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Arms control again....


If I remember correctly the INF treaty followed the twin track policy taken by NATO - diplomacy and deterrence. The Soviets deployed the SS20 in order to try to decouple European NATO from the United States - and Canada. Deploying the GLCM was a direct counter. The INF treaty banned both weapons.

Once again the leadership in Moscow wants to divide NATO. The development of the Iskander missile demonstrates this, as does increased Russian submarine and air activity in the North Atlantic.
Some good news for international nuclear arms control.

'President Biden and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia avoided a renewed arms race on Tuesday when they formally agreed to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between their countries. But White House officials said Mr. Biden also confronted the Kremlin leader over the poisoning of an opposition activist and a hacking of government and private computer networks in the United States.

'On Monday night, the countries exchanged diplomatic notes to extend the treaty for five years, the maximum allowed in its text. Mr. Trump had initially declared that he would not extend it unless China also joined.

'The Chinese immediately rejected the idea, and noted that Beijing had fewer than 300 deployed nuclear weapons. Chinese officials asked, somewhat mockingly, whether the United States and Russia might be willing to cut their own arsenals by four-fifths to match China’s level — or encourage China to deploy more than a thousand new weapons to match the American and Russian arsenals.

'A last-minute effort by the Trump administration to negotiate an improvement to the treaty also failed; by that time, Mr. Putin appeared to be betting that Mr. Biden would win, and would want to make good on his promise to renew the Obama-era treaty.

'The treaty limits nuclear arsenals to 1,550 strategic warheads. The five-year extension was built into the original text, if both countries agreed, so it does not need further approval by the Senate. But Mr. Putin will need to ratify the extension through the Duma, which he controls; it initially approved the treaty itself 10 years ago this week.

'Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden “voiced their satisfaction” about diplomatic steps taken earlier in the day to exercise the extension, the Kremlin said. “In the coming days, both sides will finish the procedures necessary to assure the continued functioning of this important international legal mechanism to place mutual limits on nuclear-missile arsenals,” it added.

'The extension does not cover tactical nuclear weapons, nor does it reverse Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement, amid American charges that Russia was violating its terms. There is a question whether Russia’s new class of nuclear-armed undersea drones and other weapons would be covered.

'But the New Start extension avoids a costly arms race — and Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, argued that if the country was going to confront Russia for its malign activities, it was better to do so with both sides under nuclear constraints.'

Biden and Putin Agree to Extend Nuclear Treaty
Job jobbed; now just have to adhere to it!

'Russian lawmakers on Wednesday quickly approved the extension of the last remaining nuclear Russia-U.S. arms control treaty, a fast-track action that comes just days before it’s due to expire.

'Both houses of parliament voted unanimously to extend the New START treaty for five years, a day after a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said they agreed to complete the necessary extension procedures in the next few days.

'Speaking via video link to the World Economic Forum’s virtual meeting, Putin hailed the decision to extend the treaty as “a step in the right direction,” but warned of rising global rivalries and threats of new conflicts.

'The pact’s extension doesn’t require congressional approval in the U.S., but Russian lawmakers must ratify the move and Putin has to sign the relevant bill into law.'

'Arms control advocates hailed the treaty’s extension as a boost to global security and urged Russia and the U.S. to start negotiating follow-up agreements.

'(Deputy Foreign Minister) Ryabkov said that Russia is ready to sit down for talks on prospective arms cuts, noting that they should also involve non-nuclear precision weapons with strategic range.

Russian parliament OKs New START nuclear treaty extension

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