News Analysis |
A detailed study produced by CNA Corp non-profit research group and reported by Reuters’ states that termination of New START accords, agreed and signed by Barak Obama in 2010, with Russia could spark a new nuclear arms race.
“Neither country would have the same degree of confidence in its ability to assess the other’s precise warhead levels,” CNA’s Vince Manzo wrote in the study. “Worst-case planning is also more likely as a result. “Increased opacity between U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces would unfold within the broader context of growing mistrust and diverging perceptions about strategy, intentions, and perceptions,” he added.
There is a long list of accords and treaties signed in Obama administration which Donald Trump pulled out of such as Iran’s nuclear deal, Paris Climate pact, and Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trump administration is already moving ahead with walking out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty which limits strategic deployments and eventual destruction of nuclear-capable missiles within 500-5,500 Km range. Both Russia and United States of America had been accusing each other of violation of treaty INF treaty, however, as far as New START is concerned, the only real apprehension was on the side of U.S president Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton.
What is New START Accord?
New START, an acronym for New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, was signed by U.S.A and Russia on April 8th, 2010 and entered into force by Feb 5, 2011. Under the treaty, both sides were to limit their deployed nuclear arsenal to 1,550 missiles, which at one time during the cold war were close to 6000.
New START superseded Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT) which was signed in 2002. Unlike its predecessor accords, New Start not only incorporated steps to curb the growing nuclear hostility vis-à-vis the active warheads, but it also focused on capping the delivery systems such as long-range bombers and submarines.
It also includes extensive transparency measures requiring each side to allow the other to carry out 10 inspections of strategic nuclear bases each year; give 48 hours’ notice before new missiles covered by the treaty leave their factories; and provide notifications before ballistic missile launches.
Why is Trump Against New START Accord?
There could be multiple dimensions to the query. Starting from the simple and more visible trend that Donald Trump seems to differ with almost everything which President Obama had vouched for on behalf of the United States of America. There is a long list of accords and treaties signed in Obama administration which Donald Trump pulled out of such as Iran’s nuclear deal, Paris Climate pact, and Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Strategically the number of deployed missiles which is binding for the United States under New START accord might not be enough which the security establishment of the country deems necessary.
Under his presidency, Donald Trump has looked forward to cooperation with Russia which would have been the other way around had Hillary Clinton made her way to the oval office. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cunningly utilized the room and extended the strategic reach which seems to be taking effect at all the major fronts where the United States of America is currently, or in recent past, engaged in.
It would certainly not have gone down well with the U.S deep state who wants to maintain the unchallenged, though an idealistic notion, hegemony of U.S power. Therefore, the idea here might not be to walk away from nuclear agreements altogether as it would create a panic among the non-nuclear states watching two biggest arsenals of nukes at disarray and they might push for ways to secure themselves resulting in proliferation.
Another factor at play might be the multi-level threat which the United States is facing, and Russia isn’t obviously, from China and North Korea. Strategically the number of deployed missiles which is binding for the United States under New START accord might not be enough which the security establishment of the country deems necessary.
Read more: U.S pulls out of nuclear treaty with Russia
No matter what the reason might be, it would greatly undermine the efforts to denuclearize the world which even as per Donald Trump is the biggest threat to the world.