What I found more interesting, however, was an article by a former United States Senator, a former Russian Foreign Minister, and a former German ambassador. Interesting simply because of the fact of their getting together to write such an article, and interesting for the directions it goes in:
· increasing assured warning and decision times for the launch of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles;What it does is to bring additional parties, particularly Europe and NATO, into the discussion early on. Addressing tactical and stored nukes is something that either Russia or the US will resist. So begin with issues that are more likely to find common ground. Defang the missile defense issue, a political problem in the US and a sore point for Russia after the unilateral US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
· developing cooperative missile-defense and early-warning systems;
· ensuring the highest possible standards of security for nuclear weapons and materials;
· beginning a dialogue on tactical nuclear weapons involving Russia, the US, and NATO;
· adopting a process to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into effect;
· developing international and multilateral approaches to manage the risks of fuel production for civilian nuclear power; and
· further reductions in US and Russian nuclear forces.
There's a potential in this agenda for confidence-building between Russia and NATO and for improving both Russia's and the US's standing relative to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In fact, the potential is for lots of win all around before getting to the thornier issues.