Learn more: New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)
On July 29, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation Rose Gottemoller testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Secretary Gottemoller said,
"I am honored to be here to provide my perspective as chief negotiator of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the New START Treaty. The Treaty is a continuation of the international arms control and nonproliferation framework that the United States has worked hard to foster and strengthen for the last 50 years. It will provide ongoing transparency and predictability regarding the world's two largest nuclear arsenals, while preserving our ability to maintain the strong nuclear deterrent. Indeed, this treaty imposes no constraint on U.S. efforts to modernize its nuclear enterprise or develop and deploy the most effective missile defenses possible to protect U.S. national security and the security of our allies and friends.
"A little over a year ago, the Administration set out to negotiate the New START Treaty with the goal of replacing the expiring START Treaty with a new agreement for each Party to reduce and limit its strategic offensive arms. I want to underscore that the focus of these negotiations from beginning to end was strategic offensive arms. We were also determined to move beyond Cold War mentalities and chart a fresh beginning in our relations with Russia. The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review concluded that the United States could sustain a stable deterrent with significantly fewer deployed warheads and strategic delivery vehicles than permitted under earlier arms control agreements. It further recognized that we need to cooperate with Russia as our partner to meet these threats and other global challenges."
The Assistant Secretary continued, "The New START Treaty represents a significant step forward in building a stable, cooperative relationship with Russia. But this Treaty is not just about Washington and Moscow. It advances the security of the entire world. By demonstrating that we are living up to our obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we enhance our credibility to convince other governments to help strengthen the international nonproliferation regime and confront proliferators.""The New START Treaty will enhance U.S. national security by stabilizing the strategic balance between the United States and the Russian Federation at lower levels of nuclear forces. The New START Treaty preserves the United States' right to determine our own force structure, giving us the flexibility to deploy and maintain our strategic nuclear forces in a way that best serves U.S. national security interests. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary and protect our allies."
Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller then provided background on the verification of the New START Treay. She said:
"New START's verification measures are designed to ensure that each Party is able to verify the other's compliance with the central limits in the Treaty, including:
"No more than 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers;
"No more than 1,550 warheads emplaced on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs and counted for deployed heavy bombers; and
"No more than 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, deployed and non-deployed SLBM launchers, and deployed and non-deployed heavy bombers.
"The obligations and prohibitions of the New START Treaty are different from those in START, reflecting lessons learned from 15 years of implementing the START Treaty. The differences also reflect the spirit of the Moscow Treaty, by permitting each Party the flexibility to determine for itself the configuration of its strategic forces at the reduced levels of delivery vehicles and deployed warheads established in this Treaty. Like START, the New START Treaty contains extensive verification provisions that promotes strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces and confidence that the Russian Federation does not exceed the Treaty's limits throughout its ten-year term."
The Assistant Secretary concluded, "I believe that the New START Treaty is in the national security interests of the United States, is the right treaty for today and the coming years, and will restore the transparency and predictability that START provided while it was in force. The combination of improved U.S. understanding of Russian strategic forces resulting from the implementation of the START Treaty, U.S. NTM capabilities, the New START Treaty's verification provisions, and a favorable posture deterring cheating or breakout, results in a New START Treaty that is effectively verifiable."
Read the Assistant Secretary's full statement here.