Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama to Launch New Effort to Reduce Stockpiles

The U.S. and Russia to draw up a new treaty to reduce nuclear stockpiles. Looks like Obama will make some sort of announcement tomorrow.
President Obama plans to launch negotiations on Wednesday to draft a new arms control treaty that would slash the American and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals by about a third and possibly lead to even deeper reductions in the future, according to administration officials.

As Mr. Obama left on Tuesday for his first European trip as president, American and Russian officials have indicated privately that they could agree to reducing their stockpiles to no more than 1,500 warheads apiece, down from the maximum of 2,200 allowed under a treaty signed by President Bush in 2002.

The two sides plan to draft the treaty on an accelerated basis so it could be signed by late summer and ratified in time to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or Start, when it expires in December after 15 years. Both Washington and Moscow hope quick success in replacing a pact negotiated in the waning days of the Cold War would help revive a strained relationship and set the stage for more dramatic arms cuts later.