Ready to START Inspections

Defense Threat Reduction Agency nuclear weapons inspectors are “ready to go” and “waiting for the call” to carry out the first round of strategic arms inspections in Russia allowed under the New START arms reduction agreement, Kenneth Myers, DTRA director, said Wednesday. The inspectors have trained relentlessly over the past few months in preparation, he told reporters during a meeting in Washington, D.C. There’s been no announcement yet when the first inspections will take place, he noted. DTRA will conduct fewer inspections under the new treaty than under previous arms reduction agreements due to the inspectors’ familiarity with Russian systems and the fact that the United States and Russia merged several former inspection regimes into one under New START, said Myers. “In addition to that, we’re talking about fewer weapons,” he explained. He assured that the nation “will get all the information necessary” and that the new inspection regime is in the “best interest of the United States,” even though the volume of inspections will fall. New START entered into force on Feb. 5. According to a State Department fact sheet, the parties have the right to conduct inspections starting 60 days after the treaty takes effect.