Senate Democrats

New START Treaty – Key Facts


  • On April 8, 2010, following a year of intense negotiations, Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
  • The New START Treaty replaces the 1991 START Treaty which expired on 12/5/09.

New START limits the number of strategic offensive arms of the US and Russia (within seven years of the Treaty’s entry into force) to:

  • 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, warheads on deployed SLBMs, and nuclear warheads counted for deployed heavy bombers.
  • 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, deployed and non-deployed SLBM launchers, and deployed and non-deployed heavy bombers.
  • 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers.

The Senate has extensively reviewed and examined New START:

  • The Senate has held over 15 hearings on the Treaty and received many classified briefings.
  • The Foreign Relations Committee alone held 12 hearings and classified briefings with 21 bipartisan witnesses and received input from the Intelligence and the Armed Services Committees.
  • The Obama Administration answered over 900 questions for the record.
  • The Obama Administration provided two classified briefings for the full Senate.

The Treaty Received Bipartisan Support from the Foreign Relations Committee:

  • By a bipartisan vote of 14-4, the Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved a Resolution of Ratification with 10 conditions, 3 understandings, and 13 declarations.

The Treaty is unanimously supported by US military leadership and has been strongly endorsed by bipartisan national security leaders including:

  • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Gen. Kevin Chilton, Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, Gen. James Cartwright;
  • Former President George H.W. Bush;
  • All living former Secretaries of State, including: Condoleezza Rice, Colin L. Powell, James A. Baker III, George P. Schultz, and Henry A. Kissinger;
  • Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, James Schlesinger, Stephen Hadley, Sam Nunn, John Warner.

The Treaty will allow the US to resume inspections of Russia’s nuclear arsenal:

  • The US has not been able to conduct on-site inspections of Russian’s nuclear arsenal since 12/09, when the original START treaty expired.

The Treaty strengthens America’s national security:

  • Preserves a strong US nuclear arsenal as an effective strategic deterrent.
  • Provides stability, predictability and transparency between the two largest nuclear powers.
  • Strengthens critical non-proliferation efforts around the world.
  • Increases US ability to work with other countries to confront the nuclear ambitions of countries like Iran and North Korea.

The Lab Directors support the Administration’s plan for the US nuclear complex:

The directors of the three nuclear laboratories wrote a letter stating their support for the plan to provide $85billion over the next ten years to upgrade the nuclear weapons complex.