Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization

Russia’s current modernization cycle for its nuclear forces began in the early 2000s and is likely to conclude in the 2020s. In addition, in March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was developing new types of nuclear systems. While some see these weapons as a Russian attempt to achieve a measure of superiority… Continue Reading Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization

Changes in the Arctic

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The seven other Arctic states are Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland,… Continue Reading Changes in the Arctic

Diverging Objectives: Maintaining Strategic Stability with Russia While Expanding Global Missile Defense

Many recent developments prompted me to look more deeply at Russia’s concerns related to US ballistic missile defense (BMD) and how it affects strategic stability. Russia is posing an increasing threat in multiple domains driven by its great power aspirations and revisionist desires. President Putin recently announced that Russia is developing a number of asymmetric… Continue Reading Diverging Objectives: Maintaining Strategic Stability with Russia While Expanding Global Missile Defense

Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages… Continue Reading Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

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