It is essential that the new beginning allow the United States and Russia to visually inspect each other`s nuclear capabilities. Reagan is firmly accelerating a rebuilding of U.S. defense, which began in recent years by the Carter administration, and announcing a new Strategic Defense Initiative to create a space ballistic shield against Soviet nuclear attacks. The program, which some call “Star Wars,” is causing serious concern in Soviet military circles, where a growing technological divide with the West is being felt acutely. On April 8, 2010, the United States and Russia signed New START, a legally binding and verifiable agreement that limits each side to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads, which are used on 700 strategic launchers (ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers), and limits the launchers used and unused to 800. The warhead limit responsible for the contract is 30 percent below the SORT 2200 limit and the limit for delivery vehicles is 50 percent lower than the 1,600 permits in START I. The contract has a verification system that combines elements of START I with new elements adapted to New START. Treaty measures include field inspections and exhibitions, data exchange and notifications of strategic offensive weapons and facilities under the treaty, as well as provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means of contract monitoring. The treaty also provides for the continuous exchange of telemetry data (missile test data for up to five tests per year) and does not usefully limit missile defence or conventional long-range attacks. The U.S. Senate approved New START on December 22, 2010. The approval procedure of the Russian Parliament (passage of both the Duma and the Council of the Federation) was completed on 26 January 2011. The contract came into effect on February 5, 2011 and expires in 2021, although both parties may agree to extend the contract for up to five years.

Both parties have complied with the core limits of the contract until February 5, 2018. Billingslea`s inaugural speech at the Heritage Foundation focused on China`s efforts to build its nuclear arsenal and the need for a trilateral arms control agreement.