K. Putman, “New START Needs a New Start”, 52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Palm Desert, CA, July 17-21, 2011.
The recent passage of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty has brought hope to many seeking a decrease in nuclear weapons. A drawdown of arms and a reduction in vehicles between Russia and the United States is another step in the path to global zero. While this treaty may be seen as necessary, it comes with a number of flaws. New START, like many other agreements attempting to tackle such delicate issued, finds success in its support but failure in its effectiveness. In addition to only modest reductions, the START strategy is unclear and lacks potency. The START concept might have been a good concept so soon after the Cold War, but does it translate into today’s post-9/11 world? In this paper, New START, its strengths, and its weaknesses, are assessed and a summary of its shortcomings are examined. A technical, political, and practical approach are used to identify how this treaty can be improved and what appropriate next steps should be considered.