When signing the New START Treaty in April 2010, President Obama stated that there should be further negotiations, and that those negotiations should include limits on non-strategic and non-deployed strategic weapons. In the December edition of Arms Control Today, Brookings Senior Fellow and Arms Control Initiative Director Steven Pifer describes the issues the Obama administration will need to address in future negotiations with Moscow, assuming that the New START Treaty is ratified and enters into force.
Issues for the next negotiation include questions that have been dealt with before, such as the levels of deployed strategic warheads and missiles and heavy bombers. The sides understand how limits on these systems work and know how to develop verification provisions that will give confidence that the limits are being observed. Negotiating constraints on non-strategic (or tactical) nuclear weapons and on non-deployed strategic warheads will raise new questions, however, that U.S. and Russian negotiators have not had to face previously. Coming to agreement on these issues will be difficult and will require that the sides explore new approaches, including on verification.
In addition to examining the range of issues likely to arise in a future U.S.-Russian negotiation, Pifer’s article suggests a U.S. negotiating approach.
The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.