Richard Burt and Jon Wolfsthal, two long-time proponents of nuclear arms reductions, and currently the leaders of the Global Zero arms control initiative, write in The National Interest that, with the conclusion of the Muellier probe, President Trump has the opportunity to pursue the nonproliferation deal he has wanted. They write (abridged):
President Donald Trump has tweeted that he wants to prevent a dangerous and costly nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia, and prevent a new one with China, by negotiating a new three-way treaty among those nuclear states.
The president’s new interest in nuclear arms control, in part, may stem from the conclusion of the Mueller investigation. Thus, he may believe he now has some political room to work on issues of importance with Russia and possibly explore a new, historic nuclear reduction deal.
Whatever the reason, this new interest should come as welcome news.
implementing the next big idea in arms control—achieving American, Russian and Chinese nuclear limits—will neither be quick nor easy. But that does not suggest that it should not be pursued. The challenge is not with the President’s instincts in this area, but with his approach—one that can be modified to make real progress. But any serious effort along these lines needs to recognize that the first step is the extension of the existing New START treaty. Without this, all the rest probably becomes impossible. The president now has the opportunity not only to rescue nuclear arms control but to transform it. He should seize it.
Read more here.