Today, the Arms Control Association, along with Heinrich Böll Stiftung, is hosting a conference on “Next Steps in Arms Control: Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense, and NATO” at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC.
Arms Control Now will feature some of the conference’s highlights.
So far, one of the major topics has been the broader state of the US-Russian bilateral relationship. In the first panel, Ambassador Richard Burt was especially direct on this point. He noted that over the past two years, Presidents Obama and Medvedev have built a very close working relationship, meeting 18 times and discussing topics that include but also go far beyond arms control. However, he argues that this process would be deeply endangered if the Senate rejected New START; in his words, “I don’t think the reset process can survive the non-ratification of New START.” He warned that this would only strengthen the hand of those in Russia of those who are more nationalistic and hostile to the West, a development in direct opposition to U.S. interests.