A new report by my organization, "Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play," shows that pockets of progress on nuclear security, nonproliferation and disarmament are overshadowed by the drag of historical inertia on nuclear weapons programs, arsenals, doctrines and deployments.

In their fifth joint article in the Wall Street Journal (March 6), Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry and George Shultz focus on four issues: nuclear security, followup actions after the new Russia-U.S. START accord, a new verification and transparency initiative, and taking nuclear warheads off high alert levels.

The security environment of the 21st century is starkly different, but U.S. and Russian nuclear force postures are still trapped in the old Cold War paradigm. Immobilized by historical inertia, they maintain nearly 2,000 nuclear warheads ready to launch within minutes.