Putin’s Arms Control Gambit

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Putin’s Russia has launched an arms control offensive against the U.S. The Russian Foreign Ministry has gone so far as to claim that U.S. sanctions over Russia’s attempted murder (with a prohibited chemical weapon) of Sergei Skripal, a spy for the United Kingdom traded for the release of 10 Russian spies arrested by the U.S., was part of a “…deliberate policy aimed at diluting the international mechanism of arms control and non-proliferation, including the chemical weapons ban.”[1] In reality, there is no arms control linkage to the Skripal sanctions except for the fact, usually completely ignored, that Russia used a prohibited chemical agent in the attempted murder.
Russia, according to Politico, proposed at the July 16, 2018, Trump-Putin summit held in Helsinki, Finland “…that Washington and Moscow extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)….The Russian document also calls on both sides to ‘reaffirm commitment’ to agreements covering “intermediate-range missiles…. [and that] the two sides should “…discuss the non-placement of weapons in space.”[2] Russia has confirmed that it has proposed a five-year extension of the New START Treaty.[3] Indeed, Putin has personally called for New START Treaty extension.[4] Politico reported, “The two sides agreed to limit each nation to 1,500 nuclear warheads deployed on land-based and submarine-launched missiles and carried by bomber aircraft, and it permits a vigorous set of regular inspections.”[5] Politico’s assessment of the implication of the New START extension is literally false in every respect because the New START Treaty does none of these things.

What the reported Russian proposal translates into is that Russia wants the Trump administration to: 1) adopt the Obama administration’s approach of dependence on ineffective arms control treaties for core national security objectives; 2) end sanctions against Russia; 3) accept Russian noncompliance with the INF Treaty, which would grant Russia a monopoly on ground-launched INF-range missiles; and 4) agree to the Russian proposals for a “weapons in space” Treaty which all previous U.S. administrations have rejected because of fundamental verification problems.

The Obama administration’s New START Treaty was pursued, for ideological reasons (the quest for nuclear zero), political reasons and Presidential ego. The late Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer observed, “The signing ceremony in Moscow [for New START] was a grand affair. For Barack Obama, foreign-policy neophyte and ‘reset’ man, the arms-reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap. And our president likes his plumage. Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.”[6] Indeed, in November 2010, the Russian newspaper Kommersant stated, “The White House is in a hurry to sign the new START agreement by 10 December [2009], when the presentation of the Nobel Prize to US President Barack Obama is to take place in Stockholm.”[7] If this report is true, it must have dramatically reduced U.S. leverage in the negotiation. Even more worrisome was that the most senior officials of the Obama administration apparently didn’t recognize this.

While there is some competition for the title of “the worst nuclear arms control agreement ever,” the New START Treaty would probably win it. This is because it is the only arms control treaty that actually walked back the achievements of previous administrations in both substance and verification.

Putin’s apparent willingness to extend it (in stark contrast to 2014 and 2015 statements by senior Russian officials which threatened to pull out of it[8]) is apparently based on the fact that it is one of the most ineffective arms control treaties negotiated since the Reagan-era in both substance and verification and is one-sided in Russia’s favor. Russia’s move is also apparently an effort to accommodate President Trump after he had made a statement on the desirability of new arms control. Putin’s arms control gambit appears to be aimed at giving President Trump what he said he wanted while in reality giving him nothing. The New START Treaty contains major loopholes that allow an almost unlimited number of weapons and an ineffective verification regime. Not only are the number of inspections allowed by New START dramatically down compared with the Reagan-Bush START Treaty, but these inspections can’t prove a violation of the Treaty. This is unique in post-Reagan arms control.

Unlike all other Treaties negotiated since 1980, there is no published Congressional assessment of U.S. monitoring potential of the New START Treaty. The likely reason is that no honest report could conclude that the Treaty was verifiable. Then-Senator Christopher (Kit) Bond (R-MO), then-Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee observed, “The Select Committee on Intelligence has been looking at this issue closely over the past several months. As the vice chairman of this committee, I have reviewed the key intelligence on our ability to monitor this treaty and heard from our intelligence professionals. There is no doubt in my mind that the United States cannot reliably verify the treaty’s 1,550 limit on deployed warheads.”[9]

The reason for the inability to verify the 1,550 deployed warhead limit is that the New START Treaty contains no attribution rules – i.e., agreed warhead accountability numbers for each type of missile and a prohibition on more warheads on that missile type. Absent attribution rules, all an inspection can do is establish whether the declared number of warheads on the single inspected missile is accurate. That says almost nothing about overall compliance with the Treaty warhead limit. Worst case, it can’t do even that if the Russians violate the inspection procedures established in the Treaty by removing mobile ICBMs from the inspectable area before the inspectors arrive. New START makes it easier to do this by increasing the time available from nine to 24 hours.

