This line has been evident in the acceptance of the nato-russia permanent joint council "in exchange" for nato enlargement and in the maneuvers around Iraq in the fall of 1997 and in the early 1998. Within this paradigm, nuclear weapons are important, but are expected to back up policy rather than play an independent role. In addition to a fundamental role as a security guarantee, they also guard against uncertainties in the future: a real large-scale conflict with nato and/or deployment of a national missile defense by the United States. These views produce the perception of a rather limited role for nuclear weapons. In many respects, it is close to what Bernard Brodie wrote in 1946: The first and most vital step in any American security program for the age of atomic bombs is to take measures to guarantee to ourselves in case of attack the possibility. 12 The "minimalist" view of nuclear weapons is also in line with the views postulated in the first soviet official recognition of possession of nuclear weapons, in 1951: the tass statement declared that the purpose of soviet nuclear weapons was deterrence of nuclear war. 13 The core of this view is the ability to retaliate in case of an attack-a nuclear attack in the "classic" formulation or a large-scale conventional attack under a more recent policy. A more liberal version of the "minimalist" view was expressed by sergei kortunov: "The optimal version of Russia's nuclear strategy today is a variant of non-aggressive, non-offensive and non-provocative (one could even say 'friendly but also credible deterrence, which should be aimed not only.
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On the question of relations with the west, very few members of the russian political establishment continue to adhere to the 1992-style positive view of these relations. But the end of the "honeymoon" conceals two rather distinct interpretations of the events, past and future. Most "minimalists" say that there are no fundamental differences between Russia and the United States, but slaughter cooperation is resume difficult and sometimes impossible because the United States simply does not want. In their view, the United States often substitutes cooperation with complete acceptance of its position by russia and tends to label any disagreement as a return to the soviet/imperial policy. Examples abound, from the early disagreements on Bosnia to the continuing conflicts around nato enlargement and Iraq. More specifically, there is growing dissatisfaction with the failure of the United States to accommodate russian complaints about start i implementation. 10 According to the russian view, these problems could be solved, but the United States does not wish to; a narrower focus is on the us navy, which, some say, refuses to budge even where it is possible and necessary. A more traditional area of concern is the abm treaty: the American arguments in favor of a national missile defense are simply not taken seriously by russian experts. The agreements on demarcation of tactical and strategic defenses signed in New York in the fall of 1997 were met with wide-spread dissatisfaction as well: they are viewed as insufficient since the United States can still interpret them to allow development of tmd systems, which. 11 Some russian experts believe that a more restrictive agreement was possible, but the United States refused to accept it (of course, many us experts will not agree, but it is significant that this perception is widely spread in Russia). Still, the situation is far from critical, and patience and diplomacy are seen as the main policy tools.
It could also provide a better grasp on how various doctrines emerge. Some are likely to relate to the nature of nuclear weapons, others to the conventional balance, still others to specific weapons systems that provide new capabilities. To a large extent, the perceptions and the prescriptions regarding nuclear weapons appear to be determined by two related variables. One is the relationship with the United States and nato, another is the prospect that the United States might deploy an nmd system and yield the russian deterrent potential useless. These variables are related to the extent that the latter could be viewed as part of a "devious plan" to dominate and subjugate russia. They differ to the extent that the nmd could be conceptualized as an independent phenomenon: the United States does not harbor hostile plans toward Russia, but, regardless of intentions, the deployment of an nmd could undermine the hedge against future threats that might unexpectedly emerge. The "Minimalists back to the Classic Age of Deterrence Broadly speaking, there are two loose, ill-defined groups. One could be called the "minimalists"-those who perceive a limited role for father's nuclear weapons and favor a relatively small arsenal. Another is the "maximalists"-those who tend to assign a broad range of missions to nuclear weapons and insist that Russia needs a large arsenal.
They also noted that while the doctrine was still under development unnamed experts attempted to broaden the first-use plank. 7, a owl broader, less official approach to the use of nuclear weapons includes, for example, deterrence against "a belt of unstable, and sometimes unfriendly, states and countries, which covertly seek weapons of mass destruction. This definition embraces the majority of states to the south of Russia; it is interesting to note, however, that the recent shifts in Russia's relations with Iran and Iraq have probably weakened the perceived necessity to rely on nuclear weapons. Still, some states could be viewed as "candidates" for deterrence by nuclear weapons,. Pakistan, whose policy in Afghanistan and Central Asia is assessed in Russia as unfriendly. The disagreements within the russian elite regarding nuclear weapons rather closely mirror the debates in the United States in the end of 1960s-early 1970s database and in the 1980s between the proponents of mutual assured destruction (mad war-fighting, and war-winning approaches 9 with just one important. A comparison of the current debate in Russia to the 30-year old debate in the United States sheds additional light on its substance and the views expressed by different sides.
