Russia, the United States and Nuclear Proliferation. Number 30
ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY ARLINGTON VA INST OF LAND WARFARE
Pagination or Media Count:
The Cold Wars end presents both challenges and opportunities to American and Russian defense establishments. This is particularly the case with nuclear arms control. The role of nuclear weapons in U.S. and Russian strategy has changed dramatically. For a variety of reasons, however, the two nuclear superpowers have been reluctant to take additional steps to further reduce their nuclear forces, steps that seem warranted by the new strategic relationship between Russia and the United States. The START II Treaty, signed more than five years ago, still awaits ratification by the Russian Duma. Meanwhile, global proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems continues, as recent nuclear testing in India and Pakistan so clearly demonstrates. By conservative estimate, there are more than 35,000 nuclear weapons available. The employment of a single one will have immediate, irrevocable, global consequences. Though the risk of nuclear war between Russia and the United States is decreasing, the possibility of nuclear conflict elsewhere continues to grow. The following paper charts a course for START III. It places arms control in context by exploring the political, military and economic implications of future START reductions. The papers conclusions and recommendations are controversial and will spark interest. The author contends that Russia and the United States can adopt new, less threatening nuclear strategies to promote fundamental deterrence and that much smaller, more survivable nuclear forces can underwrite the strategy. Only after large, permanent bilateral reductions will other nuclear states be convinced to enter into negotiations intended to limit and reduce their nuclear weapons. In an era when our attention and resources are focused on nonnuclear issues, it is wise to keep in mind that this could be a fleeting luxury. American leadership and resolve are essential to preventing nuclear conflict.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Warfare