Inaccurate information about New START is quite common. For example, in September 2017, former Chief Negotiator Rose Gottemoeller, now the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, stated, “So they [Russia] will be constrained to 500 delivery vehicles, 500 delivery vehicles and no more, and that means 1,550 operationally deployed warheads, no more.”[10] There is no 500 limit on delivery vehicles in the New START Treaty, and it contains no limit at all on “operationally deployed warheads.” “Operationally deployed warheads” was the bomber weapon counting rule in the 2002 Moscow Treaty negotiated by the Bush administration. The actual New START Treaty limits, as recently described by the State Department, are 1,550 deployed warheads (with bomber weapons counted a one per aircraft irrespective of how many warheads they can actually carry), 700 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers.[11] Despite the New START limits now legally in effect, Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris, estimate that Russia has 2,522 deployed strategic nuclear warheads.[12] This is more than what was allowed in the 2002 Bush administration’s Moscow Treaty. The Russian number is almost certain to increase to over 3,000. Starting in 2023, Russia plans to add 50 new Tu-160M2 bombers each of which will count as one nuclear warhead but can carry 12.[13] Also, there is a wide range of cheating and circumvention options that Russia may pursue.[14]

The New START Treaty bomber weapons counting rule essentially eliminated all possibility of building on the New START Treaty for a future arms control agreement because it allows what amounts to an almost unlimited number of strategic nuclear weapons if available options are exploited. According to the New York Times, Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists told them it was “totally nuts” because the bomber weapons counting rule “frees up a large pool of warhead spaces under the treaty limit that enable each country to deploy many more warheads than would otherwise be the case…”[15] Russian Major General (ret.) Vladimir Dvorkin, who unlike most Russian generals actually supports arms control, pointed out, “Firstly, it [the New START Treaty] does not provide a real reduction of strategic offensive armaments by the number of nuclear warheads as compared with the Moscow Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty [SORT] of 2002 due to the new rules in counting nuclear armaments of heavy bombers: one heavy bomber—one warhead.”[16] In an interview with Izvestyia (January 25, 2010), former Vice Chairman of the Duma’s Defense Committee Alexei Arbatov characterized New START as a treaty on limiting the American strategic forces. Arbatov also observed, “The United States did not seek to eliminate, reduce, or limit any of the other side’s weapons or programs in particular (such as, for example, Soviet or Russian heavy ICBMs or mobile missiles, which were the focus of talks in previous times).”[17]

The Obama administration was apparently disingenuous concerning its reason for acceptance of the bomber weapons counting rule and the other New START Treaty loopholes. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, “…the parties agreed to an attribution rule of one warhead per nuclear-capable heavy bomber rather than count them as zero.”[18] This was hardly the only choice that was available, and it was reportedly not what the U.S. initially proposed. This assertion completely ignored the outcome of the 2002 Moscow Treaty, which counted operationally deployed bomber nuclear weapons -- weapons emplaced on bombers or stored at bomber base weapons storage areas which will almost always result in a much higher accountable number of warheads.

According to Kingston Reif, the director of nuclear non-proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a defender of New START, “…we do know that the U.S. wanted to count and verify the actual number of warheads on U.S. and Russian bomber bases. However, Russia refused…”[19] Pavel Podvig, an arms control enthusiast, reported that “The United States said that it was ready to count bombers with their actual weapons load, but Russia objected to the transparency provisions that this arrangement would entail.”[20] Hans Kristensen stated, “According to U.S. officials, the United States wanted the New START Treaty to count real warhead numbers for the bombers, but Russia refused to prevent on-site inspections of weapons storage bunkers at bomber bases.”[21] The New START Treaty bomber weapons counting rule was clearly a major ill-advised negotiating concession, and the Obama administration simply dissembled about it.

