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James Stavridis

Russia and the U.S. Need a Timeout on Nuclear Weapons

With New START about to expire, the U.S. should accept Moscow’s offer of a one-year extension.

More than enough.

More than enough.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

I’ve never sat down and negotiated a nuclear arms agreement, but I spent much of my military career acting on the decisions made at those tables. And with a landmark deal between the U.S. and Russia set to expire in a few months, the topic has a new urgency.

My first job in the Navy, at the height of the Cold War, included management of the nuclear-tipped antisubmarine rockets onboard a destroyer in the U.S. Pacific Fleet. I could see both the incredible destructive power of these tactical nukes, which were under the direct control of a captain in his late 30s, and the destabilizing effect such systems can have.