Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchanged the instruments of ratification for the New START nuclear arms control agreement. With this act, the treaty entered in force. “[W]e commit ourselves to a course of action that builds trust, lessens risks, and improves predictability, stability, and security,” stated Clinton in remarks immediately following the exchange, which took place Feb. 5 at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. She added, “Our countries will immediately begin notifying each other of changes in our strategic forces. Within 45 days, we will exchange full data on our weapons and facilities. And 60 days from now, we can resume the inspections that allow each side to trust, but verify.” With New START now in place, the United States wants to engage Russia in additional arms control issues. In her remarks that same day at the security conference, Clinton said she and Lavrov intended to discuss “non-strategic and non-deployed nuclear weapons” and modernizing “the regime on conventional forces.” Under New START, the United States and Russia will each reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to unprecedented levels. (For details, see White House New START fact sheet and State Department fact sheet outlining upcoming treaty data exchanges and inspections)
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.