The New START Treaty expires on February 5, 2021, unless the U.S. and Russia agree to extend it. It includes three limits on U.S. and Russian strategic offensive nuclear forces:
- 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments;
- 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
- 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments
The Biden Administration recently indicated that it would seek a full five-year extension of the New START Treaty.
Mark Bell — a University of Minnesota expert on nuclear weapons and proliferation — is available to provide expert comment on the implications of this decision.
Mark Bell, Ph.D.
“This represents a sensible step to seek to extend a treaty that continues to serve the interests of both Russia and the United States, helps maintain transparency about both countries' nuclear arsenals, and reduces the risk of an unconstrained nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia."
Mark Bell is an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts. His areas of expertise include nuclear weapons and proliferation, international relations theory and U.S. and British foreign policy. His new book, Nuclear Reactions: How Nuclear-Armed States Behave, will be out soon from Cornell University Press and is available for preorder.