Inspection Regime is the Key to New Start

Under the New START arms control agreement, both the US and Russia are allowed up to 18 short-notice, on-site inspections of each other’s nuclear bases each year, says Edward Warner, the Defense Secretary’s representative to the New START negotiations. These inspections, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, will play an integral role in verifying each party’s compliance—and in deterring cheating. “Each side knows the other will have a significant capability to uncover discrepancies between what is reported and what is actually happening,” he testified at a July 29 hearing on the treaty, which is before the Senate for ratification. There are two types of inspections. Type one will occur at operating bases for ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and nuclear-capable bombers. Type two inspections focus on nondeployed strategic systems. Each side is allowed up to 10 type one and up to eight type two inspections annually. (Warner’s prepared remarks)