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Policy Briefs on Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Exploring New Approaches to Arms Control in the 21st Century: Building Lessons from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs)

Policy Brief  No 30 - November, 2018

The international arms control regime is in peril, concluded a meeting of leading arms control officials, scholars and policy advisers from the US, Europe and Russia. This group was brought together by a consortium of international think tanks—Toda Peace Institute, NUPI, Chatham House, Clingendael and the Council on Strategic Risks—in a track 1.5 workshop held in Oslo, Norway in October 2018.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

INF Weapons: Status, Modernisations, and Arms Control Prospects

Policy Brief  No 25 - November, 2018

Over the past 30 years, arms control treaties and unilateral initiatives have resulted in the destruction of more than 50,000 nuclear warheads.1 The vast majority of those warheads were Russian and U.S. weapons. These accomplishments reflected a political will and conviction that nuclear forces had to be constrained and the role of nuclear weapons reduced. Over the past decade, however, both the will and conviction have changed. Instead, Russia and the United States – and by extension also NATO – are now embroiled in a deepening political clash that has rekindled Cold War rhetoric and triggered significant changes in military postures and strategies. Although less of an ideological clash and intensity compared with the old Cold War, the changes contain all the building blocks needed to create a new one.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles: Towards a Global Ban? Russia’s Perspective

Policy Brief  No 24 - October, 2018

This analysis addresses Russia’s perspective regarding an eventual agreement on eliminating nuclear cruise missiles from strategic equations—in particular, as a means of maintaining the integrity of the INF Treaty.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

Policy Brief  No 23 - October, 2018

On 27 September 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced unprecedented changes to U.S. nuclear forces and practices. Known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the measures were unilateral-reciprocal—the U.S. would act on its own, but also challenge the Soviet Union to take comparable steps. Bush declared additional PNI actions on 28 January 1992. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev responded on 5 October 1991, and Russian President Yeltsin on 29 January 1992.i The U.S. nuclear stockpile fell by 50 percent between 1990 and 1994. No other period in U.S. nuclear history saw such a large numerical reduction in so short a time. The extent of Soviet and Russian implementation, however, remains uncertain. Given the current political and military environment between the U.S. and Russia, any return to the PNI approach seems unlikely.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, 1991-1992: An Assessment of Past Performance and Future Relevance

Policy Brief  No 21 - October, 2018

The fabric of US-Russian nuclear arms reductions is unravelling. Among the indications of the tenuous nature of the current bilateral arms control regime are: Diminished prospects for extension of New START, which is set to expire in 2021. Increased probability that the 1987 INF Treaty will collapse under the weight of mutual accusations of noncompliance. Pursuit by both the United States and Russia of nuclear force modernisation. Uncertain prospects for continuation of bilateral consultations on strategic stability. Unusually vitriolic exchanges between the two former nonproliferation partners at the 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting. At the same time, there have been occasional signs that arms control progress is not impossible. At a time when re-starting formal arms control negotiations is likely to meet major resistance, especially in the United States, it is worthwhile to recall less formal options for pursuing nuclear arms reductions. These include measures that can be undertaken by the Executive without Congressional/Parliamentary approval. The most relevant example of that approach is the 1991/1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs), which resulted in deep reduction of tactical (non-strategic) nuclear weapons.