What will Biden do with the nuclear issue?

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Joe Biden has only been at work for three days and has already started negotiations in several areas. One of them is that of atomic weaponry. Biden has announced plans to extend the New START treaty for five years, which limits the number of nuclear warheads the United States and Russia are allowed to own.

This treaty is at the heart of the American military system. It is an important piece of American foreign policy. How indeed can the American government convince other countries not to develop a nuclear arsenal if it itself manufactures more and more nuclear weapons? How can he convince countries like China that the United States is not a threat to them?

1. What is the New START?

The New START was signed in 2010 by Russia and the United States. In line with other major nuclear agreements signed between the two countries, the New START aims to reduce the stock of nuclear bombs that each State has. According to the provisions of the treaty, the number of nuclear warheads is expected to decrease to 1,550 on each side. This is far from the 50,000 nuclear warheads and more that each country had in the 1970s. But it would be illusory to believe that the two powers will one day dispose of all their nuclear bombs. Or, other even more formidable weapons will have been developed.

2. Why do the United States and Russia want to decrease their stockpile of nuclear bombs?

The reduction in the stock of nuclear weapons achieves several objectives which have nothing to do with building a more peaceful world. The limitation of nuclear weapons responds first of all to budgetary objectives. Atomic weapons are expensive to manufacture and to maintain. Second, new technologies are making nuclear missiles more precise and more destructive. You don’t need to own as many as before. Finally, public opinion is happy to see that the number of nuclear bombs is decreasing, and governments like to satisfy their public opinion.

3. How can such a treaty help American foreign policy?

By decreasing its own stocks of nuclear bombs, the United States is sending a positive signal to countries like Iran, North Korea and China. This reduction in itself will not push these states to give up atomic weapons. But it could slow down the rate of production or development of their respective nuclear arsenals. This is already progress. Such a decrease also increases the coherence of the foreign policy of the United States.

4. Could the TIAN treaty, which bans all nuclear bombs, one day be signed by the United States?

This treatise is very naive. It prohibits the development, acquisition or stockpiling of nuclear weapons. The TIAN came into effect on Friday because 50 states have ratified it. But hardly any large state has signed it. Most of the states that have signed and ratified it are micro-states or states that do not have the industrial base required to develop atomic weaponry. Canada has not signed it, neither Australia, nor Japan, nor most of the European states or the Near and Middle East.

5. Is the increase in nuclear powers inexorable?

Unfortunately yes. Nuclear weaponry is an old technology that is fairly easy to access, and the states that have this weaponry are more respected than others.

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