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The main nuclear worries are Russia, which is moving away from democracy, and China, a communist state. Both are building an array of new strategic missiles and warheads “with the objective of targeting the United States,” he said.

Mr. Schneider favors modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons and warns against relying too heavily on arms control agreements.

“For a century, Western nations have tried unsuccessfully to use arms control as a means of reducing the threat of war,” he said. “Yet it fails essentially 100 percent of the time because the nations that create the need for it either don´t sign the relevant treaties or ignore them if they do,” he wrote.

“The appeal of arms control is that it permits thinking noble thoughts and embracing the illusion of free, effortless security,” he said. “Yet the conceptual basis of arms control is flawed - it is analogous to the idea of fighting crime by reducing and eventually eliminating the police while signing agreements with the criminals.”

Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at