The End of Arms Control?

The End of Arms Control?


On February 5, 2026, the NEW START Treaty, the last Nuclear Arms Control Treaty between the United States and Russia is set to expire. History shows that arms control negotiations take years if not decades to conclude, and the recent breakdown between Russian and American negotiations indicates New START is running out of time for renewal. Considering Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West after the invasion of Ukraine and its economic shift toward Eurasia, it is uncertain whether this agreement will be renewed. In the era of strategic competition with major powers, the United States may find it necessary to restart the nuclear arms race because it is not dealing with a bipolar struggle of Russia versus the West but a multipolar world of nuclear powers. 
America’s allies in the Middle East and East Asia rely on the nuclear umbrella the U.S. provides for security, but they are being threatened by emerging nuclear powers like Iran and North Korea. Additionally, China, which has never agreed to arms limitation, is building up its nu …

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