1Center for American Progress | A Strong Case for a New START
A Strong Case for a New START
A National Security Briefing Memo
Max Bergmann and Samuel Charap April 6, 2010
What is New START and why do we need it?
New SAR, he agreemen beween he Unied Saes and Russia on a successor o heSraegic Arms Reducion reay, is a hisoric achievemen ha will increase he UniedSaes’ saey and securiy. I will help us move beyond he oudaed sraegic approacheso he Cold War and reduce he hrea o nuclear war, and marks a signican sep inadvancing Presiden Barack Obama’s vision o a world wihou nuclear weapons. I alsoshows ha his policy o consrucive engagemen wih Russia is working.New SAR srenghens and modernizes he original SAR reay ha PresidenRonald Reagan iniiaed in 1982 and George H.W. Bush signed in 1991. Ta agreemensignicanly reduced he number o nuclear weapons and launchers, bu i also embodiedReagan’s avorie Russian proverb “rus bu veriy” by esablishing an exensive verica-ion and monioring sysem o ensure compliance. Tis sysem helped build rus andmuual condence ha decreased he unimaginable consequences o а conic beweenhe world’s only nuclear superpowers. Ye Presiden George W. Bush’s reckless policies le his cornersone o nuclear sabiliy’sae in doub. Bush eecively cu o relaions beween he Unied Saes and Russia onnuclear issues by unilaerally pulling ou o he Ani-Ballisic Missile reay and reusing oengage in negoiaions on a successor o SAR even hough i was se o expire less hana year aer he le ofce. Te wo counries had los he abiliy o work ogeher on armsconrol by he end o Bush’s presidency.Te Obama adminisraion resored hese ies by adoping an approach o consruciveengagemen wih Moscow, and in litle over a year i succeeded in negoiaing an exensivenew agreemen ha coninues he legacy o Reagan’s vericaion sysem, which broughsabiliy o U.S.-Russia nuclear relaions or wo decades.