A House of Representatives task force is recommending the United States extend the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, calling the deal "highly successful" and suggesting another agreement to replace the current one.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was signed in 2010 and went into effect in 2011 with an expiration date of Feb. 5.
It limits both Russia and the United States to 1,550 nuclear warheads each, while also restricting the delivery systems for the warheads and establishing verification protocols.
"With a rapidly approaching expiration date, the United States and Russia should extend the highly successful Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) while negotiating a follow-on agreement," the Future of Defense Task Force wrote in its 87-page report released Tuesday.
The task force was empaneled last fall by the House Armed Services Committee comprised of four Democrats and four Republicans from the committee and given the mission to "review U.S. defense assets and capabilities and assess the state of the national security innovation base to meet emerging threats and ensure long-term strategic overmatch of competitors."
The New START agreement has a provision which allows it to be extended for five years without approval from either country’s legislature.
The Trump administration's arms control envoy, Marshall Billingslea, has said he is willing to urge its renewal if Moscow also agrees to a separate deal that enables China's participation in future agreements and also an expansion of the treaty to include more types of weapons, The Hill reported.
Besides recommending an extension of the nuclear arms agreement, the task force also suggested "new and creative partnerships" with nontraditional allies in Asia and Africa.
Indiana Republican Jim Banks co-chaired the task force along with Massachusetts Democrat Seth Moulton. The panel also including Democrats Susan Davis of California, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and Republicans Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Paul Mitchell of Michigan, and Michael Waltz of Florida.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.