A good day for reality-based foreign policy. A small step back from the abyss. From the Miami Herald…
The New START Treaty would restrict the U.S. and Russia at the end of a seven-year period to deploying no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads on 700 strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles.
That would be about a 30 percent drop from the 2,200 limit set in a 2002 treaty that’s due to expire at the end of 2012. The new treaty will also permit the two nations to resume inspections of each other’s nuclear weapons, which have been suspended for just over a year, a gap that worries U.S. intelligence officials.
A new inspection system agreed on in the treaty will be more intrusive than the regime that ended last year. Among other measures, U.S. and Russian experts will be allowed for the first time to look inside the other’s missiles and count the actual number of warheads they carry, rather than accept agreed-upon assumptions as they did before.
The Doomsday Clock stands at six minutes to midnight. Let’s move it back in 2011.