Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Senators Urge Obama to Include Cost Estimates With START Replacement
When U.S. President Barack Obama asks lawmakers to approve a new arms control agreement with Russia, he should provide a 10-year financing assessment for bolstering the nation's nuclear arsenal, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators wrote in a letter to the president last month (see GSN, July 27).
The plan should come with estimates on how much could be spent to update the U.S. nuclear complex and to ensure that personnel are ready to develop new weapons that might be needed in the future, the lawmakers said. They are also looking for proof of the administration's readiness to maintain aging ICBMs, submarines and bombers that carry the arsenal of nuclear warheads, the Washington Post reported.
Diplomats from Moscow and Washington have been negotiating a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which is scheduled to expire on Dec. 5. Congress must approve a new agreement for the deal to enter effect.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last month signed a "joint understanding" to reduce their deployed nuclear arsenals to between 1,500 and 1,675 warheads and 500 to 1,000 delivery vehicles.
The letter -- signed by senators including John Kerry (D-Mass.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- responded to amendments attached to fiscal 2010 defense authorization bills passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. One amendment inserted in the House legislation would require Obama to certify that U.S. nuclear-weapon efforts are receiving sufficient funding, and that a new arms control treaty includes adequate mechanisms for verifying arms reductions and no limits on U.S. deployment of missile defenses or conventional offensive weaponry.
A Senate amendment, on the other hand, would require Obama only to give lawmakers the information described in the letter.
"I would encourage the administration to see that requirement not as a burden, but as an opportunity," Kerry said on the Senate floor Wednesday. However, he knocked the wording in the House version of the defense bill, saying it was "trying to bar U.S. compliance with a treaty before the treaty has even been negotiated" (Walter Pincus, Washington Post, Aug. 4).
Sept. 27, 2013
A fact sheet on current and projected costs of maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent, produced by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
July 18, 2013
The submarine proliferation resource collection is designed to highlight global trends in the sale and acquisition of diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines. It is structured on a country-by-country basis, with each country profile consisting of information on capabilities, imports and exports.