Trading Arms Control for Nuclear Modernization: An Old Scam

June 12, 2019
Story Stream
recent articles

The Liberal arms control enthusiast community has been remarkably successful in selling the idea to Republican Senators and Republican administrations that if they engage in unwise arms control negotiations (new negotiations despite uncorrected Russian arms control violations and the prospect of  more), or ratify a seriously defective agreement negotiated by a Liberal administration or make unilateral reductions in the number of U.S. nuclear weapons, the Liberal Congressional establishment will provide the votes necessary to pass nuclear modernization, which they normally oppose. For example, at a talk at the Heritage Foundation in 2017, Dr. John Harvey, a friend of mine for decades and quite good on nuclear weapons issues, made this same argument, urging the Trump administration not to depart from the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy in the name of bipartisanship.[1] In 2019, he argued for the linkage of nuclear modernization to the extension of the New START Treaty. He stated, “You should make clear that extending New START and continued Democrat support for modernization are a package. [Tell them] you can’t have one without the other.”[2]

The Obama administration achieved the ratification of the seriously flawed New START Treaty by promising to fund the critically needed modernization of  U.S. nuclear weapons facilities. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated before Congress in 2012, “This modernization program was very carefully worked out between ourselves and the Department of Energy. And frankly … I think, [it]  played a fairly significant role in the willingness of the Senate to ratify the New START agreement.”[3] According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee, the Obama administration’s commitment to modernization “…lasted the precise amount of time required to secure Senate ratification of New START—and not one budget longer.”[4] The very next year, the Obama administration dramatically cut the funding for nuclear infrastructure modernization.[5] This was made worse by subsequent budget cuts and sequestration. The critically important facility to produce plutonium pits essential for nuclear weapons was delayed for five years in the 2013 budget.[6] After this, the pit facility was delayed again and again and will not be completed any earlier than 2030 best case.[7] Worse still, the production capacity will only be 80 pits (i.e., nuclear weapons) per year best case compared to Russia which “has improved and expanded its production complex, which has the capacity to process thousands of warheads annually,” according to Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley.[8] This would result in an at least a 40-to-1 advantage in Russia’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. A week after this revelation, the Democrats on the House Armed Service Committee began an effort to reduce the capability of the U.S. pit facility to 30 per year,[9] which would result in over a hundred-fold Russian advantage in production capability. A disparity this large could result in Putin initiating a war which he then could escalate into a nuclear war. Moreover, this attack on the U.S. nuclear deterrent is much broader and more irresponsible. The House Democrats seek to ban low-yield nuclear weapons (for us, not Russia, which already reportedly has them)[10] and any U.S. work on a mobile ICBM (also the core element of the current Russian ICBM capability).

Congressional efforts to force the Obama administration to honor its bargain failed. There was no incentive for Congressional arms control enthusiasts to honor their commitments over a long period of time because there was no practical way to enforce it or to take back the benefit of the bargain. The callousness of the Obama administration’s disregard of the budget deal it agreed to was one of the main factors in its decision to evade Congressional approval of the Iran nuclear deal. There was no way it could have been approved on its merits. Almost 60% of both houses of the Congress voted against it. Because of its disregard for the New START deal, no budget/arms control deal with the Obama administration had any credibility with Republicans in the Senate. Absent a budget deal, there was no possibility of Congressional approval of the terrible Iran deal (little substance and verification) because the Obama administration had no credibility regarding such a deal.

Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons

The New START Treaty does not constrain non-strategic or tactical nuclear weapons in any way. Unlike the original START Treaty, there is no restriction of the number of deployed nuclear surface ship- or submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). Russia has at least a ten-to-one advantage in non-strategic nuclear weapons which it is increasing both in number and diversity.[11] Some of these will be discussed below in the section on Russian New START Treaty circumventions, but there are literally dozens of types of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons.[12] Indeed, the longer-range versions are capable of substituting for strategic nuclear weapons. Many of these weapons violate the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992 which sought to eliminate many types of non-strategic nuclear weapons.[13] The situation is made worse by Russian violations of the INF Treaty as the Obama administration determined. The INF Treaty violations apparently involve more than a single missile. According to Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, “We knew that the INF Treaty was violated long before the United States decided to withdraw. We also knew, and spoke about it many times, that four different types [of missiles banned under the INF Treaty] were already targeted at the Baltic states—they were deployed in Kaliningrad and in Russian territory near our borders.”[14] These missiles are capable of targeting the same types of targets that the U.S. must cover with strategic nuclear weapons because we don’t have comparable theater nuclear weapons.

