Speaking in Berlin today, President Obama outlined the rough details of a proposal for more strategic arms reduction between the United States and Russia, aiming to reduce the level of city-destroying nuclear warheads either nation keeps.
The current START treaties, which President Obama signed during his first term, brought each side to 1,550 strategic nukes, and his new plan would aim to get each side capped at 1,000, still an enormous number.
In principle this shouldn’t be a big deal, but there are additional issues that would complicate a final agreement, with Russia likely to call Obama on his promise to revisit questions about missile defense before making any new deals.
Obama also suggested he would press Russia to cut their tactical nuclear arsenal in a future deal. Though Russia has a much larger such arsenal, they will likely argue that NATO’s encroachment into the original Warsaw Pact countries necessitates additional forces to counter-balance them.
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