New START Treaty Implementation: Off and Running

Posted by Jerry Taylor
July 25, 2011
Joint Portrait of U.S. and Russian START Delegations

Over the course of the last two years, the United States and the Russian Federation negotiated, signed, and ratified the New START Treaty. The Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011, and the implementation of that Treaty is now well underway.

The pace of activity has been impressive. We have already exchanged 1,000 notifications on our strategic nuclear facilities and forces. This information forms the foundation of the Treaty's database, which is continuously updated by both countries through the notification process and will be exchanged every six months throughout the life of the Treaty. You can find the New START Treaty aggregate numbers of strategic offensive arms here, as of February 5, 2011, as drawn from the initial exchange of data by the Parties.

In March, the United States conducted exhibitions of its B-2A heavy bombers and the Russian Federation conducted an exhibition of its RS-24 ICBM and associated road mobile launcher. That was the first time the United States has ever had the opportunity to view this new Russian strategic system.

Beginning last April, the United States and Russia began to conduct on-site inspections, which enable each country to have "boots on the ground” and inspect each other's Treaty-related facilities associated with strategic offensive arms. So far, the United States has conducted seven inspections at Russian facilities and Russia has inspected six U.S. facilities. They have included "Type One” inspections, which are conducted at the operating bases for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and nuclear-capable heavy bombers and focus on both deployed and non-deployed strategic nuclear weapons. “Type Two” inspections, are focused on non-deployed strategic nuclear weapons and conducted at places such as storage sites, test ranges, and conversion or elimination facilities. Both the U.S. and Russia are allowed to conduct up to ten Type One inspections and eight Type Two inspection annually. You can view a map of U.S. inspection locations here.

These inspections give us valuable insight into each other's nuclear forces and create an atmosphere of predictability and stability. The successful implementation of this treaty demonstrates one of the bright spots in the U.S.-Russian relationship and is a continuation of the businesslike approach that the U.S. and Russian delegations maintained during the negotiations. There was a high degree of professionalism and expertise on both sides of the table and we and the Russians were able to work together in a very productive way. Members of the U.S. delegation came from the Department of State; the Department of Defense, including the Air Force, Navy and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; and the Department of Energy -- and we all worked together as one team.

The reset in U.S.-Russia relations is working; New START, as one of its aspects, has opened the door to deeper cooperation in ways that matter to the security of the international community.

To learn more about the New START Treaty visit



United States
July 25, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

If Fukushima and Chernobyl prove anything more than the obvious fact that nuclear reactors are inherently and unacceptably dangerous, it is that nuclear war is a mass extinction event.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, any worries about "climate change" seem trivial in comparison.

Ashim C.
July 26, 2011

Ashim C. in India writes:

It is good to note that implementation of new START is underway. As far as Russia is concerned, it must come out clearly on it's position on volatile issues like South China sea like USA has and helping confidence building processes in Asia pacific region and development of new security architecture in this region, which is as much important to South Asia as embodied in vision of SAARC as it is to ASEAN


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