The arms control enthusiast left wants us to ignore all of this and focus on the supposed advantages of the New START Treaty, which is actually the worst arms control treaty since the election of President Ronald Reagan. If “colluding” with the Russians means taking the same positions on nuclear weapons issues, they have been “colluding” with Russia for decades.

Russian Circumvention of the New START Treaty and Future Arms Control

The standard and completely bogus argument in support of the New START Treaty is that it “limits Russia’s strategic nuclear armament and provides U.S. military planners with critically important transparency and predictability.”[15] In reality, it does none of this. The massive loopholes in the New START Treaty provide avenues of circumvention that eliminate the limitations and predictability.[16] The verification regime is dramatically degraded in comparison to what was in the original START Treaty. [17] No inspection conducted under the New START Treaty can prove a violation of the Treaty. Under the New START Treaty, Russia can have an unlimited number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons because:[18]

  • The Treaty does not constrain Air-launched and surface ship-launched strategic nuclear ballistic missiles
  • The Treaty, also, does not limit long-range nuclear SLCMs.
  • Nuclear armed hypersonic boost glide vehicles, if certain rules are followed, are not limited by the Treaty.
  • A full bomber load of nuclear weapons counts as one warhead under the New START Treaty allowing a vastly larger strategic force.
  • The New START Treaty does not limit Rail-mobile ICBMs.
  • The lack of restrictions on giving the Backfire bomber intercontinental capability allows circumvention of the basic New START Treaty limits.

The U.S. arms control enthusiast establishment generally cares little about the substance of arms control agreements, their verifiability, or whether the Russians actually comply with them. They support arms control agreements irrespective of whether the agreements actually accomplish anything useful. They fight against the U.S. determining Russian arms control violations, terminating U.S. compliance with arms control agreements that Russia is violating or responding to them by weapons development and deployments. Their position on these issues is almost identical to the Russian Federation, and this has been going on for decades.

The Trump administration has not decided whether to extend the New START Treaty and is thinking about bringing China into the negotiation if it decides on the New START Treaty extension or a new negotiation.[19] It does appear that the Trump administration, unlike the Obama administration which jumped into arms control negotiations without any significant preparations, is apparently doing its homework. If so, this would be the first time this has happened since the 1990s. Despite this, a successful outcome will be very difficult if there is a decision to extend but amend New START. There are too many problems with the New START Treaty to fix them easily. There are now few people in the career U.S. government bureaucracy with any experience in negotiating anything but very bad arms control agreements. The “Deep State” bureaucracy is well entrenched in the State Department and to a lesser extent in the Department of Defense. In the State Department, the career bureaucracy controls the regional bureaus. This has a significant impact on the position the Department of State takes on arms control and compliance. They fight any effort to revive the Reagan approach to arms control negotiations which lead to the best arms control treaties ever negotiated, and they will continue to fight against efforts to enforce arms control agreements.

If the Trump administration does engage in negotiations over the New START Treaty extension, its approach will apparently be aimed at closing a number of New START Treaty loopholes and bringing Russia’s large arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons, including nuclear submarine- launched nuclear cruise missiles, under arms control as a condition for the extension of New START.[20]  Closing loopholes apparently includes bringing into the Treaty several of President Vladimir Putin’s new super nuclear weapons, which he announced during his address to the Russian Duma in March 2018 and February 2019. These are now mainly outside of New START Treaty limits. The new superweapons include: the new Sarmat heavy ICBM, the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Poseidon ultra-fast, and deep-diving nuclear-powered drone submarine reportedly carrying a 100-megaton nuclear warhead, the Kinzhal hypersonic missile, the Avangard nuclear-armed hypersonic boost glide vehicle, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile.[21] These are real and dangerous programs. According to STRATCOM Commander General John Hyten, “…you should believe Vladimir Putin about everything he said he’s working on.”[22]

