New Start treaty: Obama signs US-Russia nuclear papers

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  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    New Start treaty: Obama signs US-Russia nuclear papers

    2 February 2011; BBC News

    US President Barack Obama has signed an arms treaty with Russia that would reduce the nations' nuclear arsenals and bolster verification mechanisms.

    The Russian president signed similar documents last week, so the New Start treaty will be finally ratified when the papers are exchanged this weekend.

    The treaty was approved by the US Senate in December and by the Russian parliament last month.

    It replaces the 1991 Start treaty which expired in December 2009.

    The New Start treaty, agreed to by Mr Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April, limits each side to no more than 800 deployed nuclear warhead delivery systems (including bombers, missile launchers and nuclear submarines), a cut of about 50%. It limits each side to 1,550 deployed warheads.

    It will also allow each side visually to inspect the other's nuclear capability, with the aim of verifying how many warheads each missile carries.

    The White House barred reporters from the Oval Office when Mr Obama signed the treaty, but allowed still photographers.

    The pact, opposed by many Republicans, could become an issue in the 2012 US political campaign.

    Among other criticisms, US opponents of the treaty argued Russia would have reduced stockpiles anyway as its arsenal aged, so the US had no reason to agree to scrap its own nuclear arms.

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    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12348780
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Key Facts about the New START Treaty

    Key Facts about the New START Treaty

    Treaty Structure: The New START Treaty is organized in three tiers of increasing level of detail. The first tier is the Treaty text itself. The second tier consists of a Protocol to the Treaty, which contains additional rights and obligations associated with Treaty provisions. The basic rights and obligations are contained in these two documents. The third tier consists of Technical Annexes to the Protocol. All three tiers will be legally binding. The Protocol and Annexes will be integral parts of the Treaty and thus submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

    Strategic Offensive Reductions: Under the Treaty, the U.S. and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force. Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty. These limits are based on a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

    Aggregate limits:
    • 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.
    • - This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
    • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
    • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
    • - This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty.

    Verification and Transparency: The Treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the Treaty. Measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry.

    Treaty Terms: The Treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the Treaty for a period of no more than five years. The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the New START Treaty. The U.S. Senate and the Russian legislature must approve the Treaty before it can enter into force.

    No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

    Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/key-facts-about-new-start-treaty
     

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