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In the last 50 years, the United States and Soviet Union/Russia have pursued arms control negotiations and signed numerous treaties in an effort to restrain and reduce the number and capabilities of their nuclear weapons. However, the recent collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the possible expiration of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2021 may signal the end to treaty-based limits. This raises questions about the future form and content of bilateral nuclear arms control. While near-term questions focus on whether the United States and Russia can salvage the benefits of these two treaties and, possibly, expand them to include more types of weapons and additional countries, longer-term questions are less specific. Does the past bilateral arms control process represent more than just an effort to negotiate legally binding treaties that limit or reduce nuclear weapons? Can the United States and Russia pursue agreements and cooperate in reducing weapons if they cannot conclude the process by signing formal agreements? Can they maintain stability, exhibit restraint, and reduce the risk of war if the era of arms control treaties has ended? Can this new era of arms control expand to address concerns about new types of weapons and the risks posed by a greater number of countries?
Speaker's Biography: Amy F. Woolf is a Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. She provides Congress with information and expert analysis on issues related to U.S. and Russian nuclear forces and arms control. She has authored many studies on these issues and has spoken often, outside Capitol Hill, about Congressional views on arms control and U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Ms. Woolf received a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University.