The importance of these weapons for the issue of New START extension is reflected in an April 2019 statement made by the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov at a meeting hosted by the U.S. Arms Control Association. He said that “…the new nuclear weapons that Mr. Putin has presented recently, I would just like to say [to] you that it’s not subject of this [the New START] treaty.”[23]

It is clear that the New START Treaty does not restrain four of the six of Putin's superweapons and the fifth is only subject to the Treaty because it uses an existing ICBM as a booster.[24] In March 2019, Ambassador Antonov said Russia would not agree to changes to the New START Treaty to bring these weapons into it.[25] Despite the lack of any legal or factual basis for such a position,  Russia may claim that the Avangard (SS-19 ICBM) and the Sarmat ICBM armed with the Avangard hypersonic boost glide vehicle payload, are not subject to the New START Treaty because they are different from the version of these missiles which carry ballistic warheads. This is similar to Russia’s lies when they MIRVed the SS-27 Mod 2 in violation of the START Treaty. Russia claimed that the MIRVed version of the SS-27, which they called the RS-24 Yars, was a different ICBM than the single warhead version, the SS-27 Mod 1, which they called the Topol-M Variant 2.[26] It was not permissible under the START Treaty to put multiple warheads on a single warhead missile, but they did so anyway, and they got away with it. The SS-27 Mod 2 compliance issue was never even reported to the public in any State Department compliance report. There were no consequences to Russia from this violation of the original START Treaty. The RS-24 Yars was even legitimized in New START as a different type of MIRVed ICBM.

The fact that the New START Treaty did not constrain Putin's nuclear superweapons did not seem to bother the members of the Arms Control Association who were meeting with Ambassador Antonov when he made his alarming statement. They supported the Russian position that the New START Treaty should be extended without changes, which would assure that most of the Russian nuclear superweapons remain unlimited by the New START Treaty.[27] The lack of any reaction at the meeting to Antonov's declaration is appalling but hardly surprising in light of the positions normally taken by the inside the beltway arms control enthusiast establishment.

According to arms control enthusiast Ambassador Steve Pifer, “Extending New START should be a no-brainer.”[28] Extending New START without changes is rather good evidence of lack of brains. The U.S. arms control enthusiast community has consistently opposed any effort to limit Russia’s strategic nuclear forces effectively (because it is difficult and time consuming to negotiate) or to enforce arms control agreements when Russia violates them. They are apparently much more concerned with Russian hacking and exploitation of social media for propaganda purposes than they are about the Russian nuclear threat.

In a May 2019 Senate hearing, Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson stated that three of Russia’s nuclear superweapons – a nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle and the Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile – constitute a “new kind of strategic offensive arms for purposes of New START.”[29] New kinds of strategic offensive arms, according to the New START Treaty Article by Article Analysis, “refers to new offensive arms of strategic range that do not meet the Treaty’s definitions of these existing strategic offensive arms.”[30] Because of this, they are not subject to the New START Treaty. (The Kinzhal is an exception to this because. while it does meet the Treaty definition of a ballistic missile, the Treaty does not constrain air-launched ballistic missiles as the original START Treaty did.) There is an obligation to discuss “new kinds” of strategic offensive arms but not to agree on constraints. The only leverage we have to get Russia to agree to limit them is making this a condition for New START extension and making it clear to Russia that if they do not agree there will be no New START extension. The arms control enthusiast community would usually oppose such a course of action.

While Under Secretary Thompson was certainly correct that the New START Treaty did not limit these three systems, a puzzling omission from her statement is the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile which, when combined with the new Borei-K strategic cruise missile submarine and other Russian long-range nuclear-capable cruise missiles, represents potentially the most serious of Putin’s circumvention of the New START Treaty. The original START Treaty limited the number of deployed ship and submarine based long-range nuclear SLCMs. Instead of reducing the number to a level more appropriate to the New START Treaty limit on strategic offensive forces, the Obama administration completely discarded the limitation, allowing any number of nuclear SLCMs the Russian can afford to deploy.

