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Start II Treaty Summary

The START II Treaty and the START II Protocol will increase stability at significantly lower levels of nuclear weapons. Together, U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces will be reduced by an additional 5,000 warheads beyond the 9,000 warheads being reduced under START I. The Treaty sets equal ceilings on the number of strategic nuclear weapons that can be deployed by either side.

- By December 31, 2007, each side must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,000-3,500.

- All MIRVed ICBMs must be eliminated from each side's deployed forces; only ICBMs carrying a single warhead will be allowed.

- The U.S. and Russia have also agreed to deactivate by December 31, 2003, all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles which under the START II Treaty and Protocol will be eliminated by December 31, 2007.

- No more than 1,700-1,750 deployed warheads may be on SLBMs. There is no prohibition on MIRVed SLBMs.

- The Treaty allows for a reduction in the number of warheads on certain ballistic missiles. Such "downloading" is permitted in a carefully constructed fashion.

- Under START II, the Russians have agreed to eliminate all SS-18 missiles, both deployed and non-deployed. This fully achieves a long-standing U.S. goal, the complete elimination of MIRVed heavy ICBMs.

- Under START II, heavy bombers will be counted using the number of nuclear weapons -- whether long-range nuclear ALCMs, short-range missiles or gravity bombs -- for which they are actually equipped.

The comprehensive START I verification regime will apply to the START II Treaty and will be augmented in certain areas.


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