In a Fox News piece on the refusal of Russia to continue negotiations on the mutual inspection clause of the current New START treaty that purports to limit the size of the Russian and American nuclear arsenals, there was this from Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl Kimball regarding the breakdown:
If there’s not a negotiation on some sort of replacement treaty, there will be no agreement for the first time since 1972 that limits the world’s two largest nuclear superpowers arsenals[.]
Kimball is ignoring—worse, President Joe Biden (D), his Secretary of State, and his Secretary of Defense are ignoring—the absence of the world’s third largest nuclear superpower in any sort of nuclear arms control negotiation.
If the People’s Republic of China, which is expanding its nuclear arsenal and modernizing with state-of-the-art equipment its delivery systems for that arsenal, is not an active and good faith participant in any such negotiation, than any arms limitation treaty between the US and Russia will amount only to the US’ unilateral disarmament relative to the PRC—and relative to Russia, which is rapidly becoming economically dependent on the PRC and which can rely on it in any nuclear war.
That growing disparity in military capability between the US and the PRC, keep in mind, comes against the backdrop of PRC President Xi Jinping’s avowed goal of “supplanting” the US as the sole world power.
We need to accept Russia’s decision, via its current refusal, to begin a new arms race. It’s a race that our survival as a free and independent actor in the world depends on winning, and it’s a race that we can win with our—so far—economic and technological superiority, just as we did vis-à-vis the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The time is now, though, to join and to push that race—the PRC already has been in it for lots of years, and that nation is far more economically and technologically capable than the USSR ever was.