The Future Nuclear Arms Control Agenda and Its Potential Implications for the Air Force
AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLORADO SPRINGS CO COLORADO SPRINGS United States
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Soon after his first inauguration, President Barack Obama in April 2009 in Prague, Czech Republic affirmed Americas commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Since the Prague Speech, support for nuclear arms control has been a core component of the Administrations national security policy. The purpose of this paper is two-fold to consider the future nuclear arms control agenda during the closing years of the Obama Administration near-term, under the next U.S. president medium-term, and to 2021 when U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control under New START needs to be extended temporarily, replaced, or allowed to expire longer-term and to explore the implications of that evolving agenda for the Air Force. It is divided into three main sections. First, the paper sets out todays arms control context. These shaping factors will help to define future arms control challenges as well as opportunities.Second, against the background of that arms control context, the main body of the paper then explores possible arms control developments, challenges, and future initiatives across a comprehensive set of arms control domains. These domains include not only traditional bilateral U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control negotiations but also other areas such as U.S.-China strategic engagement the just-concluded 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty NPT Review Conference the P-5 Process proposed national and international verification initiatives and multilateral nuclear arms control. In each domain, possible wild cards that could lead to arms control discontinuities are identified.