Every Nuclear Agreement Involving The United States
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Every Nuclear Agreement Involving The United States

Nuclear disarmament has been a topic of public debate and concern since the atom was first split in 1945. Various nuclear agreements have attempted to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons in the world and the United States has played a pivotal role in arms reduction. The US stance on nuclear weapons is always changing in response to current events and international relations. Over the course of many decades, the United States has joined and dropped out of a multitude of treaties and agreements. 

United States nuclear protocol, and the protocol of other countries with nuclear capability, is a topic of international concern. Nuclear weapons are incredibly destructive forces, so the status of which countries are building them and for what purposes is always relevant. There are various debates surrounding the hot button issue. How transparent should countries be in regards to weapon manufacturing? Are nuclear weapons necessary for national security? Regardless of your personal opinions on the matter, it's important to be informed about the issues. If you're interested in learning America's current stance, browse this list.

  • Iran Nuclear Deal

    When It Was Signed: 2015

    Other Countries Involved: UK, France, China, Russia Germany, and Iran 

    What It Does: The agreement involves Iran limiting its nuclear activities and allowing international inspectors to view its facilities in return for lifting economic sanctions on the country.

    In 2018, the Trump administration decided to pull America out of the deal, leaving the remaining countries in limbo. It appears that the remaining countries will still honor the agreement.

    Source: 1, 2

  • Interim Agreement on Offensive Arms

    When It Was Signed: 2010, went into effect in 2011 

    Other Countries Involved: Russia 

    What It Does: Along with other stipulations, the New Start Treaty states the United States and Russia can only deploy 1,550 strategic warheads each year, including bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. 

    The Start Treaty is valid for 10 years with an option to extend for no more than five years.


  • Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty

    When It Was Signed: May 24, 2002

    Other Countries Involved: Russia 

    What It Does: The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) included several obligations including limiting nuclear warheads to no more than 1,700 to 2,200 for each Party by 2012. It also stipulated the parties would meet at least twice a year to discuss the treaty and how the conditions were being implemented. 

    The treaty ended in 2012 as scheduled.
  • Agreed Framework

    When It Was Signed: October 21, 1994

    Other Countries Involved: North Korea

    What It Does: The treaty required North Korea to freeze its reactors while being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In return, the US agreed to provide 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil annually.

    This treaty is still in effect.


  • Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)

    When It Was Signed: 1991

    Other Countries Involved: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine

    What It Does: The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) limited the number of delivery vehicles the parties could have to 1,600 and the number of warheads to 6,000. Sub-limits on specific missile types were also implemented. 

    This treaty expired in 2009.


  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

    When It Was Signed: December 8, 1987

    Other Countries Involved: Soviet Union 

    What It Does: This wide ranging treaty covered many factors, including the elimination of the intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. It also calls for the elimination of any support structures for such missiles. 

    The treaty survived the fall of the Soviet Union and is still in effect. However, it is believed that Russia allegedly deployed a secret ground-launched intermediate range cruise missile, which is in violation. Russia denies the allegation and has vowed to honor the INF Treaty.