Russian-American Relations and the Future of Arms Control

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Series Details Number 2
Publication Date Spring 2001
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In the 1990s, arms control, heretofore the central element of U.S.-Soviet managed rivalry, became almost marginalized within the new framework of Russian-American relations.

These relations were initially all about «assisting post-Communist transition» and «helping Russian reform», and later, increasingly and disturbingly, they centered on geopolitics, from NATO enlargement to Kosovo.

When the START-II treaty was signed, in January 1993, this was not the product of lengthy negotiations. In the loudly proclaimed new era of strategic partnership Moscow and Washington were supposed to get beyond the nuclear calculus.

Alas, the deterrence relationship based on mutual assured destruction was not substantially altered. Political declarations not supported by political acts and concomitant military measures were soon exposed as hollow. Mutual trust remained in short supply.

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