Fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust, the threats posed by the bomb still hang over us all. The next US president must pursue a nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament “stimulus plan.” It should include the following elements.
By signaling he is prepared to accelerate reductions and move US forces below the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) ceilings, the American president could induce the Kremlin to build down rather than build up its forces – and save tens of billions of dollars in the process.
With New START verification tools in place, reciprocal US-Russian cuts, including new transparency measures on tactical nuclear weapons, need not wait for a new treaty. Such actions would put pressure on China to abandon its slow increase in nuclear forces and open the door for serious multilateral disarmament discussions.