Progress toward New START

The State Department released the latest data on New START today, making public the count of warheads now deployed by both the U.S. and Russia and revealing the progress toward full compliance with the treaty. A little over a year after New START took effect, the U.S. and Russia are gradually forward to implement the treaty.

Under the New START treaty, both Cold War powers are required to reduce their deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 as well as reducing deployed delivery vehicles to 700 by 2018.

As of March 1, by treaty counting rules, the U.S. has 1737 deployed strategic warheads and 812 deployed strategic delivery vehicles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers. Russia’s numbers show that it is currently deploying 1492 strategic warheads and 494 delivery vehicles. These figures do not include nuclear warheads in reserve or slated for dismantlement.

The reductions required by New START are significant but gradual. To realize the national security benefits of these and further cuts, the U.S. should announce its intention to meet New START’s ceilings at an early date. Early attainment of New START numbers would mean that the U.S. and Russia could agree to even deeper reciprocal reductions – perhaps through using New START’s robust verifications regime.

The full data from the Department of State Factsheet can be found on their site. For more analysis, check out Ploughshares Fund grantee Hans Kristensen's blog on the Federation of American Scientist's website.