Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to leadership more than 20 years ago, tensions have increased steadily between Russia and the United States. Most observers agree Russia’s natural resources and military modernization program, launched in 2008, provide Russia’s leadership the means to conduct a flexible and often aggressive foreign policy, as well as to project… Continue Reading Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements. Some analysts argue such limits would be of value,… Continue Reading Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argued that New START strengthens strategic stability and enhances U.S. national security. Critics, however, questioned whether the treaty would serve U.S. national security interests because, they argued in 2010, Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition

This strategic assessment is both firmly focused on the dynamics of contemporary Great Power competition (GPC) and respectful of past strategic assessments generated by the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) over the course of almost 40 years As an homage to the format of several historical INSS strategic assessments, this one begins with a… Continue Reading Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition

Russia: Domestic Politics and Economy

Over the course of his 20 years of rule, Russian President Vladimir Putin has consolidated an authoritarian system of governance that has benefitted himself and a close group of colleagues and led Russia to take increasingly aggressive actions abroad. At the same time, Putin presided over Russia’s recovery from the economic collapse of the 1990s… Continue Reading Russia: Domestic Politics and Economy

Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

The post-Cold War era of international relations—which began in the early 1990s and is sometimes referred to as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power)—showed initial signs of fading in 2006-2008, and by 2014 had given way to a fundamentally different situation of renewed great power competition with China and Russia… Continue Reading Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. After more than 20hearings, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on December 22, 2010, by a vote of 71-26. Both houses of the Russian parliament—the Duma and Federation Council—approved the treaty in late January 2011 and it… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

This report provides a brief overview of implications for U.S. defense of the shift in the international environment to a situation of renewed great power competition with China and Russia. The issue for Congress is how U.S. defense planning should respond to this shift, and whether to approve, reject, or modify the Trump Administration’s proposed… Continue Reading Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements – March 2020 Edition

Arms control and nonproliferation efforts are two of the tools that the United States has occasionally used to implement its national security strategy. Although some believe these tools do little to restrain the behavior of U.S. adversaries, while doing too much to restrain U.S. military forces and operations, many others see them as an effective… Continue Reading Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements – March 2020 Edition