Russia’s nuclear forces are expected to drop well below 500 offensive strategic delivery vehicles within the next five years, less than one-third of what’s permitted by the 1991 START treaty. Unless the next U.S. Nuclear Posture Review significantly reduces the number of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, that single leg of the U.S. Triad of nuclear forces alone could soon include more delivery vehicles than the entire Russian strategic arsenal of land- and sea-based ballistic missiles and long-range bombers. With this in mind, Russia is MIRVing its ballistic missile to keep some level of parity with the United States.
This and more from a briefing I gave this morning at the Arms Control Association meeting Next Steps in U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Reductions. I was in good company with Ambassador Linton Brooks, the former U.S. chief negotiator on the START treaty, who spoke about the key issues and challenges the START follow-on negotiators will face, and Greg Thielmann, formerly senior professional staffer of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who discussed how the a new agreement might be verified through START-style verification tools.Download: Briefing on US-Russian Nuclear Forces