Following signature of the New Strategic Arms Treaty (New START) in April 2010, President Obama called for negotiations on further nuclear arms reductions. Last June in Berlin, he proposed a one-third cut in the New START limit on deployed strategic warheads and called for bold reductions in tactical nuclear weapons. Russia to date has shown little enthusiasm for further nuclear reductions, citing concerns about missile defense, conventional Prompt Global Strike, the conventional forces arms control regime in Europe and third-country nuclear forces. Of course, the atmosphere for U.S.-Russian discussions of these issues has become more difficult following Russia’s military occupation of Crimea and increased East-West tensions.
On April 14, the Brookings Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America hosted a discussion on the challenges that inhibit further nuclear reductions. The panel consisted of Dennis Gormley, University of Pittsburgh; Götz Neuneck, University of Hamburg; and Nikolai Sokov, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer moderated the discussion and questions from the audience. Copies of the recently released Heinrich Böll Foundation publication, “The Future of Arms Control,” were available.