The problem is not only the bomber weapons counting rule. The Heritage Foundation’s New START Treaty report pointed out, “In addition [to the bomber weapon counting rule], several dozen prohibitions and limits in START I’s Article V are completely gone (replaced by two limits on ballistic missile defense). For example, unlike START I, there are no prohibitions on placing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on bombers, a delivery mode tested by the United States decades ago, and the START I limits on the maximum number of warheads that a ballistic missile can carry do not appear in New START. Consequently, for the count of one warhead and one delivery vehicle, Russia could deploy aircraft loaded with MIRVed ICBMs (i.e., missiles with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles).”[22]  

In 2010, Christopher Ford, now Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, pointed out during New START ratification in 2010 that “…it’s not entirely clear that rail-mobile systems or any other non-self-propelled mobile systems, for that matter fall within the [New START] Article II(1)(c) cap at all, even if uploaded with missiles.”[23] (Emphasis in the original). He also noted that New START does not limit reload ICBMs, and as a result, “…New START would seem to allow a party to have unlimited numbers of rail-mobile launchers deployed with nuclear-armed missiles, at least if these missiles are not actually uploaded.”[24] The U.S. resolution of ratification literally makes up a definition of rail-mobile ICBM launchers, that does not appear in the Treaty, and says that the U.S. would hold Russia to it.[25] That is clearly ludicrous (both legally and politically), particularly in light of the Obama administration’s unwillingness to take action to deal against Russia’s clear violations of the INF Treaty.

It is clear the Russian decision to produce 50 more nuclear cruise missile-armed modernized Tu-160M2 heavy bombers, Russia’s rail-mobile ICBM project, the reported program for the air-launched Mark 1CBM, the announced Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile, all of which are nuclear armed or nuclear capable,[26] are a direct result of the bomber weapons counting rule and the elimination in New START of former START Treaty prohibitions. In addition, Russia has pursued systems that apparently were not contemplated when New START or previous arms control treaties were negotiated and, hence, are not constrained by the Treaty. These now include the Poseidon/ Status 6 nuclear-powered nuclear-armed drone submarine and the nuclear-powered ground-launched cruise missile announced on March 1, 2018, by President Putin.[27] The Trump administration has recognized the significance of the new Russian strategic systems not subject to the New START Treaty.[28]

Why did the Obama administration go from a complete ban on air-launched ballistic missiles with a range of over 600-km in the original START Treaty to no constraint on them in the New START Treaty (i.e., they don’t count against Treaty limits)? A significant factor was that there were virtually no preparations for the New START Treaty negotiation in Washington and there was little experience in the negotiation team. The Obama administration tried to cover up the creation of a massive New START Treaty loophole on air-launched ballistic missiles (actually being exploited today by Russia) by arguing that, “Under New START, we now have the flexibility to maximize our ability to test and develop missile defense targets, which directly enhances our national security.”[29] The linkage with missile defense was bogus. The U.S. uses target missiles that are not weapons delivery vehicles and, hence, are not subject to arms control treaties. The U.S. can’t use air-launched ballistic missiles as targets because it has none and does not plan any even today.[30] The U.S. long-range air-launched target (LRALT) is not a weapons delivery vehicle and was first launched in 2004 when the more restrictive START Treaty was in effect.[31]

Russia, for many years before the start of the New START negotiation, claimed it wanted more arms control with lower nuclear warhead limits. When it entered the negotiation, it reportedly did a 180-degree turn. Colonel General (ret.) Viktor Yesin, former commander the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, has stated Russia wanted 1,675 warheads while the United States wanted 1,500 warheads, and Russia wanted 500 deployed delivery vehicles while the U.S. wanted 1,100. Russia’s main official news agency ITAR-TASS (now called TASS), Kommersant and the state news agency RIA Novosti reported the same thing.[32] Russia wanted a lower limit on deployed delivery systems because it amounted to unilateral constraint on the U.S.

After the ratification of New START, Russia refused to engage in follow-on nuclear arms control negotiations. In May 2016, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Scher noted,  “Russia remains in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and remains unreceptive to the President’s offer to negotiate further reductions in strategic nuclear weapons below the limits of the New START Treaty.”[33] Then-Kremlin Chief of Staff Colonel General Sergei Ivanov explained why Russia refused to negotiate: “When I hear our American partners say: ‘let’s reduce something else,’ I would like to say to them: ‘excuse me, but what we have is relatively new.’ They [the U.S.] have not conducted any upgrades for a long time. They still use Trident missiles].”[34] When a nation claims great power status based almost exclusively on nuclear weapons and nuclear threats, the last thing it wants is less nuclear forces.

It is vital not to mirror image Western values on Russian nuclear weapons policymakers. The Putin regime does not share them. Russia, going back to the Soviet period, has strongly resisted deep reductions in its nuclear weapons. As the Director of National Intelligence’s National Intelligence Council put it in 2012, “Nuclear ambitions in the US and Russia over the last 20 years have evolved in opposite directions. Reducing the role of nuclear weapons in US security strategy is a US objective, while Russia is pursuing new concepts and capabilities for expanding the role of nuclear weapons in its security strategy.”[35] When Russia engages in nuclear arms control, it does so with the objective of avoiding limits on Russian forces, obtaining unilateral advantages and with no commitment to an equitable outcome. It also seeks to enhance its nuclear warfighting capabilities.