4, in other words, the special role of nuclear weapons is determined by their real or perceived "absolute" character. From here, it follows that nuclear weapons can compensate for Russia's inferiority in conventional armed forces relative to nato and China. The new military doctrine, which is expected to be adopted sometime in 1998, will provide for the use of nuclear weapons "in the case of an immediate threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia that has emerged as a result of an external. 5, this will be a reaffirmation of the provision of the 1993 doctrine, which, in its turn, repudiated the 1982 soviet policy of no-first-use. The 1993 first-use plank was also confirmed in the 1997 national security concept. 6, having introduced the first-use plank, however, the 1993 doctrine retained certain restrictions on the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in line with the negative guarantees provided by the soviet Union (as well as all other "legitimate" nuclear states) in connection with the. Only nuclear-weapons states and their allies can be threatened with nuclear weapons. The new, 1998 doctrine will keep these limitations together with the first-use provision: Anatoli Klimenko and Aleksandr Koltukov underlined that the 1993 document enjoyed the support of the foreign Ministry (meaning, it did not contradict international obligations) and thus it was decided to keep.
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An agreement on the criteria will determine its eventual size, structure, missions, and capabilities. This frame of reference has several important implications. The most important among them is that the approval or the rejection of start ii will not end the debate: the decision of the duma will affect the probabilities of various outcomes, but will not completely foreclose any of those. If the treaty is ratified, the option of mirving icbms will not be removed completely: Russia could still return to them, for example, if the United States deploys an nmd. On the other hand, the rejection of start ii does not automatically mean that Russia will mirv its icbms: it might still stick to that key provision. At this writing, the ratification resolution, which will be sent to the floor of the duma, is likely to espouse the first option: start ii would be subject to a review in the case the United States deploys an nmd to determine whether mirving. At the same time, the resolution will insist on even deeper reductions, a start iii treaty.
Another characteristic of the debate could be detected in frank discussions with many russian experts: the lines between various positions are not necessarily drawn according to political, ideological, or institutional boundaries. Rather, they often run within individuals: quite a few experts cannot decide on their own preferences. It would be a mistake to picture the situation in simple black and white colors, as a standoff between "liberals" and "conservatives" or between "hawks" and "doves." In this sense, the disagreements described below are relative: in some cases, they refer to whole groups, but. All sides in the debate share a number of positions, first and foremost that Russia needs nuclear weapons and that their role has increased since the end of the cold War. At a minimum, they are supposed to prevent large-scale aggression and guarantee russia's sovereignty and survival. A study of the russian Institute of Strategic Studies (risi) underscored that "humankind has not created a substitute to nuclear weapons in terms of their deterrent effect in the situations of escalating large-scale armed conflicts. This means that in the foreseeable future nuclear weapons will remain an important element of global politics despite all the 'inconveniences' related to their maintenance and the continuing debate over the actual role of nuclear weapons in preventing world wars equilibrium during the last fifty years.
Since russia lacks financial and political resources today, the full impact of current us policy will be delayed until the next decade: no matter what the United States does, russia will have to ultimately accept it, but this acceptance could be short-lived, depending on what. This means that today's reaction of the russian government to us policy is not necessarily a reliable indicator of long-term relations; the "shadow of the future" should never be absent from policy planning in either country. This paper begins with an analysis of the ongoing debate over the strategic modernization in Russia, reviews the policy of the government and the military leadership, and then proceeds to the available data on actual modernization programs. The last part will draw conclusions regarding the possible evolution of these views under various scenarios. The well-known thesis that nuclear weapons are valued in Russia because they are the last vestige of its great-power status is generally correct but hardly sufficient to explain the attention to the nuclear arsenal. Nor is it sufficient to say that nuclear weapons are a key security guarantee.
These statements yield little value in terms of predicting the size and the shape of the arsenal since they do not contain criteria by which one could judge whether the existing arsenal is sufficient, or has to be increased, or modernized, etc. Without such criteria, decision-making is virtually impossible: any decision would be arbitrary and subject to intense challenge from the opposition, both within and outside the government. Apparently, the benefits and losses resulting from the start ii treaty are not at the center of the debate, either. The impact of start ii is rather easy to calculate, and a decision would have been made earlier. Nor is the matter of funding necessarily at stake: everyone knows that Russia cannot afford to reject startiii, but this does not dissuade its opponents. Some suggest that start ii simply should not be ratified in order to keep more options open for the future, when the economic situation improves; others prefer to ratify start ii because it does not contradict what they consider the optimal future strategic posture. Rather, the debate is about the criteria by which the russian nuclear arsenal should be judged.
