Missile Defense and the Offense-Defense Relationship

Missile defenses remain an obstacle to U.S.-Russia agreement on a new nuclear arms control accord. Both sides will need to address the offense-defense relationship in the Strategic Stability Dialogue, agreed by President Joseph Biden and Vladimir Putin at their June 2021 Geneva summit.


What could such measures look like? How can Russia and the United States avoid new arms races? At what point should China be brought into discussions on the offensive-defense relationship? How would a possible Russia-U.S. agreement affect NATO missile defenses? What role can Europeans play in managing offense-defense relationships?

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  • Steven Pifer

    Steven Pifer is a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and an affiliate with the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Pifer is a retired foreign service officer with over 25 years of experience with the State Department, where he worked on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001-2004), U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000), and special assistant to the President and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996-1997).

  • Andrey Baklitskiy

    Andrey Baklitskiy is a Senior Researcher in the Weapons of Mass Destruction and other Strategic Weapons Programme at UNIDIR. and a Consultant at PIR Center.

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