Western arms control enthusiasts often serve as enablers of Russian behavior. If there is any collusion with Russia in Washington, it is in the arms control arena where arms control enthusiasts virtually use Russian talking points to advance their ideological agenda. Arms control enthusiasts often deny the reality of Russian violations to protect failed arms control agreements.

As President Reagan observed in 1982, “Simply collecting agreements will not bring peace. Agreements genuinely reinforce peace only when they are kept. Otherwise, we are building a paper castle that will be blown away by the winds of war.”[36] This should be self-evident, but it is often denied by the left. Worse yet, Putin has personally received evidence that the U.S. generally does not react to Russian arms control violations -- his. The Russian missile the Obama administration determined violates the INF Treaty (the SSC-8/9M729)[37] according to a New York Times report by Michael Gordon, was first flight tested in 2008.[38] This report implies that three American governments, with very different political agendas, did not respond to a major arms control violation with more than words (although the Trump administration may do so). Putin is not afraid of our words because he responds to verbal attacks with attacks of his own.

In September 2018, Andrea Thompson, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security observed that “Russia’s response to each of these situations is to employ its standard playbook of distraction, misinformation, and counter-accusations.”[39] In September 2018, David Trachtenberg, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy stated, the “….bottom-line is that arms control with Russia is troubled because the Russian Federation apparently believes it need only abide by the agreements that suit it. As a result, the credibility of all international agreements with Russia is at risk.”[40]

A recent article by distinguished British strategist Colin Gray and Matt Costlow, a Senior Analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, noted that supporters of continued U.S. compliance with the INF Treaty despite Russian violations, noted, “Most suggested U.S. responses from the professional arms control community center around some mix of ‘more dialogue’ and ‘mutual inspections’…”[41] This ignores the long record of Soviet/Russian violations of arms control treaties. It also ignores the fact that there are no inspections under the 1988 INF Treaty because the verification regime expired 13 years after the Treaty’s entry into force.[42] Moreover, the range of a cruise missile can’t be determined by inspections which at most will provide slightly better data on the size of these missiles and more likely will provide no information at all. In light of the known size of the Russian cruise missiles (photographs of them are available on the internet), there is literally no doubt concerning the fact of the Russian violations. As Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense for Policy David Trachtenberg stated in September 2018, “The evidence is conclusive. Russia possesses a missile system, the SSC-8, in direct violation of the INF Treaty. Russia has tested this ground-based system well into the ranges covered by the INF Treaty, produced it, and fielded it. The violation is real, and it goes against the core purpose and restrictions of the INF Treaty.”[43] Indeed, in 2017, the Chief of the Russian General Staff General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, stated Russia had “…set up full-scale units of vehicles capable of delivering precision-guided missiles to targets located up to 4,000 kilometers away.”[44] The issue is no longer confirmation, but rather how we will respond.

The scope of Russian INF Treaty violations is apparently far greater than a single prohibited missile type. Other missiles with INF prohibited ranges are reported in the Russian press, including the state media. One of these is a reported ground-launched version of the Kalibr.[45] Another is the R-500 which has been deployed since 2012.[46] Moreover, the 4,000-km range ground-launched cruise missile that General Gerasimov talked about may be an additional type of Russian ground-launched missile with prohibited INF Treaty range, or it may be the SSC-8/9M927.[47]

In addition to the Russian cruise missile violations, there is an issue regarding the compliance of the Russian RS-26 Rubezh “ICBM” with the INF Treaty.[48] The Obama administration essentially ignored this issue. Under a Treaty interpretation given to the Senate by the Reagan administration in 1988, the missile is a violation of the INF Treaty. The role of the missile is an intermediate-range strike.[49] Stefan Forss, a former missile specialist with the government of Finland’s Foreign Ministry and currently an adjunct professor at Finland’s National Defense University, writes the “Yars M [RS-26/Rubezh] will take care of the upper end of the INF range spectrum…”[50]

There are Russian press reports detailing Russian actions that would violate the New START Treaty if these stories are accurate. It is unclear whether Russia actually reduced its strategic nuclear forces in 2017 to the levels they claimed when the New START Treaty limits went into effect in February 2018. In December 2017, TASS quoted well connected Russian journalist Colonel (ret.) Viktor Litovkin as saying that Russia “…has five hundred strategic missiles carrying over 1,800 nuclear warheads,” which is at least 239 more warheads and about seventy more deployed missiles than Russia claimed it had in September 2017.[51]

