Before the INF Treaty collapses, it is worth pondering why Russia is building a missile that breaks it. I argue that it is because they want a conventional missile akin to Tomahawk. It is silly if we turn this into a nuclear race.
Advances in synthetic biology creates great opportunities for commercial use, but they also make it easy for people to produce and proliferate biological weapons. Al Mauroni has written a good article about the problem.
The Bulava missile is Russia’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile. I have taken a closer look at the history and capabilities of the missile upon the announcement that it has now reached operational status.
Russia has 4,350 functional nuclear warheads. 1,600 of these are deployed and ready for use, and 2,750 are in reserve. These are just some of the numbers that can be found in Kristensen and Norris’ great overview of Russia’s nuclear forces.
Article recommendation: Ukraine renounced its nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Budjeryn and Sinovets have identified some interesting insights that are relevant for future nonproliferation cases. Deals are still possible, but the price has increased.
Article recommendation about the history of Russian concerns with Western missile defense technology. This is not a new thing, and there is little hope for arms control treaties that do not include missile defense.
There is a great discussion about Russia and nuclear weapons in this episode of the War on the Rocks podcast. The panel is terrific. Olga Oliker is brilliant, Frank Miller is wrong about most things concerning Russia but argues his case very well, and Vipin Narang has deep technical insights. Ryan and Usha do a […]
Vladimir Putin spent a surprising amount of time in his March 1st speech talking about nuclear weapons. Pavel K. Baev has some interesting considerations in Brookings about the possible motivations for this: Russia’s economic weakness is so profound that Russia cannot possibly engage in anything resembling a real arms race with the United States and […]
Last week, Vladimir Putin held a speech in which he announced some spectacular new weapons including supersonic missiles and an intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear propulsion to give it unlimited range. Few people are as qualified to comment on the weapon announcements as Michael Kofman. He has just released part 1 in a two-part series […]
The Pentagon published its Nuclear Posture Review for 2018 (NPR) earlier in February. It dramatically changes some assumptions about nuclear weapons that were laid out in the previous NPR from 2010. The new NPR concludes that there has been a deterioration in international relations with a return to great power competition and a more complex […]