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...

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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.

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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...

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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 ...

Fourth phase of the “Challenges to Deep Cuts” Project

In the context of this current fourth phase, the Deep Cuts Commission shall be dedicated to introduce, present and discuss the elaborated proposals and recommendations of the last three cycles of its project with the new US Congressional staff and the incoming US administration. Thus, the dialogue on the future arms control agenda and the challenges of European security shall be further strengthened and presented effectively to a policy audience. Moreover, half a year after the publication of its last report, the Deep Cuts Commission shall have the opportunity to discuss its outcomes in the light of newer political developments, clearly addressing current threats and challenges. The idea is to engage the transition team of the incoming US administration and the new Capitol Hill staff about the situation in Europe within the context of US-Russian relations, including the debate about options for and challenges to arms control. For this purpose, we will hold meetings and give presentations in March 2017 following the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington D.C.

Deep Cuts Commission Mourns the Death of Walther Stützle

On August 8, Walther Stützle, long-term Member of the Deep Cuts Commission, died at the age of 74 after a short but severe ailment. Stützle was one of Germany's most valued experts in the field of international foreign and security policy and an outstanding intellectual. Stützle has worked for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Since 1969, Stützle held various positions within the Federal Ministry of Defence; amongst other, he chaired the Ministry's Policy Planning Staff. From 1986 to 1991, Stützle led the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as the Institute's Director. From 1998 to 2002, he was State Secretary of Defence under Minister Rudolf Scharping in the SPD-the Greens coalition of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Stützle was a Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel of the Navy and author of various monographs and articles. He worked as a journalist for many years. From 1994 to 1998 he was the editor in chief of the Berliner Tagesspiegel. Germany and the Deep Cuts Commission will very much miss his analytical foresight and his voice of reason. A eulogy can be found at Der Tagesspiegel, Click here ...

New Working Paper on the Baltics Released

With NATO's Warsaw Summit fast approaching, the question of how to reassure NATO's easternmost allies while at the same time not further straining relations with Russia becomes key. Since 2014, particularly the Baltic States and Poland have called on NATO to further strengthen their defensive capabilities against what they perceive as a threatening Russian foreign and security policy. This new Working Paper by Wolfgang Richter proves that sub-regional restraint measures and enhanced transparency in the conventional realm could as well contribute to strengthening the security of all states in the Baltic area. Click here ...

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Rediscovering Diplomacy: An Agenda for Decreasing Tensions between Russia and the West

In his latest blog post for War on the Rocks, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn referred to the latest Report of the Commission, urging Russia and the West to come back from the brink. "NATO and Russia appear on the brink of a new arms race," Kühn writes. "This is why my colleagues and I  have come up with a number of recommendations in the latest report of the Deep Cuts Commission.Particularly for my Western colleagues, one of the key questions is: How should NATO deal with the challenges described above? The answer is straightforward: Allies must (again) realize that deterrence and arms control can go hand in hand. The coming years will bring both challenges and opportunities for dialogue and restraint. A number of security challenges call for urgent attention — and Washington must lead on most of them." Click here ...

Third Deep Cuts Report Released in Moscow

On June 20, 2016 IFSH Hamburg and the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO, RAN), supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Moscow Office held a one-day event under the title of “Restraint and Dialogue: Improving European Security and Arms Control.” This international workshop was attended by some 40 experts from Russia, the United States, and Germany. At the eve of the event, the new Deep Cuts Report "Back from the Brink" was released.

+++++++ NEW DEEP CUTS REPORT OUT NOW +++++++

On June 20, the Third Report of the Deep Cuts Commission - 'Back from the Brink: Toward Restraint and Dialogue in Relations between Russia and the West' was released. The report tackles the issues of (1) managing security concerns, particularly in the Baltic area; (2) minimizing the risks of dangerous military incidents and particularly those that could lead to nuclear escalation; (3) strengthening the role of the OSCE as a forum for security dialogue; (4) appropriately addressing INF Treaty compliance concerns and the effects of nuclear-armed cruise missile proliferation; (5) exploring options for a New START follow-on; (6) discussing issues of concern on strategic stability; (7) avoiding misperceptions about U.S. and Russian nuclear modernizations. Click here ...

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Missile defense—Would the Kremlin pitch a deal?

In his latest blog post for The Brookings Institution, Deep Cuts Commissioner Steven Pifer suggests that "The Iran nuclear deal could open a possibility for reconsidering the SM-3 deployment plans. To get there, however, the Kremlin should offer something in the arms control field of interest to Washington and NATO." Click here ...

What’s Missing as NATO Rearms Its Eastern Flank? Diplomacy, says Ulrich Kühn

From a military standpoint, Western planners’ biggest headache is the defense of the Baltic states, located at the edge of NATO territory and hopelessly outnumbered by Russian troops. Indeed, the need to deter Russia will top the agenda when alliance leaders meet next month in Warsaw. But as they contemplate what military means might stop a swift, Crimea-type land grab, they should also review what they know about Moscow’s beliefs and motivations — and choose a path that might defuse, rather than elevate, regional tensions. Click here ...