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

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

Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Since the late 1980s, when U.S. officials became aware that North Korea was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities, U.S. administrations have used a combination of pressure, deterrence, and diplomacy to try to reduce the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea. The need for an effective North Korea strategy has become more pressing over the… Continue Reading Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Major Curtice applies three theoretical models of nuclear proliferation and argues that they are more accurate when used in conjunction with each other than separately. Nuclear proliferation, Curtice states, occurs when Domestic Politics-Positive and Normative-Positive pressures are greater than their negative counterparts when a state is facing a security threat. By using India as a… Continue Reading Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In 2014, John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at National Defense University published a paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).[i] That paper projected WMD-relevant geopolitical and technological trends and made judgments as to how those trends would shape… Continue Reading Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

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

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Overview of Department of Energy Sites

Responsibility for U.S. nuclear weapons resides in both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE). DOD develops, deploys, and operates the missiles and aircraft that deliver nuclear warheads. It also generates the military requirements for the warheads carried on those platforms. DOE, and its semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), oversee… Continue Reading U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Overview of Department of Energy Sites

Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces and Modernization

Russia’s nuclear forces consist of both long-range, strategic systems—including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers—and shorter- and medium-range delivery systems. Russia is modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era systems with new missiles, submarines and aircraft while developing new types of delivery systems. Although Russia’s number of nuclear weapons has declined… Continue Reading Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces and Modernization

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

Even though the United States has reduced the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the 2010 New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 10-30 years. The 116th Congress will continue to review these programs, and the funding… Continue Reading U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues