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Institute for Policy Studies

Report Info

  • Released April 3, 2008
Nuclear Policy » Report

The Unfinished Business of Nuclear Disarmament

Coming to terms with nuclear weapons in 2009.

The legacy of the Cold War nuclear arms race remains a danger to the world. The United States and Russia are still possess tens of thousands of intact nuclear warheads with no clear plans for their dismantlement. Meanwhile, efforts to control the global spread of nuclear weapons are being undermined by the radical Bush Administration policy authorizing preemptive nuclear attacks against nations that may be seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Both Republican and Democratic Congresses have consistently rejected proposals to design and build new nuclear weapons.  Also, Congress has convened two separate panels to conduct a "Nuclear Posture Review" that outlines future nuclear weapons policies. There appears to be growing sentiment, particularly among House members of the Armed Services Committee in reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to 500 active and 500 reserve weapons.

The only verifiable nuclear arms agreement still in  force is the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). However, The expiration of the START I Treaty in 2009 will become an important benchmark for the future of nuclear arms reductions.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2010 provides an important opportunity for the United States to take bold steps in reducing nuclear arms.

Restructuring the U.S. government’s programs will be required to meet NPT policy goals.