Can We Still Regulate Emerging Technologies?

The world was stunned when in 1997 IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Twenty years later, the world champion chess program, Stockfish 8, was beaten in a 100-game match up by AlphaZero, Google’s game-playing AI software. The big difference: AlphaZero taught itself how to play chess – in under four hours!  It does not take much imagination to see the potential for military applications in the future. That begs the question, is it already too late to regulate emerging technologies? Read more in Ulrich Kühn's latest op-ed for Valdai here

The End of Conventional Arms Control and the Role of US Congress

The renewed conflict between Russia and NATO has brought back security concerns over nuclear and conventional deterrence and defence in Europe. Since the days of the Cold War those two elements are closely intertwined, with direct ramifications on arms control policies. In his latest article, Ulrich Kühn challenges the mainstream view that Russia is solely to blame for the dissolution of conventional arms control and concludes that without solving the standstill, nuclear arms control for Europe will as well remain deadlocked. here

Five Ways to Save INF’s Legacy

Not only in Washington and Moscow, many analysts and experts argue these days that the impending demise of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty forecasts the end of arms control in general and a new round of nuclear competition – with the big difference that the new arms race will be less about numbers and more about quality, and that it will involve China as well. But it does not have to be that way. There are at least five underexplored arms control options that could save the legacy of INF, argues Ulrich Kühn in his latest article for Valdai here

The INF Quandary: Preventing a Nuclear Arms Race in Europe. Perspectives from the US, Russia and Germany

The INF Treaty, signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, was a profound achievement. It was the first bilateral nuclear arms control treaty to ban an entire class of weapons. It contained verification innovations such as continuous perimeter-portal monitoring. Most importantly, the INF Treaty reversed dangerous military trends in Europe that had left both sides less secure han they had been before such systems were deployed. Now, the treaty faces an existential threat posed by compliance issues that have prompted a U.S. decision to withdraw from it unless its concerns are allayed.

What last-minute efforts are possible to save the INF Treaty? If the INF Treaty cannot be saved, what does that mean for your country/region in the coming years? Could there be some sort of INF follow-on? What could a future arms control framework look like? Read the latest article by Ulrich Kühn, William H. Tobey and Pavel S. Zolotarev here

The New Arms Race and its Consequences

"With the decision by Donald Trump to pull out of the contested Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, another important piece of the European security architecture collapses. While experts and policymakers are still engaged in the ongoing blame game, perhaps we should try to look into the not too distant future and forecast what the end of INF could mean for European and international security." Read the latest article by Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn here.

Deterrence and its discontents

A new article by Ulrich Kühn, examining the deterrence fixation of the US defense establishment through the lens of Sigmund Freud, has just been published in the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In this essay, Kühn uses psychoanalytic metaphors to explain why the United States does not currently have a long-term strategy for dealing with its most fundamental foreign policy challenges – and why it needs one, particularly as regards the global nuclear dilemma. The article is available behind a paywall here.

Last to Escape, First to Disarm? Three Scenarios of Peace and War on the Korean Peninsula

In his latest essay for the "Conflict Zone Asia-Pacific" reader of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Ulrich Kuehn developed three scenarios ahead of the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore. One of the scenarios depicts an inconclusive summit with no tangible results that would, over time, lead the US to tacitly accept a deterrence relationship with the North - much to the detriment of the international non-proliferation order. Read more...

Structuring Security: Dialogue and Arms Control in the OSCE Area

This report offers concrete recommendations on how to revitalize dialogue and arms control in the OSCE area. It follows a three-stage approach for structuring security. The first stage focuses on how to regain trust through diplomatic dialogue based on lessons learned from the Cold War. The second stage explores a new generation of confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) with a particular focus on risk-reduction measures as currently discussed in the framework of the Structured Dialogue. The third stage outlines future and more far-ranging CSBMs and arms control measures for Europe in the conventional and nuclear realms. Each stage comes with a number of key takeaways. Read more...

Nuclear Arms Control Shaken By New Instability

In his latest Op-Ed for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that the nuclear deterrence relationship between the West and Russia is becoming increasingly unstable. Driven by mutual perceptions of insecurity, both are about to enter a new arms race. The main problem is that each side is entertaining very different threat perceptions on very different levels of military competition. This situation heightens the risk of a complete breakdown of the bilateral nuclear arms control architecture what is compounded by the lack of regular strategic dialogue. Read more...

