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Today, we can already summarize some of the results of the enormous amount of work that has been done to reduce weapons stockpiles. From 1990 through December 2001, the number of delivery vehicles for strategic offensive weapons has been reduced from 2,500 in the former Soviet Union and 2,246 in the United States to 1,600 on either side. The number of warheads has been cut from approximately 10,000 to 6,000. According to public Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) strategic data exchange information, in January 2006, Russia had 771 delivery vehicles and 3,319 nuclear munitions in its strategic nuclear triad, and the United States had 1,079 delivery vehicles and 4,986 nuclear munitions.26 Many hundreds of missiles (specifically, 1,846 in Russia and 846 in the United States) have been eliminated in compliance with the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces.27 A large number of nuclear-powered submarines (148) have been dismantled in Russia.

Additionally,

  • nuclear stockpiles, including tactical nuclear weapons, have been dramatically reduced

  • further accumulation of nuclear weapons materials (uranium and plutonium) has been stopped

  • production of nuclear munitions has been reduced by a factor of more than 10 in Russia and has been suspended altogether in the United States

  • five hundred tons of Russian weapons-grade uranium has been de-weaponized, along with 34 tons of plutonium on each side

  • a portion of weapons-grade materials has been downblended to non-weapons grade material

  • nuclear testing has been banned

  • several production facilities in the nuclear weapons complex have been shut down

  • personnel of the military industrial complex have been significantly reduced

We are seeing tangible results of the joint efforts to eliminate the accumulated military capabilities. These efforts have been based on mutual interest and funding by the United States and other countries. This work will be completed in 2012.

In 2003, the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions entered into force between the United States and Russia.28 It calls for strategic offensive reductions to 1,700 to 2,200 warheads on either side by 2012. Unfortunately, however, the treaty has no clear schedules, interim milestones, or verification provisions. This is the first treaty that does not call for a commensurate reduction in delivery vehicles and does preserve (for the United States) the warheads which can easily be returned to operationally deployed status. In 2009, START I and its verification mechanisms are scheduled to expire, and so far no steps have been taken to extend them. All of this is reversible at any time. The United States has clearly lost interest in future steps to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles. At the same time, it has become abundantly clear that even the 1,700 to 2,200 warheads that will be left on either side in 2012 are still

26

To read the text of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), see http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/start1/text/index.html; accessed April 6, 2008.

27

To read the text of the INF Treaty, see http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/inf2.html; accessed April 6, 2008.

28

To read the text of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions see http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/20020524-3.html; accessed April 6, 2008.



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