Tripolar Stability: The Future of Nuclear Relations Among the United States, Russia, and China
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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The new strategic framework encompasses a shift from mutual assured destruction to common interests and common responsibilities U.S.-Russian relationship. How does China fit into this picture Are there ways in which the journey to 2012 envisioned in the Nuclear Posture Review may be disrupted by developments in the strategic triangle Though tightly coupled tripolarity is not today in evidence, there are interconnections among the evolving strategic postures of the three. Moscow worries about the potential for a U.S.-PRC defense-offense race, fearing that a U.S. defense large enough to blunt a Chinese first strike would also be large enough to blunt a Russian second strike. Beijing worries about BMD and improved conventional strike. It may well look opportunistically at Russian reductions. All three countries are developing robust hedges against a breakdown of the prevailing order, with unknown implications for strategic stability. The administrationss strategy for stability must focus on consolidating gains in the U.S.-Russian relationship while also addressing the proposed stability dialogue with China. The significant common interest of the three in sustaining the nonproliferation regime points also to an area of common responsibility. This study was sponsored by DTRAASCO in FY02.
- Government and Political Science