The unrelenting and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus underscores the cost of neglect and indecision by the Trump administration in the face of serious threats to U.S. and global security. This reckless abandonment of leadership also characterizes Americas response to other transnational challenges, including the potential for conflict on the European continent and the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
For example, The Guardian reported on April 5 that the Trump administration may withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty this fall. The treaty allows for short-notice, unarmed, observation flights over the territory of treaty parties to collect data on military forces and activities, and is staunchly supported by U.S allies. Nothing screams the U.S. absence in a world starving for leadership during a pandemic than moving forward with plans to withdraw from a treaty that continues to benefit U.S. and European security and that our allies want us to continue to support.
In addition, and even more consequentially, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which was signed a decade ago this week, expires in just 10 months. New START is the only remaining arms control agreement limiting the worlds two largest nuclear arsenals. However, as the novel coronavirus emerged earlier this year, the administration continued to stiff-arm Russian overtures to prolong the life of the agreement by five years, as permitted by the accord. Instead, the administration has pursued the idea of striking an entirely new, trilateral arms control agreement that would include China in addition to Russia.
The chances of successfully negotiating such a new, complex deal were already slim before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, in the midst of what clearly will be an extended crisis, the odds are nigh nonexistent.
As the Brookings Institutions Thomas Wright wrote recently, the virus underscores the importance of cooperation with rivals on shared interests even as they compete ferociously in other spheres. We can ill-afford to lose the only remaining limits on the worlds two largest nuclear arsenals, which would open the door to a quantitative arms race.
With the stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump could avert that danger. Extending the treaty can be secured by a simple exchange of diplomatic notes between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin and without the approval of the U.S. Senate.
Indisputable Security Benefits
Signed on April 8, 2010, New START caps U.S. and Russian strategic arsenals to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed delivery systems. It also established a rigorous verification and monitoring regime, including regular notifications and data exchanges. A nuclear exchange involving just a portion of these massive arsenals could kill hundreds of millions of people.
Extending New START would retain these limits and sustain the flow of information about Russias strategic forces for another five years. An extension would also continue to aid U.S. military planning by reducing the need to make worst-case assessments that could prompt additional costly nuclear force investments. Every dollar spent on more nuclear weapons is a dollar that cant be spent on addressing higher priority national and health security challenges.
Conversely, if New START expires next February, there would be no legally-binding, verifiable limits on the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals for the first time since 1972. The risk of unconstrained nuclear competition and an even more fraught U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship would be acute.
For these reasons and more, U.S. allies strongly support extension of New START. Extension also enjoys bipartisan support in Congress.
Since last December, Moscow has communicated its willingness to extend the accord immediately, without preconditions. The Trump administration, however, has yet to accept that offer.
Instead, the White House has continued to prioritize the pursuit of the new and more sweeping arms control agreement that covers additional types of Russian nuclear weapons and also includes China.
Bringing other nuclear actors and all types of nuclear weapons into the arms control process is an important and praiseworthy objective. But the administrations vision for a trilateral arms control deal with China and Russia remains a mystery. Roughly a year after first proposing such an approach, Trump has yet to put forward even the semblance of a framework for such a deal.
Out of Time
Moreover, China, which has a much smaller nuclear arsenal than the United States and Russia, consistently states that it has no intention of participating in a trilateral process, and Moscow has declared that it will not try to convince Beijing to come to the table.
Even if China were interested in trilateral talks, negotiating such a deal would be unprecedented, complex, and time-consuming. The New START negotiations took more than 10 months, from the first round of talks in May 2009 to the treatys signing a decade ago (a relatively short amount of time, as far as arms control agreements go). And Russia, according to officials from Russias Foreign Ministry, might need months to process a technical extension of the treaty.
With the virus disrupting practically all diplomatic exchanges and meetings for at least the next several months it has also halted the usual on-site inspections mandated by New START there is simply not enough time for the dozens of face-to-face negotiating sessions that would be necessary to develop a first-of-its-kind arms control agreement.
All of which makes extending New START even more of a no-brainer. Prolonging the treaty would buy five additional years with which to pursue negotiations on more ambitious nuclear arms control measures.
Critics of New START extension argue that we have plenty of time to make a decision on an extension and that waiting provides leverage to bring Russia and China to the negotiating table on a broader agreement. But there is no evidence that holding out on extension will coerce Russia and China to come to the table and capitulate to U.S. demands.
Regardless, New START is too important to be gambled away in a high-stakes poker game with Russia and China.
Extending New START will maintain a cap on the Russian nuclear arsenal and is a necessary condition for follow-on talks with Russia and new negotiations with China. As the world girds for a long fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the preservation of New START represents the best immediate option that Trump has to reduce the risks of instability and insecurity posed by the still-bloated and dangerous U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.
