Even the most limited US national missile defense would further tax Russia's deterrent capabilities, increasing the temptation to retain MIRVed ICBMs.
It would appear risky, however, for the United States to adopt a policy of permitting Russia to build new MIRVed ICBMs, an option that was reportedly under consideration in the Department of Defense.
A Russian strategy based upon retention of its current MIRVed ICBMs would also be risky.
But that approach would surely lead Russia to extend the service life of its MIRVed ICBMs as long as possible, and a trend toward significant US dominance could tempt Russia to take bolder military risks in the near term for fear that it would otherwise face a losing war in the future.
France's M-4 SLBM reportedly carries up to six MIRVed
Bush, Baker, and Scowcroft agreed on a proposal for a complete ban on MIRVed ICBMs, which would preclude deployment of the MX, while allowing the SICBM to be developed.
Baker and Scowcroft were clearly the key elements of that confidence structure, but Cheney was allowed to scuttle the proposal for a ban on MIRVed ICBMs.
It also calls for elimination of all MIRVed
ICBMs, an important contribution to strategic stability, because this would eliminate the most potent and potentially vulnerable systems of each side's nuclear arsenal.
This latest agreement culminated in something American policy makers had wanted for years: elimination of all MIRVed ICBMs including the dreaded SS18.
27) Also, elimination of heavy and MIRVed ICBMs was formalized.
Removal of MIRVed ICBMs, especially the SS-18s, from the nuclear balance improves America's second-strike capability.
The most destabilizing of the systems were the highly MIRVed
, land-based, fixed ICBMs.