Russia has been talking about advanced strategic cruise missile submarines since 2011.[31] The Borei-K, presumably a cruise missile-carrying version of the strategic nuclear Borei-A submarine and the nuclear weapons it carries, would not be limited by the New START Treaty despite the fact that it can carry vast numbers of nuclear-capable cruise missiles. In April 2019, TASS reported that after 2027 Russia might deploy two cruise missile carrying Borei-K submarines.[32] This is in addition to the planned widespread deployment of nuclear capable cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons on Russian surface ships and multirole submarines.[33]

The Borei-A is Russia’s most modern existing strategic nuclear ballistic missile submarine. The Borei-K does not represent the conversion of an existing strategic ballistic missile submarine into a cruise missile submarine in an effort to reduce the reliance of nuclear weapons. It is just the opposite. It is a newly built and very expensive strategic missile submarine. In light of the priority Russia gives to nuclear weapons, it is likely to have mainly a nuclear strike role. Two Borei-K submarines have the potential to carry about as many nuclear warheads as the New START limited U.S. ICBM force. Yet, the U.S. arms control enthusiast community does not care about this and does not seek to limit this capability.

The Borei-K is likely to be armed with the Tsirkon which is a powered hypersonic missile which is generally reported to have a speed of Mach 6.[34] TASS has said that its speed is Mach 8.[35] Sputnik News reported that the Tsirkon “…is designed for speeds of up to 12 times the speed of sound.”[36] President Putin has stated that the speed is Mach 9.[37] In February 2019, President Putin stated that the range of the Tsirkon was over 1,000-km.[38] In February 2019, Rear Admiral (ret.) Vsevolod Khmyrov stated that the range of the Tsirkon was at least 2,000-km.[39]

In his February 2019 State of the Nation address to the Duma, President Putin hinted that it would be used to launch surprise strikes against the U.S. National Command Authority (the President, the line of succession, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior military leaders, and the nuclear command and control system).[40] Within days, a retired Russian Admiral said that the Tsirkon would be capable of hitting command posts in the U.S. within five minutes from Russian submarines and, “Russia’s Vesti Nedeli state TV station published a list of American targets it said the Kremlin could strike with hypersonic nuclear missiles within five minutes if war breaks out.”[41] In an important March 2019 speech, the Chief of the Russian General Staff General of the Army Valery Gerasimov said  Russia was forced to “plan future delivery of strikes against decision-making centers…"[42] The Borei-K and the Tsirkon combination would be the best Russian weapons for this mission.

Another candidate missile for the Borei-K is the Kalibr and its advanced versions. While not officially one of Putin’s nuclear superweapons, the Kalibr nuclear capable long-range cruise missiles are given a lot of publicity in Russia and are one of their major threat systems. Another candidate missile for the Borei-K armament is the improved Kalibr-M which reportedly will have a range of 4,500-km and will be operational by 2027.[43]

TASS also reported that Russia is developing a multi-role fifth generation submarine that will carry “Tsirkon hypersonic missiles [which] will be among its strike weapons.”[44] This platform would likely be even a greater decapitation threat to the U.S. National Command Authority.

