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The Window to Extend New START Is Closing, and Fast

Mar 20, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Then-Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, left, heads for a closed session of the Senate on Dec. 20, 2010, to discuss the strategic arms treaty known as New START.

The U.S. Senate voted 71-26 on Dec. 22, 2010, to ratify New START. Then-Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, left, opposed the strategic arms treaty.

(CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images)

With the looming demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, New START remains one of the last -- and the most important -- bilateral arms control agreements still in effect between the United States and Russia. Signed in 2010, New START regulates and limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads and their delivery systems. It was built upon a relatively stable foundation of similar treaties between Moscow and Washington, and is traditionally viewed as being in better health than the long-embattled INF Treaty. However, even New START is beginning to face some significant headwinds, with the United States and Russia in disagreement over the scope of the treaty amid emerging new weapons technologies. As relations between the two great powers worsen, and the February 2021 deadline to extend the treaty closes in, there is increasingly less time -- and less room -- for compromise on a new start for New...

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