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Dec 01

A START Follow-On Treaty: Russian Nuclear Doctrine, Arms Control Objectives and U.S. Policy Response

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The Obama Administration has prioritized the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on negotiations. Completion of an agreement is a major part of the Administration’s effort to “reset” Russian relations and is seen as a stepping stone toward achieving Obama’s goal of a world without nuclear weapons. While President Obama wants to ratify a new treaty before START’s expiration on December 5, it is not yet signed. U.S. negotiators are facing a tough deadline, leading many to believe that the U.S. will grant unilateral concessions, as in the cancellation of the Bush-era Europe-based missile defense system. But Russian negotiators have formulated a comprehensive set of demands going far beyond missile defense, including objections to modernization of U.S. conventional and non-nuclear strike capabilities.

At the same time, a careful review of Russian nuclear policy and statements by the military and security elite reveal Russia’s continued strong commitment to nuclear weapons. Today more than ever, Russia increasingly relies on nuclear weapons, including a lower first-use threshold, and thousands of tactical nuclear weapons, which have been excluded from START negotiations. The United States and NATO still remain its proclaimed principal security concerns. Moreover, critics say that Russia is currently in violation and non-compliance with existing arms control agreements and commitments including START.

Will a new treaty be signed before December 5th and will the U.S. Senate ratify it? Will the U.S. make unilateral concessions in order to conclude negotiations and/or prevent a new arms race? Will the U.S. accept a Russian strategic posture designed to threaten the U.S. and its allies? Lastly, what are the areas where both countries’ national interests can coincide and what can be done to build on this coincidence of interests? Join us for a discussion on the evolution and current state of Russian nuclear doctrine and policy and the current state of START negotiations and other anticipated treaties.

More About the Speakers

 

PANEL 1 – RUSSIAN POLICY AND OBJECTIVES

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow,
Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security,
The Heritage Foundation

Fritz Ermarth
Former Chairman,
National Intelligence Council
and former Senior Director,
USSR/Russia,,
National Security Council

Andrei Shoumikhin, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor,
Graduate Department of Defense and Strategic Studies,
Missouri State University

Moderated by:
Baker Spring
F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy,
The Heritage Foundation

PANEL 2 – U.S. POLICY RESPONSES

Keith B. Payne, Ph.D.
President and CEO,
National Institute for Public Policy

Timothy Morrison
National Security Policy Adviser,
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Baker Spring
F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy,
The Heritage Foundation

Moderated by:
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow,
Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security,
The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation Read More