The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the extension of the New START Treaty between the United States and Russia. The MEA said that India hopes the extension of the nuclear arms treaty between Washington and Moscow will promote dialogue and cooperation to help address international non-proliferation and disarmament issues.
- New START Treaty
- Origin of the Treaty
- Provisions of the Treaty
- Nuclear Race During Cold War and its Effects
- Treaties Signed (SALT 1, SALT 2, START 1, START 2, INF Treaty and New START)
- Importance of the extension
New START Treaty
- The New START Treaty is a treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation.
- It contains measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.
- The treaty is the last remaining nuclear arms control between Russia and the USA.
- It was signed by US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
Origins of the Treaty
- The New START entered into force on February 5, 2011, and was expected to last at least until February 5, 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement.
- The two parties are allowed to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years.
- The United States and Russia have formally extended the New START Treaty until at least February 5, 2026.
- New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was to expire in December 2012
- It is a successor to the START framework of 1991 (at the end of the Cold War) that limited both sides to 1,600 strategic delivery vehicles and 6,000 warheads.
- The New START treaty is the successor to the START I. The START II was signed, but not ratified. The START III negotiating process was not successful.
Provisions of the Treaty
- The treaty places verifiable limits on all deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons by the USA and Russia.
- Under the treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation had seven years to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms (by February 5, 2018)
- Both countries are then obligated to maintain those limits for as long as the treaty remains in force.
- The treaty limits Russia and the US to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
- It also limits both countries to 800 deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
- When New START entered into force, both participating states could begin performing inspections on each other.
- It further envisages sweeping on-site inspections, exhibitions, and data exchanges to verify compliance.
- It also provides for an annual exchange of telemetry on an agreed number of ICBM and SLBM launches.
- The treaty provides for 18 on-site inspections annually.
- Each side is allowed to conduct ten ‘Type One’ inspections and eight ‘Type Two’ inspections every year.
- The ‘Type One’ inspections focus on sites with deployed and non-deployed strategic systems, while the ‘Type Two’ inspections focus on sites with only non-deployed strategic systems.
- Both the United States and the Russian Federation claim to have met the central limits of the New START Treaty by February 5, 2018, and have stayed at or below them ever since.
- These limits are well below the Cold War caps. Thus, the treaty is one of the key controls on superpower deployment of nuclear weapons.
- The treaty does not put a constraint on testing, development, or deployment of current or planned US missile defence programs or long-range conventional strike capabilities.
Nuclear Race During Cold War and its Effects
- The Cold War marked a period of rising tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States of America.
- Throughout the second half of the 20th century, these two superpowers held extremely different economic and political beliefs, which further deepened the divide between the states.
- The Soviet Union practiced a communist form of government, with complete governmental control of property, wealth, and education.
- On the other hand, the United States promoted a free and capitalist form of government, characterized by democratic elections and privately held businesses or organizations.
- This ideological difference between the superpowers put them in direct opposition to one another.
- As a result, competition arose in many areas including the development of new technology and military weapons- the most important being the nuclear bomb.
- The two superpowers competed for superiority in the development and accumulation of nuclear weapons.
- Four years after the U.S. successfully dropped its first bomb, the Soviets developed theirs.
- With Nuclear Deterrence as the core of foreign policy, both sides worked to increase their arms stock.
- This resulted in the U.S. spending six trillion dollars on its nuclear weapons program, containing ten thousand nuclear warheads, while Russia had only half as many.
- Although the arms race was meant to increase each state’s security, it backfired in several instances.
- For example, in the 1950s, the Soviets issued nuclear threats against Western allies, including the British and French during the Suez crisis.
- Tensions rose and consequently culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, which was the closest the world has ever been to nuclear war.
- This period marks an intense time in history when two countries were racing to stockpile the most deadly weapon in the world: the nuclear bomb.
- The arms race of nuclear weapons has been a growing concern in both past times and today, as the number of countries with access to these deadly weapons is constantly increasing.
- The cold war has been regarded as the origin of the nuclear danger in the world up to date.
- It has created a dangerous world which makes the citizens of different countries to live with a lot of fear.
- With the build-up of weapons, it is possible that they are better designed to start wars, rather than deter them.
Arms Control Treaties Signed:
- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union that were aimed at curtailing the manufacture of strategic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
- SALT I negotiations culminated in the signing of The ABM Treaty (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) and interim SALT agreement on May 26, 1972
- For the first time during the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union had agreed to limit the number of nuclear missiles in their arsenals.
- The ABM Treaty limited strategic missile defenses to 200 interceptors each and allowed each side to construct two missile defense sites, one to protect the national capital, the other to protect one ICBM field.
- SALT I did not prevent each side from enlarging their forces through the deployment of Multiple Independently Targeted Re-Entry Vehicles (MIRVs) onto their ICBMs and SLBMs,
- Negotiations for a second round of SALT began in late 1972.
- At the November 1974 Vladivostok Summit, US and Russia agreed on the basic framework of a SALT II agreement.
- This included a 2,400 limit on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers) for each side; a 1,320 limit on MIRV systems; a ban on new land-based ICBM launchers; and limits on deployment of new types of strategic offensive arms.
- However, the two nations could not resolve the two other outstanding issues from SALT I: the number of strategic bombers and the total number of warheads in each nation’s arsenal.
- START I (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the reduction and the limitation of strategic offensive arms.
- The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994.
- The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads and a total of 1,600 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and bombers.
- START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80% of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence.
- It was a bilateral treaty between the United States and Russia on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
- It was signed by US President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 3 January 1993.
- It banned the use of multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Hence, it is often cited as the De-MIRV-ing Agreement.
- Despite negotiations, it never entered into effect.
- It was ratified by the US Senate on 26 January 1996 with a vote of 87–4. Although Russia ratified START II on 14 April 2000, it withdrew from the treaty on 14 June 2002 in response to US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.
- Instead, SORT came into effect, which reduced the strategic warheads count per country to 1,700–2,200.
- Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF Treaty is another treaty that was signed during the Cold War.
- It was a nuclear arms-control accord reached by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987.
- The two nations agreed to eliminate their stocks of intermediate-range and shorter-range (or “medium-range”) land-based missiles (which could carry nuclear warheads).
- The United States withdrew from the Treaty on 2nd August 2019.
Importance of the extension of New START
- The treaty is the last remaining nuclear arms control between Russia and USA.
- The extension of the New START contributes to the maintenance of international peace and security
- It will promote dialogue and cooperation to help address international non-proliferation and disarmament issues.
Mould your thought: Extension of the New START treaty is a significant step in nuclear arms reduction. Comment.
Approach to the answer:
- Discuss the origin and provisions of New START Treaty
- Write about the importance of the Treaty