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Diplomacy in Action

Sidebar on Global Security -- Nuclear Nonproliferation

Bureau of Resource Management
November 15, 2010


“By upholding our own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities.”

President Barack Obama

Consistent with the UN Secretary General’s call to pursue nuclear disarmament through agreement on a framework of separate, mutually reinforcing instruments, Secretary of State Clinton has led the U.S. engagement in strengthening the pillars of the nonproliferation regime — nuclear disarmament, access to civilian nuclear energy, and nonproliferation.


The New START Treaty with Russia advances the goal of bolstering the nuclear nonproliferation regime through further reductions in deployed strategic nuclear warheads by both nations. New START’s verifiable reduction of deployed strategic nuclear warheads by the world’s two largest nuclear powers reflects the U.S. commitment to take concrete steps toward nuclear disarmament.

Mutual, Verifiable Weapons Limits:

  • Warheads Deployed on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and Counted for Deployed Heavy Bombers – 1,550
  • Deployed and Non-Deployed ICBM and SLBM Launchers and Heavy Bombers – 800
  • Deployed Strategic Ballistic Missiles and Heavy Bombers – 700

Nuclear Posture Review

The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reduces the role of U.S. nuclear weapons, provides a strategy for a reduction in their number, and provides negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations. As the only legally binding agreement that provides a global barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons, the NPT is the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime. It enhances the security of every State as well as global and regional security. The inter-related, interdependent objectives of the NPT are to:

  • Prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism
  • Reduce the role of nuclear weapons
  • Maintain effective strategic deterrence and stability at lower nuclear force levels
  • Strengthen reassurance of U.S. allies and partners
  • Sustain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal

Nuclear Security Summit

Photo showing President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signing the New START Treaty in Prague, April 8, 2010.

President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signing New START Treaty in Prague, April 8, 2010. ©AP Image

The Nuclear Security Summit highlighted agreement among 47 governments on the critical importance of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists.

  • The leaders of 47 nations advanced a common approach and commitment to nuclear security.
  • The Summit reinforced the principle that all States are responsible for ensuring the best security of their materials.
  • The Summit Communiqué strengthened nuclear security and reduced the threat of nuclear terrorism.

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