Washington’s Arms Control Delusions and Bluffs

The clock for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty runs out on February 5. The Trump administration has not taken up Russia’s offer to extend the treaty, believing it has leverage to get something more from the Kremlin, and it has even threatened an arms race. This is delusion and bluff. If the administration does not change course, New START will lapse and, for the first time in decades, U.S. and Russian nuclear forces will be under no constraints. Read the full story by Deep Cuts Commissioner Steven Pifer here

Ein neuer Start für die Abrüstung

In German only

Jahrzehnte harter Arbeit sind in die Etablierung einer globalen Architektur zur Rüstungskontrolle geflossen. Heute steht diese jedoch vor dem Zusammenbruch. Sollte der New START Vertrag zur Verringerung strategischer Atomwaffen nicht verlängert werden, dann wird der derzeit einzige rechtlich bindende Vertrag zur Begrenzung der beiden weltweit größten Kernwaffenarsenale in weniger als sechs Monaten auslaufen. Gleichzeitig wachsen die Atomarsenale stetig weiter. Es droht ein neuerliches nukleares Wettrüsten, das alle Länder dieses Planeten in Gefahr bringen würde. Zwar ist die Lage ernst, aber weder unvermeidbar noch unumkehrbar. Noch können wir einen anderen Weg wählen und unser kollektives Schicksal ändern. Der vollständige Artikel von Deep Cuts Commissionern Alexandra Bell und Andrey Baklitskiy sowie Tong Zhao ist online hier

Prospects and Implications for New START Extension

What is the future of the arms control architecture that has provided some stability in the years of the Cold War and its aftermath? What are the prospects for new negotiations to account for, reduce and eliminate US and Russian nuclear weapons? What is the likelihood of other nuclear-weapon states to join the negotiations? What implications will this have on the upcoming Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)? Angela Kane addressed these questions during a hearing of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Global Security and Non-Proliferation, as well as the group on the United Nations. Read more here

OUT NOW: Deep Cuts Issue Brief #11 on a Fresh Approach to Conventional Arms Control in Europe

A Little of the Old, a Little of the New: A Fresh Approach to Conventional Arms Control (CAC) in Europe

The ongoing NATO–Russia confrontation has increased the risk of military conflict, particularly in Europe. The military relationship between Russia and NATO is far less stable than political leaders may assume and poses increasing risks in particular sub-regions.

This paper offers a new approach to CAC, taking into account how a variety of European actors perceive their threat environment and what they worry about most. This includes regional force concentrations and options for their reinforcement, LRS capabilities, and naval forces. It focuses on the Baltic and Black Sea subregions as a matter of priority. To show why a new approach to CAC is necessary, this paper first addresses the issues of threat perceptions and how military capabilities can drive conflict and escalation. It then offers solutions by outlining the necessary elements of future CAC agreements and possible negotiation formats. Read the latest Deep Cuts Issue Brief by Commissioners Wolfgang Zellner, Olga Oliker, and Steven Pifer here

Nuclear Weapons: It’s Time for Sole Purpose

The Democratic Party platform states that Democrats believe that the “sole purpose” of U.S. nuclear weapons should be to deter and - if necessary, retaliate against - a nuclear attack. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said the same. This would mark a significant change in U.S. nuclear policy, eliminating ambiguity that preserves the option to use nuclear weapons first in response to a conventional attack. Read the full article by Deep Cuts Comissioner Steven Pifer here

Spinning good news on arms control

U.S. and Russian officials held a series of consultations on nuclear arms control matters this summer, in the fourth year of the Trump administration. Though tardy, one can only welcome these meetings, particularly as the last remaining U.S.-Russian nuclear arms treaty – the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) – expires in just five months. Read the full article by Deep Cuts Commissioner Steven Pifer here

Yes We Can? Europäische Antworten auf die Krise der Rüstungskontrolle

In German only

Europäer finden erste erfolgreiche Antworten auf die Abwendung Russlands und der USA von der Rüstungskontrolle. Sie konzentrieren sich zunehmend auf ihre eigenen Interessen, sprechen eine klare Sprache, kooperieren zum Erhalt der Rüstungskontrolle auch mit schwierigen Partnern und sind bestrebt, eigene rüstungskontrollpolitische Instrumente zu entwickeln. Im neuen IFSH Policy Brief geht Deep Cuts Commissioner Oliver Meier der Frage nach, welche weiteren Schritte notwendig wären, damit Europa der Krise der internationalen Rüstungskontrolle gezielt entgegentreten kann. Der Policy Brief ist online hier

REGISTER NOW: Briefing on how to prevent a nuclear arms race in Europe after the demise of the INF Treaty

After the demise of the INF Treaty:
How to prevent a nuclear arms race in Europe


September 21, 2020


9:00 - 10:00 AM Washington, D.C.
3:00 - 4:00 PM Berlin, Geneva
 4:00 - 5:00 PM Moscow

Please register here and you will receive the Zoom ID and password.

The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was one of the most important nuclear arms control agreements. After the INF treaty's demise in August 2019, a key challenge is reducing the risk of a new nuclear arms race in Europe. A verifiable moratorium on the deployment of new nuclear weapons is one proposal being debated.

Pavel Podvig runs his own research project on Russian Nuclear Forces and is a Senior Researcher in the WMD Programme at UNIDIR. He will present the Deep Cuts Issue Brief “Nuclear Weapons in Europe after the INF Treaty” and discuss his recommendations on how to monitor an arrangement on the non-deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe.

Rüdiger Bohn, Deputy Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control at the German Federal Foreign Office, and Katja Keul, spokeswoman of the Subcommittee on Disarmament for the Green Party in the German Bundestag, will comment on the proposals. Moderated by Oliver Meier, Senior Researcher at the Berlin office of the IFSH.

This briefing will be held under the Chatham House Rule, with plenty of time for Q&A.