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U.S. and Russia Reach Nuclear Deal

The United States and Russia appear to have come to an agreement on a new nuclear reduction treaty to replace the existing arms-control pact signed in 1990.

The deal would substantially reduce the number of long-range weapons in both countries’ arsenals but have little effect on the number of jets, submarines, and missiles designed to carry them.  The White House is optimistic that a new treaty can be announced in the coming months.

Challenges for the arms-control deal exist in the Senate, however, where ratification requires 67 votes.  Republican leaders have made clear that they will oppose any deal that doesn’t include a missile defense system in Europe.  Russia vigorously opposes the missile shield and the United States has held that the system is aimed at defending against threats from Iran.

The nuclear-reduction treaty, though praised by arms-control advocates, represents a potentially serious decline in the United States’ nuclear deterrence capability.  Without a proper verification and security framework to ensure Russia meets its obligations and maintains proper control over its materials, the treaty could put the United States and its allies at a strategic disadvantage.

Read more at the Washington Post.


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