See the article here:
- Cryonics, brain preservation and the weird science of cheating death - CNET - July 6th, 2020
- Nano One update: progress on battery technology - The Armchair Trader - July 6th, 2020
- Highland Copper Announces Further Extension of White Pine Closing - GlobeNewswire - July 6th, 2020
- Registry is an arm of the Court and an extension of its dignity, says SC - The Leaflet - July 6th, 2020
- Hacking the Apocalypse: Your new guide to surviving the end of the world - MSN Money - July 6th, 2020
- How to get rid of fruit flies in your house | AgriLife Today - AgriLife Today - July 6th, 2020
- 'Life in the old dog yet': Hackney Law Centre thanks donors as it celebrates 40th anniversary - Hackney Citizen - July 6th, 2020
- David and Victoria Beckham plan garden extension with 91 metre lake at their Great Tew home - Banbury Guardian - July 6th, 2020
- Controlled Intelligent Packaging, Preservation and Shelf-Life Extension Market 2020 | by Manufacturers | by Countries | by Types and by Applications |... - July 5th, 2020
- Extension offers online session to help ag producers and others manage stress - Nevada Today - July 5th, 2020
- North America Blueberry Extract Market is expected to expand at the highest CAGR By 2027 | Top Business Players: Life Extension, Mazza Innovation,... - July 5th, 2020
- Kitchens Across America Trust Eat Cleaner Fruit + Veggie Wash, Available This July in New Value Size to Give People Kitchen Confidence | 2020-07-02 |... - July 5th, 2020
- Bruce Power partners give thousands to local charities - BlackburnNews.com - July 5th, 2020
- Antioxidant Supplement, Market Study for 2020 to 2026 Providing Information on Key Players, Growth Drivers and Industry Challenges|Vibrant Health, AST... - July 5th, 2020
- New Survey Reveals 74 Percent of Americans are Concerned that Vitamins and Supplements are not Backed by Trustworthy Research - PRNewswire - June 13th, 2020
- Maintaining health and nutrition while staying at home - WSAW - June 13th, 2020
- Why a decision on a second US plutonium-pit-production factory should be delayed - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - June 13th, 2020
- The Role Of Nuclear Power In A Clean Energy System - Seeking Alpha - June 13th, 2020
- Six months to break the deadlock on life after Brexit - The Advocate - June 13th, 2020
- Nukes in Space: the Extinction Rebellion Yet to Be - CounterPunch.org - CounterPunch - June 13th, 2020
- Further extension to mother-and-baby homes inquiry - RTE.ie - June 13th, 2020
- Enel Awarded 106.3 MW in Italy in GSE's Second Auction - Saurenergy - June 5th, 2020
- Has the United States Abandoned Arms Control? - War on the Rocks - June 5th, 2020
- Aeris Resources to acquire producing gold mine from Evolution in transformational move - Proactive Investors Australia - June 5th, 2020
- Artax Biopharma Announces Series B Financing Extension to Advance First-in-Class Autoimmune Disease Therapy - P&T Community - June 5th, 2020
- Drivers granted automatic licence renewal extension - Farming Life - June 5th, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact on Melatonine Market Research Report: Probable Key Development To Be Observed Market States And Outlook Across By 2026 - News Distinct - June 5th, 2020
- Reishi Mushroom Supplements Market 2020- Analysis And In-Depth Research On Market Size, Trends, Emerging Growth Factors And Forecast To 2026 - Weekly... - June 5th, 2020
- Tuskegee one of three HBCU land-grants awarded $1.6M USDA Centers of Excellence grant - Tuskegee University - June 5th, 2020
- Eye Health Supplements Market 2020 Growth by Opportunities, Application, Driver, Current Trends and Forecast by 2026 - Cole of Duty - June 1st, 2020
- The Dak Prescott extension: What have the Cowboys offered? Plus, where negotiations stand - The Dallas Morning News - June 1st, 2020
- Milk Thistle Health Tonic Market In Depth Research with Industry Driving Factors, Consumer Behaviour Analysis, Future Trends, Key Players and Forecast... - June 1st, 2020
- Explained: What RBIs extension of loan moratorium means - The Indian Express - June 1st, 2020
- How to stop earwigs and coreopsis beetles: Ask an expert - oregonlive.com - June 1st, 2020
- Orthopedic Extension Devices Market 2019 | How The Industry Will Witness Substantial Growth In The Upcoming Years | Exclusive Report By Industry... - June 1st, 2020
- Goldstar Insurance and Prudential partner to offer COVID -19 cover - Uganda - June 1st, 2020
- Punjab Agricultural University gives warm send-off to Bhalla - Hindustan Times - June 1st, 2020
- Wife honors husband with continuing education center - Atlanta Journal Constitution - April 11th, 2020
