New START Decisions Eyed for Year’s End

Decisions on how the United States will structure its strategic nuclear arsenal to comply with the New START agreement “look like they will be made at the end of this calendar year,” Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, told lawmakers last week. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel on May 9, Creedon said Pentagon officials continue to build the implementation plan so that the United States will meet the treaty’s caps on deployed nuclear warheads (1,550), deployed launchers (700), and overall launchers (800) before the February 2018 deadline. They want a solution that “allows the most flexibility” in the US arsenal “for the longest period of time,” she said. “In every case, we are looking at retaining a triad,” noted Gen. Robert Kehler, US Strategic Command chief, at the hearing. Panel Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) reminded the witnesses that the Obama Administration still owes Congress a report on the implementation plan and that the House “is not going to authorize” funding in Fiscal 2014 for implementation until Congress receives the report.