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With the New START arms control agreement between the United States and Russia set to expire in less than one year, the Trump Administration must soon decide whether to extend the treaty or let it expire. On the one hand, extending New START would continue the nominal restrictions on U.S. and Russian deployed delivery systems and strategic warheads, and mutual U.S./Russian onsite inspections. On the other, New START does not limit Russia’s large stockpile of battlefield warheads nor its new ‘exotic’ nuclear delivery systems, including a nuclear torpedo and nuclear-powered cruise missile. Opponents of extension also argue that New START’s limited verification regime provides less than satisfactory confidence that Russia cannot violate the provisions. The Trump Administration has also expressed a desire to negotiate an improved arms control agreement with Russia that also includes China, which has been aggressively modernizing its nuclear forces. What are the arguments for and against extension? Does the United States have sufficient leverage to negotiate a better agreement? What would Russia do if no longer constrained by New START? On April 23, hear arguments on both sides of the debate and join what will be an informative discussion on how the Administration should proceed.
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