Panel Advocates Deeper U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cuts, Despite Tensions

A Ukrainian soldier stands guard on Sunday at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk. Arms-control advocates on Monday said Russia and the United States should continue discussing new nuclear-weapon curbs, despite significant tensions.
National Journal
Diane Barnes
Add to Briefcase
Diane Barnes
April 29, 2014, 6:28 a.m.

Arms-con­trol pro­ponents are ur­ging Wash­ing­ton and Mo­scow not to stop dis­cuss­ing new nuc­le­ar-weapon curbs, as ten­sions soar between the cap­it­als.

A so-called “Deep Cuts Com­mis­sion” ad­voc­ated steps such as curb­ing the read­i­ness of the former Cold War rivals’ nuc­le­ar weapons to fire on a mo­ment’s no­tice, as well as re­du­cing long-range war­head de­ploy­ments bey­ond levels man­dated by the 2011 New START agree­ment.

In an in­aug­ur­al re­port is­sued on Monday, the group of in­de­pend­ent ana­lysts and former of­fi­cials as­ser­ted that mis­trust between Rus­sia and the United States over mil­it­ary man­euvers in Ukraine un­der­scores a need for the two gov­ern­ments to jointly con­sider how they can re­duce the risk of a nuc­le­ar ex­change.

“The cur­rent polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment is any­thing but con­du­cive” to achiev­ing sig­ni­fic­ant nuc­le­ar-arms curbs, ac­cord­ing to the pan­el com­posed of 21 ex­perts from Rus­sia, the United States and Ger­many.

Its mem­bers in­clude former Rus­si­an stra­tegic mis­sile forces chief of staff Vic­tor Yes­in, one-time White House Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil of­fi­cial Cath­er­ine Kelle­her, and Oliv­er Mei­er, who worked for former Ger­man law­maker Uta Za­pf when she chaired the par­lia­ment’s For­eign Af­fairs Dis­arm­a­ment, Arms Con­trol and Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Sub­com­mit­tee.

Pulling back from dia­logue could lead to a “harden­ing of each side’s ex­ist­ing po­s­i­tions” that would com­plic­ate any fu­ture nuc­le­ar-re­duc­tion talks and in­crease the po­ten­tial for “mis­un­der­stand­ings,” the group stated in its find­ings.

The au­thors sug­ges­ted that in the ab­sence of new arms-con­trol talks, Rus­sia may in­creas­ingly rely on nuc­le­ar weapons to coun­ter­bal­ance Wash­ing­ton’s “grow­ing tech­no­lo­gic­al edge” in the de­vel­op­ment of mis­sile de­fense sys­tems, con­ven­tion­al long-range strike cap­ab­il­it­ies and po­ten­tial space-based weapons.

The pan­el re­af­firmed in its re­port all of the re­com­mend­a­tions it de­vised in in­tern­al de­lib­er­a­tions in the months be­fore Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Ukraine’s Crimea re­gion. The group’s ad­vice calls in part for ac­tions to meet New START re­duc­tion tar­gets well ahead of a 2018 dead­line, and for re­newed ef­forts to de­vel­op trust on en­trenched dis­putes over mis­sile de­fense, non­stra­tegic nuc­le­ar arms and long-range con­ven­tion­al cap­ab­il­it­ies.

“The value of such meas­ures in put­ting tight­er con­straints on nuc­le­ar arms be­comes all the more ap­par­ent in times of ten­sion,” Steven Pifer, a com­mis­sion mem­ber and a Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion seni­or fel­low, said in re­leased com­ments.

Cor­rec­tion: This art­icle in­cludes cor­rec­ted text de­scrib­ing a po­s­i­tion earli­er held by Oliv­er Mei­er.

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
1 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login