Disarmament Diplomacy

Get Ready, Get Set...Is START II Stalled Again?

Rather than uncorking champagne bottles because of the Russian Duma's long-delayed ratification last week of the START II treaty, BILL CLINTON faces a debacle in the U.S. Senate over the accord. Reason: the Duma didn't only ratify the 1993 treaty, requiring each side to halve its strategic nuclear warheads, to 3,000 to 3,500, by the end of 2007; it also ratified a series of 1997 side agreements Washington negotiated with Moscow. They update the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty and limit any extra interceptor weapons the U.S. wants to deploy to shorter-range models that wouldn't threaten Russia.

But those side agreements still...

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