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and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of cooperative security without dividing lines has been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts.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...

image-302
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...

Meeting with German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

At the invitation of the German Federal Foreign Office, members of the Deep Cuts Commission came together to a fruitful discussion with German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Patricia Flor, the Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 in Berlin. The discussion focused on the current state of arms control regimes such as the INF Treaty, the New START Treaty or the JCPOA as well as conventional arms control, the role of the European Union and interlinked security policy implications. In the light of newer political developments, the Commission stressed the urgency of these issues and proposed concrete steps for risk reduction measurements and the strengthening of arms control. An article by the German Federal Foreign Office can be found here (in German) or an article by the German Missions in the United States here (in English). Also various press agencies wrote about the meeting, inter alia Reuters, The Japan News or TASS. A part of the press conference which Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel gave after the meeting can be found here.

A Two-Pronged Approach to Revitalizing U.S.-Russia Arms Control

Deep Cuts Working Paper #10 on Revitalizing U.S.-Russia arms control by Kingston Reif and Victor Mizin is out now!

This jointly elaborated Working Paper, written by Kingston Reif and Victor Mizin (with assistance of Maggie Tennis), assesses the state of the current NATO-Russia relationship, examines the bilateral arms control relationship and prospects for future progress, proposes options to reduce the risks of conflict between NATO and Russia, and strengthen strategic stability, and lastly makes the case for unilaterally adjusting the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and responds to arguments against such an adjustment. See "Publications" on the top menu bar or click here...

image-307
Europe’s nuclear woes: Mitigating the challenges of the next years

As long as the relationship between Russia and "the West" continues to be confrontational, the urgent task will be to stabilize and manage the confrontation. Over the mid- to long-term, NATO and Russia must initiate a serious and open dialogue about the two core issues at stake – the freedom and sovereignty of states to seek alliance membership and the Russian interest of maintaining a sphere of influence over its “near abroad.” A well-prepared conference – akin to the 1975 Helsinki Summit, with various preceding rounds of consultations at ambassadorial level, and including the nonaligned states in Europe – might be a way to kick-start the discussion. In their latest article, Ulrich Kühn, Shatabhisha Shetty and Polina Sinovets are addressing various steps for mitigating the challenges between Russia and "the West". Click here...

 

Keine Atombombe, Bitte - Why Germany Should Not Go Nuclear

The election of U.S. President Donald Trump last November confounded Berlin. What, German politicians, policymakers, and journalists wondered, should they make of Trump’s vague or even hostile stances toward the EU and NATO or his apparent embrace of Russia? Some hoped that Trump meant to push NATO members to spend more on defense but would, in the end, leave the long-standing U.S. guarantee of European security intact. Others, less optimistic, argued that the days when Germany could rely on the United States for its defense were over - and that the country must start looking out for itself. In their latest article for Foreign Affairs, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn, together with Tristan Volpe, argues why Germany should not go nuclear. Click here...

Side Event at the 2017 Preparatory Committee in Vienna

On the occasion of the 1st Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the Deep Cuts Commission in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office organized a Side Event at the Vienna International Center on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. The panel was chaired by Ambassador Susanne Baumann, the German Deputy Commissioner for Arms Control and Disarmament at the Federal Foreign Office; the three Deep Cuts Commissioners Greg Thielmann (Arms Control Association, Washington D.C.), Victor Mizin (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow), and Götz Neuneck (Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg) participated as panelists. The panel discussed the future of nuclear arms control in the light of newer political developments such as the INF Treaty, the New START Treaty and Conventional Arms Control in Europe.

Special Briefing Paper: Preserving the INF Treaty

The 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is under threat, with the United States and Russia exchanging charges of treaty violations. If the treaty unravels, it will open the door to an arms race in ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, which will diminish security in both Europe and Asia. It could also undermine support for other treaties, such as the New START Treaty, and make it difficult to reach agreement on new treaties. Hans Kristensen, Oliver Meier, Victor Mizin and Steven Pifer call on Washington and Moscow to work to preserve the INF Treaty and recognize its utmost benefits. The Third Report of the Deep Cuts Commission already gave key recommendations on how to address the INF Treaty compliance issues. This Special Briefing Paper now gives concrete courses for action describing ways to resolve compliance concerns. Click here...

