The United States and Russia failed to reach a new arms control agreement as the START 1 pact expired earlier this month. The two governments remain committed to a new agreement; reportedly only a few issues kept negotiators from meeting the Dec. 5 deadline.

It is important that they succeed. Any treaty that cuts the number of nuclear weapons is a good one, as is the signal it will send to the rest of the world: The possessors of the two largest nuclear stockpiles are making good on their commitment to nuclear disarmament, which will provide momentum for broader multilateral efforts when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) begins next year.

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