Under Secretary Thompson’s prepared statement was silent on the largest loophole in the New START Treaty – the bomber weapon counting rule. It counts a whole bomber load of nuclear weapons and/or nuclear cruise missiles as a single warhead against the New START Treaty’s deployed warhead limit of 1,550. The START II Treaty Memorandum of Understanding on warhead attribution attributed between 6 and 16 nuclear warheads to Russian heavy bombers.[45] This does not reflect the maximum number of nuclear weapons that these systems could be equipped with but rather what they were capable of in 1992. When it became known in 2010 that the New START Treaty counted a bomber load of nuclear weapons as a single warhead, arms control enthusiast Hans Kristensen declared the bomber weapon counting rule was “totally nuts” because the rule “frees up a large pool of warhead spaces under the treaty limit that enables each country to deploy many more warheads than would otherwise be the case…”[46] Because of this, in March 2019, Hans Kristensen and Matt Korda reported that, despite the notional 1,550 limits in deployed strategic nuclear warheads, Russia had 2,690 nuclear warheads on its strategic force.[47] This is more than what was allowed under the 2002 Moscow Treaty (1,700-2,200 deployed warheads) which the New START treaty killed. This is a new first in arms control – a later treaty killing a previous one but allowing more deployed nuclear warheads. This number is certain to go up as the Russians introduce their new bombers, the Tu-160M2 and the Pak DA.[48] The U.S. arms control enthusiast community does not care. The 50 planned Tu-160M2 bombers can add another five hundred warheads to the Russian strategic nuclear force. The Pak DA will allow even more, but we do not know how many of these bombers Russia plans.

Russian Violations of the New START Treaty and the Problems with the New START Verification Regime

Russian plans for the Backfire bomber are partially a circumvention of the New START Treaty and, if the Russian state media are correct about the missiles it carries, it is also a violation of the New START Treaty. The original START Treaty contained prohibitions on giving the Backfire long-range nuclear strategic capabilities. Today, the announced Russian program for Backfire air-to-air refueling capability[49] gives it strategic capabilities. This would have violated the original START Treaty, but the relevant provisions were dropped out of the New START Treaty. Similarly, the reported Russian plans to deploy the Kinzhal hypersonic missile on the Backfire[50] and other aircraft are not a violation of the New START Treaty because the prohibition on long-range air-launched ballistic missiles in the original START Treaty was dropped from the New START Treaty. The reports in state media of long-range nuclear capable cruise missiles on the Backfire,[51] If true, are violations of the New START Treaty because the Backfire has not been declared a heavy bomber and, hence, counted against New START Treaty limits. The reported 10,000-km range of the improved version of the Backfire, the Tu-22M3M,[52] would be a violation of the New START Treaty because bombers of over 8,000-km range must be declared as heavy bombers and have not been. The long-range nuclear capable cruise missiles that the Russian state media reports are carried by the Backfire constitute a violation of the New START Treaty because these missiles can only be carried by heavy bombers.[53]

The U.S. has not monitored the production of Russian mobile ICBMs since the expiration of the original START Treaty in 2009 because the New START Treaty does not allow such monitoring. Absent this, our knowledge of the number of Russian mobile ICBMs is likely low confidence. Almost all verification provisions relating to mobile ICBMs in the START Treaty were omitted from the New START Treaty.[54] There are numerous statements by Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, the commander of the Strategic Missile Force, that Russia has deployed 400 ICBMs, about 100 more than is possible under Russia’s declared delivery vehicle numbers under New START unless Russia has a covert force of mobile ICBMs.[55] Similarly, General Karakayev’s 2019 statement that Russia has reduced its strategic nuclear forces only 66% from Soviet levels (i.e., over 3,300 warheads today) is only possible if Russia has a covert force of mobile ICBMs.[56] In 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a request for proposals for the elimination of the Kuryer ICBM,[57] a late Soviet ICBM that was not declared in the START Treaty. This represents a New START Treaty violation.

The problems with the New START verification regime go far beyond the inability to verify the number of deployed mobile ICBMs. Any effort to correct verification problems of the New START Treaty would require the injection into the New START Treaty of a great deal of the language from the original START Treaty omitted from New START. A verification regime for counting bomber weapons would have to be created. A real look at Russian compliance with the New START verification regime would also be necessary as a part of the preparations regarding the fixing of the New START Treaty verification regime.


If we repeat the failed efforts of the past to trade nuclear modernization for arms control, it is very likely to fail again. The same approach might get a year of funding, and then the deal will unravel, and we will likely be stuck with an arms control negotiation undertaken without the reversal of any Russian violations of the INF Treaty and other arms control agreements. If the Trump administration goes forward with such a negotiation, it needs to do its homework first. It should decide what it wants to achieve and the verification provisions necessary to realize those objectives. The New START Treaty will not limit Russian strategic nuclear capability. Under it, Russia can deploy as many strategic nuclear weapons as it can afford even if we assume only circumvention. There is substantial evidence in the Russian state media of significant Russian violations of the New START Treaty. Cheating will generally be cheaper than circumvention, hence, likely resulting in more deployed nuclear weapons. Russian arms control cheating is the norm. Verification is no substitute for a serious compliance policy. There was no such policy during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The public has been left largely in the dark concerning the full scope of Russia’s cheating.

