WASHINGTON, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has in the past six months increased its deployed nuclear forces and is moving slowly to implement the New START nuclear disarmament treaty even as Russia cuts its own forces well beyond treaty limits, according to fresh official data and experts.
It is the first time the United States increased its deployed forces in a six-month counting period since the new treaty went into effect in Feb. 2011 and helps illustrate slow US implementation of the pact, the respected Federation of American Scientists (FAS) said in a blog post this week on its website.
“In a truly bizarre twist, US lawmakers and others opposing additional nuclear reductions by the Obama administration could end up help providing [sic] the excuse for the very Russia nuclear modernization they warn against,” the article stated.
The New START Treaty was signed by US President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010 and was held up by both sides as the centerpiece of their vaunted campaign to “reset” rocky US-Russian relations. Hawkish US lawmakers have criticized Obama for signing the pact.
The US increase in deployed nuclear forces for the latest six-month counting period was an “anomaly” probably due to fluctuations in the number of missiles onboard ballistic missile submarines and does not mean the United States has begun building ups its nuclear forces, the FAS article noted.
But the disparity in the way the two sides are implementing the New START Treaty points to a glaring gap in their deployed air-, land- and sea-based nuclear weapons and is in itself a cause of concern, it said.
Based on the latest data, the United States is currently counted with 336 deployed nuclear launchers more than Russia, while Russia is already 227 deployed missiles and bombers below the 700 limit established by the treaty for 2018, the article stated.
“For most people this might not matter much and even sound a little Cold War’ish. But for military planners who have to entertain potential worst-case threat scenarios, the growing missile-warhead disparity between the two countries is of increasing concern,” it added.
The Federation of American Scientists describes itself as a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1945 by many of the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project of research and development that resulted in production of the world’s first nuclear bomb.