A good START

Read the main article, "Toward zero."

The New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia, which went into effect last February, lowers the number of permitted nuclear warheads by approximately 30 percent, to about 1,550 each. That is still too many in the minds of many disarmament advocates, but it is an important step toward further reduction of nuclear stockpiles, which during the height of the cold war numbered 30,000 weapons or more on each side.

Even more important than the reduced numbers are the treaty's provisions for renewed monitoring and inspections in each country, a process that began in April. The inspections are vital to creating mutual confidence and building trust between the nuclear establishments of these two countries, which together possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons and which must cooperate in reducing global nuclear dangers.


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