High-Level Group Issues Urgent Call for Trump, Putin to Take Steps to Avoid a New Nuclear Arms Race

With relations between Washington, Moscow and Europe at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, the Deep Cuts Commission together with a number of additional high-level actors is warning that urgent steps need to be taken to contain nuclear risks and tensions and prevent a new nuclear arms race.

In a statement issued today, the group notes that: “Existing nuclear arms control agreements are at risk, and both sides are pursuing costly programs to replace and upgrade their Cold War-era strategic nuclear arsenals, each of which exceed reasonable deterrence requirements. A compliance dispute threatens the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will expire in 2021 unless extended.”

Among the 41 signatories to the statement are: Des Browne, former Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom; Richard R. Burt, former U.S. negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; Tom  Countryman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association; retired Major General Dvorkin, chief researcher at the Center for International Security at the Institute of Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations; Gen. Victor Esin, former Chief of Staff and Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces; Volker Rühe, former Minister of Defense, Germany; Strobe Talbott, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; and Sen. Richard G. Lugar, former Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The full statement is available here in English, Russian and German. Inter alia, the Guardian featured the statement in an article, read more...

Preventing Escalation in the Baltics: A NATO Playbook

Amid the rollout of the February 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, security analysts have understandably focused much attention on its implications for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, intra-alliance ties with key North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners, and Washington’s icy relations with Moscow. But nuclear deterrence only partially addresses NATO members’ shared concerns about Russian behavior, especially in light of Moscow’s growing propensity to undermine the alliance with nonkinetic operations and other tactics that nuclear warheads cannot easily deter, argues Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn in his latest report for the Carnegie Endowment. Click here...

Germany's Nuclear Education

Only a few days after the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, a small group of pundits, scholars, journalists, as well as a senior Member of the German Bundestag began to individually debate whether Germany should, perhaps, pursue one of three nuclear options: (1) fielding an indigenous nuclear force; (2) preserving a latent nuclear hedge capacity; or (3) cooperating with the French to open an extended nuclear deterrent umbrella over Europe. In this article for The Washington Quarterly, Ulrich Kühn and Tristan Volpe explain why this short-lived debate happened and what it could mean for Euro-Atlantic security. Click here...

The article comes with an addendum, listing all original sources linked to the German nuclear debate, click here...

With Zapad Over, Is It Time for Conventional Arms Control in Europe?

Perhaps like no other exercise since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia’s recently concluded Zapad (West) exercise was of serious concern to NATO’s easternmost members. It provided ample opportunity for pundits to engage in hysteria about Russian intentions. No seasoned NATO official expected the exercise to be the not-so-secret cover for a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Rather, the real problem with Zapad is that it underscored once more the precarious state of security in Europe. Because NATO also decided at its 2016 Warsaw Summit to remain open to dialogue with Russia, and since Germany, in particular, has only recently made a renewed push for conventional arms control in Europe, it makes sense to ask whether a novel conventional arms control arrangement could provide for more security. Ulrich Kühn discusses these questions in his latest article, click here...

Return to Security Cooperation in Europe: The Stabilizing Role of Conventional Arms Control

Deep Cuts Working Paper #11 on European security cooperation by Wolfgang Richter is out now!

The European security order as agreed upon in the 1990s has eroded dramatically. The objective of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of cooperative security without dividing lines has been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts. Conventional arms control lies in ruins and the OSCE Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) are insufficient to stabilize the situation and dispel new threat perceptions. These developments started long before the Ukraine conflict triggered the second nadir in NATO-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. In his latest Deep Cuts Working Paper, Wolfgang Richter elaborates the stabilizing role of conventional arms control regarding the return to security cooperation in Europe. Click here...

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Can Germany Be Europe’s Nuclear Bridge Builder?

In his latest article, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that to prepare for future nuclear crises that will affect Europe, the next German government must double down on its role of building bridges in the nuclear realm. And thus posing the general question whether Germany can be Europe's nuclear bridge builder. Click here...