Nuclear Dilemma: New Challenges for a New Era of Arms Control

Nuclear Dilemma:  New Challenges for a New Era of Arms Control
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Russia’s new nuclear weapons and China’s expanding arsenal will be difficult to address in future arms control agreements.

The United States’ nuclear arsenal has been shaped by six major bilateral arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and Russia that date to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks in 1972 (SALT I). That agreement provided a cap on the number of deployed warheads and launchers. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty agreement of 1991 (START I) marked the beginning of a significant decrease in deployed strategic nuclear weapons, reducing arsenals to 1,550 warheads under New START agreement signed in 2010. 

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