From Strategic to Tactical

With New START now in force, as of Feb. 5, the Obama Administration intends to engage the Russians on reducing both nations’ inventory of tactical nuclear weapons, of which Russia has vastly superior numbers. “The United States will seek to initiate, following consultation with NATO allies, but not later than one year after the entry into force of the New START treaty, negotiations with the Russian Federation on an agreement to address the disparity between the non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons stockpiles of the Russian Federation and of the United States and to secure and reduce tactical nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner,” wrote Obama in his New START message released last week after he signed the treaty’s instrument of ratification. In remarks at a security conference in Washington, D.C., last month, Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance, said, “Work is underway, and is intensifying, to prepare for dialogue with Russia on non-strategic nuclear weapons.”