Originally when the New START treaty was drafted critics said it would allow for Russia to increase the amount of nuclear warheads. These critics were labeled as fear-mongers. Now a report from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (May 2011) has confirmed these concerns. The report, authored by old school nuclear pros Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, draws some interesting conclusions. Kristensen and Norris are such heavy hitters in the nuclear field they should have atomic groupies. But more than likely they own Fleshlights. Click image for report; bullet points below
- Russia’s total inventory is 11,000 warheads
- New START does not place any restrictions on stockpile size (stockpile can increase)
- Only strategically deployed warheads will be withdrawn
- Reserves the right to use nukes in retaliation according to new doctrine from 2010
- Retaliatory action can be used if their allies are threatened (Hello Iran)
A reduction of the strategically deployed missiles may be a victory in political circles. But that crowd seems to lack the ability to think beyond their talking points. They (Russia) can increase their “solid state” fueled missiles. Think of the space shuttle; the boosters are solid state fuel. Once that baby is in place and is ignited its gone. Taking some of these off line only pushes back a launch of nukes by an hour or so; to get them in place.
The only saving grace in this whole story has nothing to do with START. The unsuccessful, and slow, development of the new class of submarine deployed nuclear missiles has been the biggest impediment on the arsenal. This is a result of Russia’s poor engineering; not a product of any treaty. As matter of fact we witnessed this failure when President Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize. That crazy light show over Oslo was a failed Russian submarine nuke launch from the Barents Sea. It was the new Bulava class missile fired from the Dmitrii Donskoi.