The US' arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles — ICBMs — has been reduced from 450 to 400 for the first time in a decade, when it was reduced from 500. The USAF reports that, with the latest cuts, the ICBM arsenal will be at its lowest point since the early 1960s, the height of the Cold War.
Following his election to the presidency, Trump tweeted in December that the US must "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
The US president has said he thinks the New START commitment, the limits of which both countries must meet by February 2018, is a bad deal for the US.
After entering the White House, Trump ordered the Pentagon to review US nuclear forces, a process that includes a consideration of possible withdrawal from New START, the Associated Press reported. Russia is strongly opposed to a suspension of the accord.
Experts are divided as to whether abandoning the accord would be wise for Washington. Michaela Dodge, analyst at the Heritage Foundation think tank, told AP the US should get out.
"There should be a way to reverse those decreases," she said about the most recent cuts.
But Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, pointed to Russia honoring its commitment as reason to stay in.
"It's important for the United States to stay on schedule," Kimball said, adding that Washington staying true to its word will help ensure Moscow does the same.
Critics of Trump's rhetoric say expanding the US nuclear capabilities is unnecessary and would drain funds needed in other, non-nuclear arenas.