Should a New START plan include talks with China?
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An interesting article in late February 2020 at Defense One (link at the bottom)…
The New START agreement is the one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States, and will expire in less than a year unless both sides agree to extend it before then. Russia has stated that they are ready to sign up for the five-year extension. The administration has not signaled their intentions on extending, but instead wants to engage China in nuclear negotiations along with Russia.
New START restricts the United States and Russia to 1,550 operational deployed strategic weapons. China is estimated to have less than 300. The disparity in the quantity of weapons leads to a number of questions in my mind…
Does it make sense to expend the effort to involve China in negotiations when they have one-fifth of the weapons their potential negotiating partners have? What would the United States, and Russia for that matter, wish to ask of China regarding the size of their arsenal, and what does they offer in return? Should the United States be focused on negotiating strategic systems with China, or is a better effort spent sticking to bi-lateral negotiations with Russia to get them to put their non-strategic weapons on the table? Or, can this envisioned successor to New START do it all?
Looking forward to seeing your thoughts posted.
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