Ironically, it was the invention of thermonuclear weapons that gave impetus to the first real arms control agreement, the Treaty on the Limited Ban on Testing. Public concern about the already acute consequences of the tests has intensified with the spectacular tests of these much more destructive weapons, especially the American Bravo series. Public protests and pressure to end testing intensified, but it took eight years, some very difficult negotiations, and the joint efforts of two US presidents, before a Soviet proposal for a stand-alone ban on testing, first introduced in 1955, became the pioneering 1963 treaty, which banned all tests in the atmosphere. oceans and space. Ironically, the Gorbachev phenomenon had two opposite effects on arms control. New Soviet attitudes and proposals facilitate arms control, but they also reduce the public sense of urgency of strategic weapons. Gorbachev has moved west, but audit and trust issues are a little easier to manage in the current climate. The Soviet Union has become more open, so that even Western delegations can visit and photograph up close places that the Americans had only photographed in space miles away. The Second World War, which claimed between 40 and 50 million lives, was by far the bloodiest conflict in human history. The end of the peaceful phase of the war marked the nuclear era when the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Two of the victorious countries, the United States and the Soviet Union, quickly began to develop large nuclear weapons arsenals. The possibility of mutual destruction of each country by the other in the context of an intercontinental exchange of nuclear missiles has led them to increasingly serious negotiations to limit first the tests, then the use and finally the possession of these weapons. A forerunner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established in 1957 as an autonomous intergovernmental body, under the auspices of the United Nations, to promote the peaceful use of nuclear technology and to prevent the use of nuclear technology for military purposes; In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty, signed by 12 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union, internationalized and demilitarized Antarctica and paved the way for future arms control agreements between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Many Cold War arms control agreements have focused on mutual deterrence, a strategy in which the threat of retaliation would effectively eliminate a first attack. 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.