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Its future nuclear arsenal is likely to be small, conducive for strategic stability, and non-provocative. It might even be unnecessary for Russia to engage in a significant buildup effort in response to a us nmd system, if one is deployed. The positive outcome depends on book two conditions. One is the minimum level of funding. Without it, the strategic triad could quickly disintegrate. This would be a potentially dangerous development, since it might provoke a massive buildup once the economic situation improves and/or might increase the likelihood of an authoritarian regime that would mobilize resources to support such a buildup. Second, the transition toward the new posture is politically difficult: its proponents will remain vulnerable for at least the next five-seven years, until the new posture finally takes shape and Russia's international situation stabilizes. In this regard the us policy toward Russia will have a lasting influence on the ongoing transition.
Rather, stable nuclear balance will enable the sides to "forget' 'about those weapons; the arsenals will become useless not only for combat, but also as a political instrument. Since complete nuclear disarmament is hardly possible in the foreseeable future, putting weapons "aside relegating them to irrelevance is as close to their elimination as realistically possible. Thus, the purpose of studying strategic modernization employment is not to learn more about possible scenarios of a nuclear exchange, but rather to understand an important aspect of domestic politics in Russia and the United States and, through it, the dynamic of the future relationship between. The potentially disruptive impact of the politics of nuclear balance is demonstrated by the continuing saga of start 11 ratification in Russia. The shortcomings of start ii have already provided fertile ground for conservative/nationalist opposition and helped mobilize voters around their platform. Whether these shortcomings are militarily significant or not seems irrelevant: what counts is how the potential imbalance is used in the political games. Although the government is likely to push start ii through the parliament, 3 it might have to make concessions in other areas of the domestic political process. The materials presented in this paper suggest that the current modernization programs in Russia lean toward the second, positive alternative.
between Russia and the United States: one is negative. Some russian modernization options could undermine the stability of the nuclear balance and stimulate a launch-on-warning posture; this could be perceived in the United States as a threat, in the same fashion as the soviet arsenal was perceived as a threat in the 1970s and. It should be noted that the soviet Union never actually had a first-strike capability; the key here is the reaction of the United States and the modernization programs it adopted in response. The same option could also result from the deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system by the United States. Russia will see it as destabilizing and is likely to respond by modernization and/or buildup of its offensive forces, which, in its turn, would cause negative reaction in the United States. Given the nature of the issue, the impact on the domestic political situation in both countries is likely to be highly disruptive. The other alternative is positive. Russian strategic modernization could proceed in a stabilizing manner and facilitate eventual transition toward a pure second strike posture. The real significance of this development, however, will not be in its impact upon the nuclear balance: nuclear war is clearly not in the cards.
The treaties signed by the soviet Union/Russia and the United States (inf, start 1, start ii, 1 and lesser ones) as well as other steps, including the 1991 initiatives of Bush and Gorbachev, 2 were broadly viewed as putting an end to the nuclear arms. Accordingly, mastery of arcane nuclear war-fighting theories and the intricacies of arms control negotiations seems increasingly irrelevant. More salient issues, such as economic and political integration, ethnic conflicts, and wmd proliferation occupy the attention of policymakers and academics. But old problems do not go away quietly. The place and the role of nuclear weapons has changed, as has the nature of interest in them, but in some way they continue to be relevant. During the cold War, the threat of nuclear war seemed so great that any progress in arms control was welcome; common assignment interest in preventing war was like a locomotive, which could pull superpower relations out of crises. Today, this is no longer the case. Arms control plays a visible role in great power politics (and rightly so progress on new treaties is no longer a necessary condition for progress on other issues. To the contrary, the lack of progress or, even worse, a setback can easily disrupt broader cooperation.
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Program on New Approaches to russian Security. 6 by nikolai sokov, monterey institute for International Studies, may 1998. We thank the author and the Program on New Approaches to russian Security (ponars) for giving us an exclusive first permission to publish an electronic version of the paper. For more information on the author, the working paper series or the program, please contact: Program on New Approaches to russian Security (ponars). Davis Center for Russian Studies * Harvard University 1737 Cambridge Street * Cambridge ma, 02138 phone: fax: email: website: ponars is funded by the Program on Preventing deadly conflict of the carnegie corporation of New York. The views expressed in this working paper are those of the author alone-publication in this series does not imply endorsement by ponars, harvard University, or Carnegie corporation. Contents, modernization of strategic weapons belongs to what some call the "traditional agenda" of security studies, an area of research whose popularity has plummeted with the passing of the cold War.