Pompeo Reports Progress on US, Russia Nuclear Talks

Pompeo continues to push for China to participate in future talks

There hadn’t been much word out of last week’s US-Russia nuclear talks in Vienna, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Wednesday that the two sides are working together and have made progress, though he continued to say he believes Chinese involvement is necessary to move forward.

China has been a stumbling block in the talks for months, as President Trump has insisted any new deals include limits on China, while China isn’t interested in getting involved in talks. To be fair, US and Russian nuclear arsenal size are many times that of China’s and limitations don’t make much sense in that context.

If anything gets China involved, it would be the Pentagon’s call for sea-launched nuclear arms, something China has objected to. At the same time, it’s not clear what China can offer in trade for limiting US first-strike capabilities.

The Pentagon wants to first-use weapons specifically because they think that will result in a “coercive advantage” with Russia. Russia is making similar developments, which is why the US and Russia need to make a new, broader nuclear deal so badly.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.