 

image-315
INF treaty issue may be resolved through open dialogue between Russia and the USA

The growing tensions around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) of 8 December 1987 continues to complicate the bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington, registering mutual complaints against each other over non-compliance with the document. After very fruitful, productive meetings and events of the Deep Cuts Commission in Washington, D.C. this March, Commissioners Greg Thielmann and Götz Neuneck have been quoted in the Russian PenzaNews on the INF Treaty issuse of the USA and Russia, and how to resolve it through an open dialogue between the two states. The article can be found either in an English version or a Russian version.

 

image-313
Deep Cuts Commission in Washington, D.C.

End of March, directly after the Carniegie Nuclear Policy Conference, the Deep Cuts Commission held very fruitful meetings and events in Washington, D.C. The Commission was dedicated to introduce, present and discuss the elaborated proposals and recommendations of its last three project cycles, also including the debate about options for and challenges to arms control. It brought together Russian, German and American members of the Deep Cuts Commission and experts of the new political environment as well as experienced analysts dealing with the future arms control agenda and the challenges of common security. Thus, the international dialogue was further strengthened and the Commission had he opportunity to discuss its outcomes in the light of newer political developments, clearly addressing current threats and challenges. A verycomprehensive transcript of one of its sessions at the National Press Club on how U.S. and Russian leaders can avoid renewed nuclear tensions can be found on the Arms Control Association's website of the event.

Russia, NATO, and the INF Treaty

Since 2014, the United States has publicly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a landmark Cold War nuclear arms control agreement. On February 14, 2017 the New York Times reported that Russia has already deployed a significant number of prohibited missiles. In light of these developments, the new U.S. administration will face the tough decision about whether or not to remain committed to the treaty. In their latest article, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn and Anna Péczeli recount the history of the INF treaty to then assess Russian and US interests related to the treaty. Moreover, the article develops three possible future scenarios for Russian actions and their impact on, as well as possible responses by, the United States and its NATO allies. Click here...

INF Treaty Compliance: A Challenge and an Opportunity

Deep Cuts Working Paper #9 on INF Treaty Compliance by Deep Cuts Commissioners Greg Thielmann and Andrei Zagorski is out now!

The paper assesses the challenges to and opportunities of INF Treaty compliance in the light of newer political developments. It analyzes the current state of treaty compliance with particular view to Russian and US-American perceptions and gives concrete recommondations regarding a sustainable positive development of the INF Treaty. See "Publications" on the top menu bar or click here...

image-321
U.S.-Russian Relations and the Future Security of Europe

In his new article, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn questions whether U.S.-Russian relations under Trump might largely stay the same as before, which would make arms control solutions for Europe more urgently needed but at the same time much harder to achieve. The incoming Trump administration inherits a U.S.-Russian relationship marked by disagreement and confrontation in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the wars in Syria and Ukraine, the West’s use of economic sanctions, and reciprocal complaints about interferences in domestic affairs. The arms control dialogue is stagnating, and the risk of conflict, whether by intent or miscalculation, is growing. Click here...

Institutional Resilience, Deterrence and the Transition to Zero Nuclear Weapons

The question of the resilience of arms control and disarmament institutions to different political or other pressures rests mainly on their continued ability to function effectively. The goal of a world free from nuclear weapons is directly related to the issues of international institutions and deterrence. Assuming that it would be possible, first, to move to significantly lower numbers of nuclear weapons and then to zero nuclear weapons, governing institutions would have to be resilient enough to respond in a timely manner and to uphold the bargain. But what factors determine and influence institutional resilience? And what would be the likely role of deterrence? Ulrich Kühn assesses these questions in his new article. Click here ...