If there is a deal trading the modernization of U.S. nuclear forces for arms control, it should be the complete modernization program as outlined in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review in exchange for sequential one-year extensions of the New START Treaty on a policy basis to eliminate the option of the Congressional left reneging on the bargain. This approach might have some chance of working. If the House Armed Services Committee prevails in its anti-nuclear deterrence posturing, the authorization bill should be vetoed. This has been done before and will certainly limit the damage this extremely partisan Committee can do.

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] “Nuclear Posture Review: Opportunities and Challenges,” Heritage Foundation, June 23, 2017, available at https://

[2] Aaron Mehta, “Is there a way to save the ‘fraying’ nuclear consensus in Congress?” Defense News, February 14, 2019, available at

[3] Quoted in Senate Republican Policy Committee, “Obama Fails America on Nuclear Arms,” (Washington D.C.: Senate Republican Policy Committee, March 12, 2012), available at /obama-fails-america-on-nuclear-arms.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Baker Spring and Michaela Dodge, Ph.D., “Bait and Switch on Nuclear Modernization Must Stop,” (Washington D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, January 4. 2013), available at

[6] “Obama Fails America on Nuclear Arms,” op. cit.

[7] U.S. Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, (Washington D.C., US, Department of Defense, February 2018), pp. XV, available at 200187 2886/-1/-1/1/2018-NUCLEAR-POSTUREREVIEW-FINAL-REPORT.PDF.

[8] Ibid.: “Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director Defense Intelligence Agency Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute 29 May 2019,” available at

[9] Bill Gertz, “House Democrats Seek to Kill Small Nuclear Warhead,” The Washington Free Beacon, June 4, 2019, available at

[10] “Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director Defense Intelligence Agency Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute 29 May 2019,” op. cit.: Mark B. Schneider, “Deterring Russian First Use of Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons,” Real Clear Defense, March 12, 2018, available at 12/deterring_russian_first_use_of _low-yield_nuclear_weapons_113180.html.

[11] “Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director Defense Intelligence Agency Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute 29 May 2019,” op. cit.: "Obama Advisor Gary Samore, ‘The Ball is Very Much in Tehran's Court,'" Radio Free Europe, April 14, 2011, available at iranuspolicy/3557326.html.

[12] “Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director Defense Intelligence Agency Russian and Chinese Nuclear Modernization Trends, Remarks at the Hudson Institute 29 May 2019,” op. cit

[13] Ibid

[14] Amy Mackinnon, “Latvia’s foreign minister on the demise of the U.S. missile treaty with Russia and NATO’s new focus on China,” Foreign, April 5, 2019, available at

[15] Senator Robert Menendez et. al. Letter to President Trump, June 4, 2019.

[16] Mark Schneider, “The Nuclear Posture Review, New START, and the Russian Nuclear Buildup,” Real Clear Defense, June 5, 2017, available at articles/2017/06/05/the_npr_new start_ and_the_russian_nuclear_buildup__111520.html.

[17] “New START: Potemkin Village Verification,” (Washington D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, June 24, 2010), available at -villageverification?query=New+START:+Potemkin+Village+Verification.: Senator Christopher Bond, “The New START Treaty,” The Congressional Record, November 18, 2010, available at D?r111:34:./temp/~r111MwN34p.

[18] Ibid.: Mark B. Schneider, New START: The Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, (Fairfax Va.: National Institute Press®, July 2012), pp. 5-9, 12, available at Christopher Ford, “Does ‘New START’ Fumble Reloads and Rail Mobile ICBMs?,”, April 26, 2010, available at /Entries/2010 /4/26_New_START_fumbles_Missile_REloads_and_Rail-Mobile_ICBMs.html.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

[19] Bill Gertz, “Trump Seeks to Add China to New Arms Treaty,” The Washington Free Beacon, June 3, 2019, available at

[20] Ibid.

