Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller for Arms Control and International Security today said the New START Treaty bolsters U.S. national security every day.
The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5th of 2011.
On the Treaty’s first birthday, February 5, 2012, the process so far has been positive and pragmatic. The good working relationship both countries established during the negotiations in Geneva continues today.
In her remarks at the Global Zero Conference, Ms. Gottemoeller said nuclear weapons are a danger that the young generation has inherited.
She stresses that it is absolutely imperative that all must understand both how the world move to “zero” nuclear weapons.
She states that the United States and the Russian Federation recently conducted joint surprise inspections under the Antarctica Treaty.
“It is this kind of cooperation that builds the trust, the respect and the strong relationships that will move us towards our goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She cites that it is now almost 3 years ago that President Obama made his now-famous speech in Prague. She says it was not a rhetorical gesture.
“The Prague Agenda is a step by step path to nuclear elimination.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She reports that for the first two years of her service in the Administration, she worked on one step in that path of the New START Treaty.
She cites both the United States and Russia are benefitting from the enhanced predictability it provides, which in turn enhances national security for both nations.
“New START was just the beginning. Going forward, we know that we are going to have to think bigger and bolder. With this is mind, I have been travelling to different universities to talk through some new ideas.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
At the Conference, Ms. Gottemoeller also discussed tools at U.S. disposal to get to “zero” on elimination of nuclear weapons.
“As we look to the next steps in reductions, it is clear that we are entering unknown terrain. We have not tried to limit non-deployed or non-strategic weapons before, which President Obama called for the day he signed New START.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She states getting to zero is going to take time and heavy effort. She states there can be no shortcuts. She adds the United States and Russia still have a lot of work to do, as together they still control over 90% of the world’s nuclear stockpile.
She notes that proliferation and nuclear terrorism continue to be a grave security threat.
“So what’s in our toolbox to help us get to zero? We have many tools at our disposal the key is to use them in a cohesive way.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She cites formal negotiations and treaties are necessary for the implementation process. She states that negotiated agreements must fit together with each Party’s national system of laws.
She stresses that negotiations can be time-consuming, but conducting diplomacy has changed in the 21st century.
“But to get to zero, we will have to work on multiple fronts to build mutual confidence and predictability and a level of cooperation that is nowhere near the situation we have today.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
United States has made it clear that it is committed to continuing a step-by-step process to reduce the overall number of nuclear weapons, including the pursuit of a future agreement with Russia for broad reductions in all categories of nuclear weapons – strategic, non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed.