A bipartisan congressional working group has recommended an extension of START III, the last major US-Russia nuclear arms treaty in force, which expires in February.
The recommendation is contained in the final report of the Future of Defense Working Group, which was composed of eight members of the House Armed Services Committee and was tasked with examining a long-term strategy for countering emerging threats.
“With its rapidly approaching end of its term, the United States and Russia must renew the highly successful Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 3) while negotiating a follow-up agreement,” reads an 87-page report released Tuesday the results of the year of work.
In accordance with START-3, the number of deployed nuclear warheads by Russia and the United States cannot exceed 1,550 on each side. He also set limits on the deployment of warhead delivery systems and created a verification regime.
The report notes that START III remains the last treaty to restrict US and Russian nuclear arsenals after the Trump administration withdrew from a separate Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019.
“Its expiration at a time when China and North Korea (and possibly Iran) are building up their nuclear capabilities and arsenals will send a harmful signal to both opponents and partners, and further undermine the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.” the document says.
The working group was chaired by Democrat Seth Molton and Republican Jim Banks.
“America needs a plan to counter the dual threat of Russian aggression and the rise of China,” Molton said. – This is the main thing. This is the first time both parties in Congress have agreed on how to move forward, and we can go that route regardless of the November election results. ”
In a separate statement, Banks noted that the report “details a vision for the future of defense, in particular a smart nationwide strategy to respond to China’s rise.”
“I will devote the rest of my career to the House Armed Services Committee to bring it to fruition,” said the congressman.