The commander of the Russian ICBM force, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, has repeatedly stated that he has four hundred operational ICBMs when he cannot legally have more than about 300 consistent with Russia’s New START Treaty data.[52] This opens up the possibility of a covert Russian mobile ICBM force. Since the New START Treaty does not allow for the continuous monitoring of Russian mobile ICBM production, we have not monitored it since the expiration of the original START Treaty in 2009. The New START Treaty eliminated almost the entire START Treaty verification regime for mobile ICBMs, the START Treaty’s collateral constraints on mobile ICBMs and the limits on the number of non-deployed mobile ICBMs and their launchers that appeared in the original START Treaty.[53]

Under the New START Treaty, any aircraft that carries a nuclear long-range (600-km or more) air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) is a heavy bomber which is accountable under the Treaty as both a delivery system and one nuclear warhead against the Treaty limits. If the Russian press reports are accurate, Russia has given the Backfire bomber a prohibited capability (long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles) in violation of the New START Treaty. The Backfire has been given the capability to carry the new Kh-32 1,000-km range cruise missile, according to TASS.[54] The Kh-32 is described in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review as being nuclear capable.[55] State-run Sputnik News confirms this saying, “…the Kh-32 can carry either conventional or nuclear munitions.”[56] State-run Russia Beyond the Headlines also says its range is 1,000-km and it can be armed “…with a nuclear or conventional 500-kilogram (1,102 lb) warhead and hit targets within a few yards.”[57] If the Russian press reports are accurate, Russia has given the Backfire bomber a prohibited capability for a non-heavy bomber in violation of the New START Treaty.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official newspaper of the Russian Government, reports that the new version of the Backfire (Tu-22M3M) can carry the Kh-101 and the Kh-555, both long-range air-launched cruise missiles.[58] The Kh-101 is nuclear capable, according to President Putin and the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Defense Ministry also says it has a range of “up to 4,500 km.”[59] If either of the state-media reports on the Kh-32, Kh-555 or the Kh-101 is true, Russia’s declared New START data would indicate that Russia violated the New START Treaty limit of 1,550 accountable warheads when it came into effect in February 2018.

Arms control pursued for ideological reasons, or for partisan politics, will fail to achieve its supposed objectives. There is a long record of this since the nuclear arms control process started in 1969 with the SALT negotiation. No matter how good the negotiated outcome is, if arms control agreements are not complied with, there will be no positive national security benefit. Russia’s record in this area is particularly bad. President Putin is now apparently willing to extend the New START Treaty because it has little effect on Russia and a lot more on the U.S. He can circumvent it or violate it. Violating a Treaty, if one can get away with it, is virtually always cheaper then Treaty circumvention which would require Russia to do things in ways that are less effective or costlier. Putin’s current support for the extension of New START is a ploy related to getting Russia out of the sanctions hole that Putin has dug for it. There is no arms control solution to the security problem posed by Putin’s Russia.

Dr. Mark B. Schneider is a Senior Analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy. Before his retirement from the Department of Defense Senior Executive Service, Dr. Schneider served in a number of senior positions within the Office of Secretary of Defense for Policy including Principal Director for Forces Policy, Principal Director for Strategic Defense, Space and Verification Policy, Director for Strategic Arms Control Policy and Representative of the Secretary of Defense to the Nuclear Arms Control Implementation Commissions.  He also served in the senior Foreign Service as a Member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff.


[1] “Russian diplomat reveals that new US sanctions seek to erode arms control treaties,” TASS, August 27, 2018, available at http://tass.com/politics/1018776.

[2] Bryan Bender, “Leaked document: Putin lobbied Trump on arms control,” Politico, August 8, 2018, available at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/07/putin-trump-arms-control-russia-724718.

[3] “Russia: Russia ready to extend New START, but has many questions for US – Putin,” Asia News Monitor, July 20, 2018, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/2071617669?Accounted=155509.  

[4] “Putin says he told Trump that Russia prepared to extend START treaty: Fox News,” Reuters, July 17, 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-summit-start/putin-says-he-told-trump-that-russia-prepared-to-extend-start-treaty-fox-news-idUSKBN1K62UU. 

[5] Bender, “Leaked document: Putin lobbied Trump on arms control,” op, cit.

[6] Charles Krauthammer, “Plumage But at a Price,” The National Review Online, July 10, 2009, available at


[7] Quoted in Mark B. Schneider, New START: The Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, (Fairfax Va.: National Institute Press, 2012), p. 46, available at http://www.nipp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/New-start.pdf.

