After New START: Moving Forward or Moving Back?

Michaela Dodge /

Obama and Medvedev sign new START

On Tuesday, March 2, arms control experts met at The Heritage Foundation’s conference “New START: What We Now Know and What’s Next.” They discussed the lessons learned with regards to future arms control negotiations.

The Honorable Richard Perle of the American Enterprise Institute explained the rationale behind New START negotiations, which were centered on an outdated Cold War approach focusing on the nuclear arsenal of the two superpowers. This approach is no longer relevant, because the threat the United States faces today is different and does not come from the Russian first strike capability but from Iran or North Korea. Perle concluded that the United States was better off without New START because it has the potential to limit U.S. missile defense while not addressing Russia’s manifold advantage in tactical nuclear weapons.

Kim Holmes, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies and Director of the Davis Institute for International Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, endorsed Perle’s point that the “nuclear zero” rationale behind New START does not make sense. The treaty does nothing to deter or prevent Iran and other proliferators from building nuclear weapons. (more…)