President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the New START treaty in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
The last agreement limiting America’s and Russia’s nuclear arsenals is months away from expiring.
In December 2019, a secretive group of elite Americans and Russians gathered around a large square table. It was chilly outside, as Dayton, Ohio, can get in the winter, but the mood inside was just as frosty.
The 147th meeting of the Dartmouth Conference, a biannual gathering of citizens from both nations to improve ties between Washington and Moscow, had convened. Former ambassadors and military generals, journalists, business leaders, and other experts came together to discuss the core challenges to the two countries’ delicate relationship, as members had since 1960.
In recent years, that has included everything from election interference to the war in Ukraine. But now the prospect of an old…