all questions about the definition and verification of such an arrangement. With this bleak picture, what is the way forward to preserve strategic stability? What realistic scenarios and options exist to prevent a new arms race between Russia and the United States?

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About the Authors

Anatoli S. Diakov is a Professor of Physics and a Researcher at the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CE-NESS) and a leading Researcher at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO).

Götz Neuneck is Senior Research Fellow at the IFSH and formerly its deputy Director and Head of the inter-disciplinary research area "Arms Control and Emerging Technologies".

Lynn Rusten is Vice President of the Global Nuclear Policy Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Before joining NTI in March 2017, Rusten held numerous high-ranking government positions.