Nuclear Arms: Getting STARTed Again

Barack and Dmitry apparently had a positive bonding session in talks in Moscow this week, which may be good news for the world. The 1991 START-1 (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is due to expire in December and another accord is required for Russia and the USA to implement reductions in their nuclear arsenals.

Reports indicate that Presidents Obama & Medvedev agreed to decrease their stocks of warheads from 2200 each to 1500-1675 and delivery systems (missiles, ships, submarines) from 1600 to 500-1100. The devil may be in the detail and success depends on eventual verification procedures, but humanity can breathe a little easier.

However a stumbling block remains for future talks: US plans for a so-called missile defence shield in Europe. Indeed it must be hard to convince the Russians of the need to surround them with missiles in Eastern Europe – to protect US allies from the threat of nuclear attack by Iran. Does that mean Russia too? Included as allies, that is.

As our Kevin might say: pass the sauce bottle for another suck. But Obama has apparently left open the possibility of collaboration with the Russians on that one. Watch the space, so to speak.

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