Russia's Crumbling Tactical Nuclear Weapons Complex: An Opportunity for Arms Control [open html - 353KB]
This paper presents a novel response to the many security challenges posed by Russian perceptions of the continuing utility of their non-strategic nuclear forces and the related problem of "loose nucs" within the Russian Federation. The authors develop an air-delivered nuclear forces arms control regime and argue that eliminating this class of weapons would be one of the best ways to address these challenges. As the authors point out, despite its many benefits, such a regime would potentially face strong opposition due to its broad sweep, as well as issues such as the requirement for the United States to eliminate the airbreathing leg of the triad. Significantly, the authors bolster the case for the political acceptability of such a regime by uncovering evidence that the Soviets were considering advancing a similar proposal in 1991. However, the Soviet proposal was overtaken by the August 1991 coup attempt and President George Bush's unilateral nuclear initiatives that September. Many readers will no doubt disagree with this proposal and its implications for the US nuclear triad. Nonetheless, the authors' suggestions deserve careful scrutiny because they refocus attention on non-strategic nuclear forces-arguably the largest and most dangerous dimension of the post-Cold War nuclear overhang. In that regard, this paper serves as a logical successor to the discussion in INSS Occasional Paper 10 on the dangers of criminality and weapons proliferation in Russia. INSS is pleased to offer Lambert and Miller's fresh ideas for public debate.
INSS Occasional Paper 12, Regional Series