[8] “Russia threatens to quit START as US deploys Aegis destroyer to Spain,” Russia Today, February 2, 2014, available at http://www.rt.com/news/destroyer-us-poland-start-treaty-530/.: “Diplomat Says Russia May Review START, Awaits Details of Alleged INF Violations,” BBC Monitoring of the Former Soviet Union, January 13, 2015, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1644747495?accountid=155509.

[9] Christopher Bond, “The New START Treaty.” The Congressional Record, November 18, 2010, available at http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r111:34:./temp/~r111MwN34p>.siness.highbeam.com/407705/article-1G1-245176770/new-start-enables-russia.

[10] “Remarks by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the panel discussion ‘Global nuclear governance: Quo Vadis?’' at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), Slovenia,” NATO, September 5, 2017, available at http://nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_146617.htm?selectedLocale=en.

[11] U.S. Department of State, “New START,” (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of State, no date), available at https://www.state.gov/t/avc/newstart/index.htm.

[12] Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris, “Russian nuclear forces, 2018,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 30, 2018, p. 186, available at https://thebulletin.org/2018/05/russian-nuclear-forces-2018/.

[13] Ibid.: “PAK DA's Precursor, Russian Tu-160M2 Bomber to Get Universal Anti-Missile Shield,” Sputnik News, January 21, 2017, available at https://sputniknews.com/military/201701211049858468-tu-160m2-missile-defense-pak-da/.: Marissa Papatola, “Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Under New START,” Arms Control Association,  March 12, 2018, available at https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Russian-Strategic-Nuclear-Forces-Under-New-START.

[14] Dr. Mark Schneider, “Russian Violations of the INF and New START Treaties,” National Institute for Public Policy, Information Series, Issue No. 410, August 15, 2016, available at http://www.nipp.org/2016/08/15/schneider-mark-russian-violations-of-the-inf-and-new-start-treaties/.

[15] Peter Baker, “Arms Control May Be Different on Paper and on the Ground,” The New York Times, March 30, 2010, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/world/europe/31start.html.

[16] “New START Enables Russia To Keep Nuclear Balance With U.S.,” Interfax AVN, December 23, 2010, available

at http://business.highbeam.com/407705/article-1G1-245176770/new-start-enables-russia.

[17] Keith B. Payne, “Official numbers confirm what Obama officials denied: New START requires reductions only by the U.S.,” The National Review, June 13, 2011, available at https://www.nationalreview.com/2011/06/new-start-russia-glee-keith-b-payne/.

[18] “The New START Treaty (Treaty Doc 111-5), Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate 111th Congress, Second Session, April 29, May 18, 19, 25, June 10, 15, 16, 24, and July 15, 2010,” p. 208, available at http://foreign.senate.gov/treaties/details/?id=1668ace8-5056-a032-526a-29c8fc32e1dc.

[19] Kingston Reif, “Some Thoughts on the Bomber Counting Rule,” The Nukes of Hazard, April 4, 2010, available at http://nukesofhazardblog.com/story/2010/4/4/15511/46379.

[20] Pavel Podvig, “The New START bomber count and upload potential,” Russian Forces.org, March 31, 2010, available at http://russianforces.org/blog/2010/03/thenewstartbombercountand.shtml.

[21] Hans M. Kristensen, “New START Treaty Has New Counting,” Federation of American Scientists, March 29,

2010, available at http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2010/03/newstart.php.

[22] “An Independent Assessment of New START Treaty,” The Heritage Foundation, April 30, 2010, available at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/04/An-Independent-Assessment-of-New-START-Treaty.

[23] Christopher Ford, “Does ‘New START’ Fumble Reloads and Rail-Mobile ICBMS?”, The Hudson Institute, April   10, 2010, available at https://www.hudson.org/research/9117-does-new-start-fumble-reloads-and-rail-mobile-icbms-. 

[24] Ibid.

[25] “New START Treaty: Resolution Of Advice And Consent To Ratification,” (Washington D.C.: United States State Department, December 22, 2010), available at https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/avc/rls/153910.htm.

[26] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” The Kremlin, March 1, 2018, available at http://en.kremlin.ru/ events/president/news/56957.: “Russian commander comment on Putin’s weapons announcement,” BBC Monitoring of the Former Soviet Union, May 5, 2018, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/201 3083 06?accountid=155509.; “Russia to Produce Successor of Tu-160 Strategic Bomber After 2023,” Sputnik News, June 4, 2015, available at http://sputniknews.com/military/20150604/1022954769.html.; Piotr Butowski, “Russia’s Air Force 2025,” Air International, January 2014, pp. 98-99.; “Russia to Revive Nuclear Missile Trains—RVSN Commander,” Interfax, December 16. 2014, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/163658 7290?accountid=155509.