[21] “Presidential Address to Federal Assembly,”, February 2019, available at events/president/news/59863.: “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,”, March 1, 2018,

[22] John A. Tirpak, “The Great Hypersonic Race,” Air Force Magazine, August 2018, MagazineArchive/Pages/2018/August%202018/The-Great-Hypersonic-Race.aspx.

[23] “New Risks and New Arms Control Solutions: North Korea, Disruptive Technologies, and the New Arms Race,” Monday, April 15, 2019, available a armscontrol2019.: “Russia’s new strategic weapons don’t fall under limits of New START Treaty, says envoy,” TASS, April 15, 2019, available at 

[24] “Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly,” March 1, 2018, op. cit.: Nikolai Litovkin, “What major weapons Russian military will get in 2018,” Russia Beyond the Headlines, January 19, 2018, available at https://www.rbth. com/science-and-tech/327726-new-russian-weapons.; “Sarmat ICBM: 8 Megatons at Hypersonic Speeds, Arriving 2 Years Ahead of Schedule,” Sputnik News, January 19, 2018, available at 1045062797-sarmat-ahead-of-schedule-analysis/.; “Russia to use SS-19 ICBMs as carriers for Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles — source,” TASS, March 20, 2017, available at defense/995167.

[25] Patrick Tucker, “New START a Nonstarter: Russian Ambassador,” Defense, March 12, 2019, available at 2019/03/new-new-start-nonstarter-russian-ambassador /155474/?utmsource =Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb-3-13&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief.

[26] Mark B. Schneider, “Russian Violations of Its Arms Control Obligations,” Comparative Strategy, September 24, 2012, pp. 333-334, available at

[27] “New Risks and New Arms Control Solutions: North Korea, Disruptive Technologies, and the New Arms Race,” op. cit.

[28] Steven Pifer, “After INF, is New START next to go?,” Brookings Institute, October 29, 2018, available at https://

[29] “US Seeks Arms Control Talks on Russia’s Newer Weapons, Non-Strategic Nuclear Arsenal,” Sputnik, May 15, 2019, available at 16A418F3EF056B19022/5?accountid=155509&site=professionalnewsstand&t:ac=16A418F3EF056B19022/ 1&t:cp=maintain/resultcitationblocksbrief&t:zoneid=transactionalZone_16adc1.

[30]  “ARTICLE-BY-ARTICLE ANALYSIS OF NEW START TREATY DOCUMENTS,” (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department, 2010), p. 13, available at

[31] “Russian 5G Subs to Be Equipped with Ballistic, Cruise missiles—Source,” RIA Novosti, March 19, 2011, available at

[32] “Russia may build Borei-K nuclear subs with cruise missiles – source,” TASS, April 20, 2019, available at http://

[33] Defense Intelligence Agency, Russia Military Power Building a Military to Support Great Power Aspirations, (Washington D.C.: Defense Intelligence Agency, 2017), p. V, available at Publications/ Russia%20 Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf.

[34] “Russia developing Mach 6 capable cruise missile,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union, September 14, 2016, pp. 50-51, 69, available at Publications/ Russia%20 Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf.

[35] “Source - during tests Russia's Tsirkon missile has reached Mach 8,” TASS, April 18, 2017, available at http://

[36] “Russia Achieves ‘Considerable’ Success in Hypersonic Arms Development,” Sputnik News, July 28, 2018, available at 

[37] “Presidential Address to Federal Assembly,” February 20, 2019, op. cit.: Russia Military Power: Building a Military to Support Great Power Aspirations, op. cit., 79.

[38] “Presidential Address to Federal Assembly,” February 20, 2019, op. cit.

[39] “Russian Navy’s Tsirkon missiles capable of hitting command posts in U.S. territory – expert,” Interfax, February 21, 2019, available at

[40] “Presidential Address to Federal Assembly,” February 20, 2019, op. cit.

