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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 26, 1996


START II Ratification

START II will increase stability at significantly lower levels of nuclear weapons. Overall strategic nuclear forces will be reduced by an additional 5,000 warheads beyond the 9,000 warheads being reduced under START I.

The Treaty will set equal ceilings on the number of strategic nuclear weapons that can be deployed by either side.

                                   By the year 2003, each side 
     must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear 
     warheads to 3,000-3,500.  Of those, none may be on MIRVed 
     ICBMs.  Thus, all MIRVed ICBMs must be eliminated from each 
     side's deployed forces; only ICBMs carrying a single-warhead 
     will be allowed.  

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

The Treaty will allow for a reduction in the number of warheads on certain ballistic missiles. Such downloading will be permitted in a carefully constructed fashion.

In 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 heavy ICBMs.

In 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 continue to apply to the new Treaty.

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