William Hartung is a defense analyst, and cover the economics of Pentagon spending
Donald Trump is no fan of international agreements, to put it mildly. Among many other examples, he has renounced the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord, and the treaty to limit medium-range nuclear-armed missiles in Europe. Now his administration seems poised to abandon the last vestige of U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control, the New START treaty. A new report by Women’s Action for New Directions underlines exactly what a terrible idea that would be.
Rather than trashing the treaty, the Trump administration should take the simple step of renewing New START for five years beyond its current expiration date in 2021. New START still leaves each side with 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads, far more than would be needed to end life as we know it. But the treaty is a building block for further reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and an insurance policy against a new, Cold War-style nuclear arms race.