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...

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...

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...

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...

 

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...

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...

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.

 

  

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...