Trust is a rare commodity

US and Russia arms control relations, particularly when it comes to nuclear weapons, are at a all-time low. Here’s a list of articles explaining suggesting why.

U.S.-Russia relations will remain frosty for years, but even Cold Wars eventually thaw. The United States should prepare now to act decisively when this one finally does, even if it takes a decade. U.S.-Russian Relations in 2030 by Richard Sokolsky,  Eugene Rumer, Carnegie Endowment, June 2020.

Russian Arms Control Compliance and the Challenge of the Next Agreement (An assessment by the State Department) Christopher Ashley Ford, June 2020.

Even as their commitment to bilateral arms control wavers, the United States and Russia remain pillars of the global nonproliferation regime. While Washington and Moscow continue to pursue a largely collaborative approach to nonproliferation, the future of that collaboration looks increasingly questionable for reasons having to do with internal developments (especially in the United States) and larger global shifts. Addressing Unresolved Challenges in U.S.-Russia Relations, CSIS report, Andrey Kortunov, March 2020

United States Undermining Global Stability by Not Meeting Arms Control, Disarmament Obligations, China, Russian Federation Representatives Tell First Committee, UN Press Release (Oct 2019)

Landmark Cold War-era arms-control pact officially dead, fueling fears of new nuclear arms race. ABC News, August 2019.

Russian Strategic Intentions US Government report. May 2019.

Three days spent in Moscow recently left me deeply concerned about the state of U.S.-Russian relations. Tensions are higher than at any time since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and in some ways are more susceptible to misunderstanding and inadvertent conflict than during the dark days of the Cold War. Neither country has the intention of attacking the other, but trust is lacking at just about every level — meaning that there is a lot of dangerous testing and probing going on and little in place that’s likely to stop the downhill slide. Distrust Between U.S. And Russia Puts Arms Control At Risk, OZY, John McLaughlin, March 2019

Relations between the United States and Russia are in a prolonged downward spiral. Under these circumstances, cooperation on nuclear issues—once a reliable area of engagement even in difficult political environments—has all but completely halted. There are urgent reasons to find a way out of this situation, particularly the expiration of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 2021….Against this backdrop, policy makers and practitioners should identify ways to re-engage on nuclear issues now so they can be ready to implement them as soon as feasibleUS–Russia relations and the future of arms control: how the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty could restore engagement on nuclear issues The Nonproliferation Review, Vol 25, Sarah Bidgood, September 2018

...the bilateral risk reduction enterprise is under siege. Since the end of the Cold War, Washington and Moscow have worked in partnership to combat the threat posed by non-state actor access to nuclear weapons, but recently that collaboration has stalled. U.S.-Russian Arms Control At Risk: An Assessment and Path Forward, Arms Control Association, Maggie Tennis, January 2018

This paper describes the background of contemporary U.S.-Russia relations and the tendencies that influence the efficiency and sustainability of the two leading nuclear powers’ arms-control and confidence-building efforts. This paper also suggests what can be done within the next 5 to 10 years to mitigate the negative effects of the described tendencies as well as take advantage of their positive potential. The Future of U.S.-Russia Arms Control, Transparency, and Confidence Building. CSIS Discussion paper. Anastasia Malygina. 2018

Arms control, security cooperation, and U.S.-Russian relations, Valdai Discussion Club., Brookings Institution, Steven Pifer, November 2017

Building Better U.S.-Russian Relations, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Editorial Staff. November 2016

New polling data from the 2016 Chicago Council Survey and the Levada Analytical Center in Russia – both independently conducted and funded – show that mutual perceptions between Russians and Americans are now at levels not seen since the Cold War US and Russia: Insecurity and Mistrust Shape Mutual Perceptions, Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Dina Smeltz,  Stepan Goncharov,  Lily Wojtowicz, November 2016

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