- Letters To the Editor | Opinion - westvalleyview.com - April 11th, 2020
- The Military's E-6 Mercury Is Far Deadlier Than The F-35 Stealth Fighter - The National Interest - April 11th, 2020
- Brandon Scherff's excited to be in Washington, looking to be Redskin for life - Redskins Wire - April 11th, 2020
- "Life Won't Be Same Ever": Odisha First To Extend Lockdown Till April 30 - NDTV News - April 11th, 2020
- Get Growing: Good news, good riddance to gypsy moth caterpillars this year - The Recorder - April 11th, 2020
- Alkane Resources regional drilling south of TGO returns further broad, high-grade gold - Proactive Investors Australia - April 11th, 2020
- He gave so much of himself to improving life in Douglas: Tributes paid to Billy Coleman - Echo Live - April 11th, 2020
- WAIVER EXTENSION, REVISED TIMING OF ENFORCEMENT - pa.gov - March 24th, 2020
- The U.S. Military's Behind-the-Scenes Moves To Protect Nuclear Readiness Amid Coronavirus - Newsweek - March 24th, 2020
- Mine life extension puts Kisladag back on the map - Creamer Media's Mining Weekly - February 24th, 2020
- WVU aims to make an impact in everyday West Virginians' lives - WV News - February 24th, 2020
- Over the Garden Gate: Bees are native pollinators - Ellwood City Ledger - February 24th, 2020
- What is the real cost of a Richards Avenue extension? - Santa Fe New Mexican - February 24th, 2020
- New Gold updates Rainy River and New Afton mine plans - The Northern Miner - February 24th, 2020
- Responsible Battery Coalition Applauds University of Michigan Research on Lithium-Ion Battery Degradation Calls Research Important Step in Educating... - February 24th, 2020
- Bruce Power marks next step of major project collaboration with ATS in Cambridge - TheRecord.com - February 24th, 2020
- Edited Transcript of ELD.TO earnings conference call or presentation 21-Feb-20 4:30pm GMT - Yahoo Finance - February 24th, 2020
- Senate panel agrees adding time to safe haven for babies a good step - KSL.com - February 24th, 2020
- Swine building maintenance the topic of statewide workshops - Discover Muscatine - February 24th, 2020
- Stress it is not a sign of weakness | News, Sports, Jobs - Morning Journal News - February 24th, 2020
- Arcadis working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve traffic congestion - Benzinga - February 24th, 2020
- Life With GDPR: Episode 36- Extension of British Airways Response Time for Proposed Fine - JD Supra - February 8th, 2020
- Max Muncys extension helps the argument for new service time rules - Beyond the Box Score - February 8th, 2020
- Noah Rubin's Behind The Racquet With Robert Ryland | Tennis 10sBalls - 10sBalls - February 8th, 2020
- Satellites: The $500 billion business | Industry Trends - IBC365 - February 8th, 2020
- The many lives of charcoal - Penn: Office of University Communications - February 8th, 2020
- Space Mining the Quest for the Worlds First Trillionaire Amid Earths Growing Resource Scarcity - Wccftech - February 8th, 2020
- [The Turning Point] How a family car led to the idea of deep tech startup ION Energy - YourStory - February 8th, 2020
- Trump travel ban extension leaves Africans angry and disappointed - The Guardian - February 8th, 2020
- Los Angeles Lakers: Not trading for Andre Iguodala was the right move - Lake Show Life - February 8th, 2020
- The Ethics of Radical Life Extension | TalkDeath - January 27th, 2020
- Boldly Audition for These Sci-Fi Gigs in Honor of 'Star Trek: Picard' - Backstage - January 27th, 2020
- 3 Ways To Reboot Your Life In 2020 - Forbes - January 27th, 2020
- Watch: Kirk Cousins fumbles away comeback in Pro Bowl - Bring Me The News - January 27th, 2020
- Streetfighter and the future of the Challenger 2 - Army Technology - January 25th, 2020
- Iceni Courage to Be Revamped - Offshore WIND - January 25th, 2020
- The U.S. is Boosting Production of Nuclear Bomb Cores (For More Nuclear Weapons) - The National Interest Online - January 25th, 2020
- How Does the Air Force's F-16 Stack up Against the Best Chinese and Russian Fighters? - The National Interest Online - January 25th, 2020
- Race to exploit the worlds seabed set to wreak havoc on marine life - The Guardian - January 25th, 2020
- Rangers broadcasts to remain on 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM) after club signs multi-year extension - The Dallas Morning News - January 25th, 2020
- Pakistans judges briefly stand up to the army - The Economist - January 25th, 2020
- Merck-partnered biotech hands Roche its half-life extension tech as it pivots to immuno-oncology - Endpoints News - January 18th, 2020