[27] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” op. cit.

[28] Ibid.

[29] “The New START Treaty (Treaty Doc 111-5), Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate 111th Congress, Second Session, April 29, May 18, 19, 25, June 10, 15, 16, 24, and July 15, 2010,” op. cit., p. 90.

[30] Missile Defense Agency, “SUPPORTING EFFORTS Targets and Countermeasures,” (Washington D.C.: Missile Defense Agency, no date), available at https://www.mda.mil/system/targets.html.

[31] “LRALT,” astronautix.com, no date, available at http://www.astronautix.com/l/lralt.html.

[32] Schneider, New START: The Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, op. cit. p. 47.

[33] “Statement of Robert Scher, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces,” Washington, DC, March 2, 2016, p. 3, available at http:// docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS29/20160302/104619/HHRG-114-AS29-Wstate-ScherR-2016 0302.pdf.

[34] “Russia today is not interested in U.S.-proposed arms reduction - Sergei Ivanov,” Interfax, March 5, 2013, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1314615723?accountid=155509.

[35] National Intelligence Council, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” December 2012, p. 69, available at http://www.dni.gov/nic/globaltrends.

[36] President Ronald Reagan, “Remarks in New York, New York, Before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Devoted to Disarmament,” June 17, 2002, available at http://www.reagan. utexas.edu/archives/ speeches/1982/61782a.htm_.

[37] Dave M Majumdar, “Novator 9M729: The Russian Missile that Broke INF Treaty’s Back?,” National Interest, December 7, 2017, available at http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/novator-9m729-the-russian-missile-broke-inf-treatys-back-23547.; Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, (Washington D.C., US, Department of Defense, February 2018), p. 10, available at https://media.defense.gov/2018/Feb/02/200187 2886/-1/-1/1/2018-NUCLEAR-POSTURE REVIEW-FINAL-REPORT.PDF.

[38] Michael Gordon, “U.S. Says Russia Tested Missile, Despite Treaty,” The New York Times, January 29, 2014,

available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/world/europe/us-says-russia-tested-missile-despite-treaty.html.

[39] Bill Gertz, “Trump Leaning Against Extending Arms Treaty,” The Washington Free Beacon, September 19, 2018, available at https://freebeacon.com/national-security/trump-leaning-extending-arms-treaty/.



FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE SEPTEMBER 18, 2018,” p. 2, available at https://www.foreign.senate. gov/imo/media/doc/091818TrachtenbergTestimony.p.df.

[41] Dr. Colin S. Gray and Matthew R. Costlow, “Time to Withdraw from the INF Treaty,” Information Series Issue 433, (Fairfax Va.: National Institute for Public Policy, August 28, 2018), available at http://www.nipp.org/2018/ 08/28/gray-colin-s-and-matthew-r-costlow-time-to-withdraw-from-the-inf-treaty/.

[42] The INF Treaty, Article XI, paragraph 6, available at https://www.state.gov/t/avc/trty/102360.htm#text.




[44] “Army; Russia sets up delivery vehicles that can carry precision-guided missiles up to 4,000 km - General Staff,” Interfax, November 7, 2017, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/9614 20396?accountid =155509.    

[45] Mark B. Schneider, “Russian Ground-Launched Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons,” Real Clear Defense, August 27, 2018, available at https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/08/27/russian_ground-launched_non-strategic_nuclear_weapons_113745.html

[46] “Russia to compensate for INF losses with Iskander missile system,” Ria Novosti, November 14, 2007, available at http://www.en.rian.ru/russia/20071114/88066432.html.: Ilya Kramnik, “The Iskander: a story of a new face-off,” Ria Novosti, November 19, 2008, available at http://www.en.rian.ru/analysis/20081110/118218596.html.; Ilya Kramnik, “Sticking An Iskander Missile Into The ABM Shield Part One,” UPI, November 19, 2008, available at http://www.spacewar.com/reports/StickingAnIskanderMissileInto_The_ABM_Shield_Part_One_ 999.html.: Ilya Kramnik, “Missile bargaining: Iskanders for missile defense,” Ria Novosti, January 29, 2009, available at http:// www.en.rian.ru/analysis/20090129/119877816.html.; Mikhail Barabanov, “The Iskander Factor,” Kommsersant, November 9, 2008, available at http://www.kommersant.com/p1052937/r527/IskandermissilestoCounterbalance AmericanAMDsystems/.; Jerome Cartillier and Jo Biddle, “US calls on Moscow to get rid of banned arms,” Yahoo News, July 29, 2014, available at http://news.yahoo.com/russia-violated-arms-treaty-testing-cruise-missile-us-002749693.html;ylt=A0LEVj1 Ex3VVO9YAtmwnnIlQ;ylu=X3oDMTEzZWJidTA2BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvc wMxBHZ0aWQDR kZHRTAxXzEEc2VjA3Ny.

