This threat to “upload” extra warheads onto missiles is like playing chess without thinking even a single move ahead.
The pursuit of added “leverage” seems like an effort to club the other side into submission, not to bargain. That the threat of upload is unlikely to provide that leverage is just the cherry on top.
One could be forgiven for suspecting that the real point is to undo post-Cold War restraints on nuclear posture, regardless of how Russia might respond.
Strategic nuclear arms control treaties usually take years to hammer out. If this admin were serious about it, they could offer an unconditional extension of New START ending in 2024 and, assuming a second term, get to work.
But if they were serious, they wouldn’t have waited until the last moment. A follow-on treaty might have been hammered out by now.
But if the real point is not to have arms control at all, this approach makes more sense. What nuclear arms racing stands to accomplish - why it appeals to this administration - is a conversation for another time. (end)
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