Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons Updated July 15, 2021 Congressional Research Service



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CRS RL32572 Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons-2020
CRS RL32572 Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons-2020
Increase Transparency
Many analysts have argued that the United States and Russia should, at a minimum, provide each other with information about their numbers of nonstrategic nuclear weapons and the status (i.e., deployed, stored, or awaiting dismantlement) of those weapons. According to one such article, a crucial first step ... would be to ... agree on total transparency, verification, and the right to monitor changes and movement of the arsenal Such information might help each side to monitor the other’s progress in complying with the PNIs; it could also help resolve questions and
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Jay Solomon, Julian E. Barnes, and Alastair Gale, “ North Korea Warned Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2013.
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Fora discussion of the possible politics of the concerns about this issue, see Hans M. Kristensen, Non-Strategic
Nuclear Weapons, Federation of American Scientists, Special Report No. 3, Washington, DC, May 2012, pp. 40 -41, http://www.fas.org/_docs/Non_Strategic_Nuclear_Weapons.pdf.
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Catherine M. Kelleher and Scott L. Warren Getting to Zero Starts Here Tactical Nuclear Weapons Arm s Control
Today, October 2009, p. 11.


Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Congressional Research Service
41 concerns that might come up about the status of these weapons or their vulnerability to theft or misuse. The United States and Russia have discussed transparency measures for nuclear weapons in the past, in a separate forum in the early sand as apart of their discussions of the framework fora START III Treaty in the late s. They failed to reach agreement on either occasion. Russia, in particular, has seemed unwilling to provide even basic information about its stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear weapons. Some in the United States resisted as well, arguing that public discussions about the numbers and locations of US. nuclear weapons in Europe could increase pressure on the United States to withdraw these weapons. After NATO completed its new Strategic Concept in 2010 and Deterrence and Defense Posture Review in 2012, many experts recognized that NATO was unlikely to approve reductions in US. nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe unless Russia agreed to similar reductions. As a result, in recent years, some again argued that NATO and Russia should focus on transparency and confidence-building measures as away to ease concerns and build cooperation, before they seek to negotiate actual limits or reductions in nonstrategic nuclear weapons. They could begin, for example, with discussions about which types of weapons to include in the negotiation and what type of data to exchange on these weapons. Some have suggested, in addition, that the two nations could exchange information on the locations of storage facilities that no longer house these weapons, as away to begin the process of building confidence and understanding. Those who support this approach argue that it would serve well as a first step, and could eventually lead to limits or reductions. Others, however, believe these talks might serve as a distraction, and, if the United States and Russia get bogged down in these details, they may never negotiate limits or reductions. Moreover, Russian officials seem equally as uninterested in transparency negotiations as they are in reductions at this time.

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