22 Jeffrey Lewis, „Russia and the United States Should Resume Data Exchanges on Nuclear-Armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missiles“ in James M. Acton, ed., „Beyond Treaties: Immediate Steps to Reduce Nuclear Dangers,“ Policy Outlook, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 10, 2012, 4-5, carnegieendowment.org/files/beyond_treaties.pdf. An expanded version of this proposal, including non-nuclear SLCMs and SLBGMs, will be published by the authors of this paper at the end of 2020. Senator Bob Menendez, the chief Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed the decision to extend New START, but said it was „only temporary assistance that does not solve the critical arms control problems facing our nation today.“ In his statement, Menendez said the impact of the freeze on nuclear warheads will not be clear if the Trump administration is unable to verify Russia`s compliance. Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had reached a deal well below the Trump administration`s initial demands, including his insistence that China be part of a new treaty. On September 27, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced that the United States would withdraw virtually all tactical (non-strategic) U.S. nuclear forces to allow Russia to take similar actions, thereby reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation when the Soviet Union was dissolved. In particular, Bush said the United States would eliminate all of its nuclear artillery grenades and short-range missile warheads and remove all non-strategic nuclear warheads from surface ships, assault submarines and land navy aircraft. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev responded on 5 October to eliminate all nuclear artillery munitions, nuclear warheads for tactical missiles and nuclear landmines. He also promised to withdraw all Soviet tactical nuclear weapons from the navy.
As part of these initiatives, the United States and Russia have reduced their non-strategic stockpiles by about 5,000 or 13,000 explosive warheads. However, important questions remain as to the implementation of Russian commitments by Russia and the current state of Russian tactical forces is highly uncertain. The Ministry of Defense estimates that Russia has about 2,000 non-strategic nuclear weapons and that the number is increasing. The United States maintains several hundred non-strategic B61 gravity bombs for delivery by short-range combat aircraft. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), first proposed in the early 1980s by President Ronald Reagan and finally signed in July 1991, forced the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce their strategic arsenals to 1,600 delivery vehicles, which carried no more than 6,000 warheads in accordance with the rules of the agreement. The agreement required the destruction of surplus delivery vehicles, which were verified through an intrusive control system including on-site inspections, regular exchanges of information (including telemetry) and the use of national technical means (e.g. satellites). The entry into force of the agreement was delayed for several years due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent efforts to de-incarcerate Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, returning their nuclear weapons to Russia and making it part of the non-proliferation and launch I agreements.