[47] Schneider, “Russian Ground-Launched Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons,” op. cit.

[48] Bill Gertz, “Russian aggression: Putin violating nuclear missile treaty,” The Washington Times, June 25, 2013, available at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/25/russia-violating-1987-nuclear-missile-treaty/ ?page=all#pagebreak.: Keith B. Payne and Mark B. Schneider, “The Nuclear Treaty Russia Won't Stop Violating Why has Washington looked the other way as Moscow revived Cold War weaponry?,” The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2014, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-nuclear-treaty-russia-won8217t-stop-violating-1392166706987.

[49] “Russia: US Suspicions of Russi[a]n Violations of INF Treaty Refuted,” Kommersant, December 12, 2013. (Translated by World News Connection.).: Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, NASIC-1031-0985-2017, (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Oh: National Air and Space Intelligence Center, June 2017), p. 38, available at https://fas.org/wp-content /uploads/media/NASIC2017.pdf.

[50] Bill Gertz, “Russian Defense Radar, Missiles Worry U.S. Officials,” The Washington Free Beacon, July 3, 2013,

available at http://freebeacon.com/russian-defense-radar-missiles-worry-u-s-officials/.

[51] “Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces as its decisive defense,” TASS, December 19, 2017, available at http://tass.

com/defense/981811.: U.S. Department of State, “Fact Sheets: New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic

Offensive Arms,” U.S. Department of State, October 2, 2017, available at https://www.state.gov/t/avc/newstart/


[52] “Some 400 ICBMs are on combat duty in Russia – RVSN commander,” Interfax, December 16, 2014, available at

https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1636603843?accountid=155509.: “Russian Strategic Missile

Troops have about 400 ICBM launchers – commander,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union, December 17, 2003,

available at https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1468597532?accountid=155509.; “Russia’s RVSN

has some 400 ICBMs on duty – commander,” Interfax, December 15, 2016, available at https://dialog.proquest.

com/professional/docview/1849129740?accountid=155509.; “Ordnance; Russian Strategic Missile Forces comprise

approx. 400 ICBMs – commander.” Interfax, December 17, 2017, available at https://dialog.proquest.com/ professional/docview/1975954122?accountid=155509.; Mark Schneider, “Russian Violations of the INF and New START Treaties,” Information Series Issue No. 410, Natioanl Institute for Public Policy, August 15, 2016, available at http://www.nipp.org/2016/08/15/schneider-mark-russian-violations-of-the-infand-new-start-treaties/.

[53] Schneider, New START: The Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, op. cit. pp. 33-37.

[54] “Russia’s upgraded strategic bomber to join Aerospace Force in October,” TASS, May 15, 2018, available at http:


[55] Nuclear Posture Review, op. cit., p. 8.: “Tu-22M3 launching a Kh-32 cruise missile,” June 27, 2013, available at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtsWTuZQhvQ.: David Cenciotti, “New image of a Russian Tu-22M Backfire

with cruise missile emerges,” The Aviationist.com, December 16, 2013, available at http://theaviationist.com/2013/


[56] “Winged Snipers: Best of the Best of Russia’s Ballistic and Cruise Missiles,” Sputnik News, December 23, 2017,

available at https://sputniknews.com/military/201712231060272064-russian-air-launched-ballistic-cruise-missiles/.

[57] Nikolai Litovkin, “New Russian cruise missiles to hit targets from the stratosphere,” Russia Beyond the

Headlines, August 30, 2016, available at https://www.rbth.com/defence/2016/08/30/new-russian-cruise-missiles-tohit-targets-from-the-stratosphere_625441.

[58] “Russia: First Tu-22M3M bomber due 2018, 30 to be upgraded,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union, May 21,

2017, available at http://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1900529954?accountid=155509.

[59] “Meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu,” Kremlin.ru, December 8, 2015, available at http://en.kremlin.

ru/events/president/news/50892.: “In the course of the last 24 hours, aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces have

performed 82 combat sorties engaging 204 terrorist objects in Syria,” Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation,

December 9, 2015, available at http://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12071355@egNew.;

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