[41] “New Risks and New Arms Control Solutions: North Korea, Disruptive Technologies, and the New Arms Race,” op. cit.

[42] “Vectors of Development of Military Strategy,” Moscow Karanaya Zvezda, March 4, 2019, available at http:// (In Russian. Translation by Dr. Veronika Kyrylenko).

[43] “Russia is reportedly working on a longer-range version of the deadly Kalibr cruise missile its adversaries already fear,” Business Insider, April 23, 2019, available at Peter Spinella, “Russia develops missile with 4,500-kilometre range, state media says,” DPA International, January 8, 2019, available at professionalnewsstand/docview/2164466991/fulltext/16A6AC883A923384333/1?accountid=155509&site= professionalnewsstand&t:ac=16A6AC883A923384333/1&t:cp=maintain/resultcitationblocksbrief&t:zoneid =transactionalZone_16b0547502b.

[44] “Russia launches R&D work on fifth-generation submarine,” TASS, April 17, 2019, available defense/1054096.

[45] “Memorandum of Understanding on Warhead Attribution and Heavy Bomber Data Relating to the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms,” (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of State, January 3, 1993), available at https://2009-2017 .state. gov/t/avc/trty/102887.htm#mou.

[46] Peter Baker, “Arms Control May Be Different on Paper and on the Ground,” The New York Times, March 30, 2010, available at

[47] Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda, “Russian nuclear forces, 2019,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 4, 2019, available at

[48] “Successor of Tu-160 Strategic Bomber After 2023,” Sputnik News, June 4, 2015, available at https://sputnik “Russia Speeds Up Development of New Strategic Bomber,” RIA Novosti, November 28, 2013, available at; “Russia’s New Bomber to Carry Hypersonic Weapons – Source,” Sputnik News, August 30, 2013, available at

[49] “Tu-22M3 aircraft landed at Anadyr airfield in course of long-range aviation exercise,” Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, October 5, 2017, available at “Long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces has finished command-and-staff exercise,” Russian Federation Defense Ministry,, April 7, 2017, available at country/more.htm?id=12117705@egNews; “Tupolev Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 bombers move to operative airfields in Eastern MilitaryDistrict check,” Interfax, September 15, 2014, available at docview/1562068955?accountid=155509.

[50] “Russia’s Tu-22M3M Bomber to Be Able to Carry Up to 4 Kinzhal Missiles – Source,” Sputnik News, July 2, 2018, available at

[51] “Russia: First Tu-22M3M bomber due 2018, 30 to be upgraded,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union, May 21, 2017, available at “Winged Snipers: Best of the Best of Russia’s Ballistic and Cruise Missiles,” Sputnik News, December 23, 2017, available at

[52] Alexander Mladenov, "New Flankers, upgraded Flankers, and a Backfire's Maidan flight," Air International, February 2019, p. 32.

[53] Dr. Mark B. Schneider “The Russian Nuclear Threat,” Real Clear Defense, May 28, 2019, available at https:// threat_114457.htm.l.

[54] Schneider, New START: The Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, op. cit., pp. 33-36.

[55] “Some 400 ICBMs are on combat duty in Russia - RVSN commander,” Interfax, December 16, 2014, available at “Russia’s RVSN has some 400 ICBMs on duty – commander,” Interfax, December 15, 2016, available at /docview/1849162771/fulltext/169A732DCF2743015E1/1?accountid=155509&t:ac=169A732DCF2743015E1/1 &t:cp=maintain/resultcitationblocksbrief&t:zoneid=transactionalZone_16a41b1af10.; “Russian Strategic  Missile Troops have about 400 ICBM launchers – commander,” BBC Monitoring of the Former Soviet Union, December 17, 2013, available at

[56] Schneider, “The Russian Nuclear Threat,” op. cit., pp. 33-36.

[57] Vladimir Kudelev, “The Super-Accurate Skorost and the Undetectable Kuryer. The Forgotten Unique Developments of Aleksandr Nadiradze,” Moscow Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer Online, October 12, 2011. (Translation by World News Connection.)

Show comments Hide Comments