While Russia has done enough to comply with the New START treaty so far, the country’s approach to other treaties and continued emphasis on its arsenal is “problematic,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of US Strategic Command. The US has had ample access through New START to review Russia’s nuclear arsenal, including conducting Open Skies flights and 18 inspections each year, said Haney on March 11 at an Air Force Association-, National Defense Industry Association-, and Reserve Officer Association-sponsored symposium in Silverdale, Wash. “That transparency is important, inspections are important,” he added. While Russia has kept with New START, it has not kept with demands of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which requires Russia to eliminate medium- to short-range weapons, Haney said. Russia has also been focused on keeping its arsenal updated, and especially keeping it “mobile” and not in fixed sites. “The world’s gone mobile and gone underground,” Haney said, emphasizing that the US needs to “maintain strategic stability.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.