"As the Obama administration took office, Russo-American relations were generally acknowledged to be at an impasse. Arms control issues feature prominently in that conflicted agenda. Indeed, as of September 2008, the Bush administration was contemplating not just a break in arms talks but actual sanctions, and allowed the bilateral civil nuclear treaty with Russia to die in the Senate rather than go forward for confirmation. Russian spokesmen make clear their belief that American concessions on key elements of arms control issues like missile defenses in Europe are a touchstone for the relationship and a condition of any further progress towards genuine dialogue. This impasse poses several risks beyond the obvious one of a breakdown in U.S.-Russian relations and the easily foreseeable bilateral consequences thereof. But those are by no means the only reasons for concern regarding the arms control agenda. Since the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian war in August 2008, both sides have further hardened positions and raised tensions apart from the war itself and Russia's quite evident refusal to abide by its own cease-fire terms. Nevertheless, and for better or worse, arms control and its agenda will remain at the heart of the bilateral Russo-American relationship for a long time. Arms control and disarmament issues are quintessentially political as well as military issues that are among the most critical components of the bilateral relationship and regional security in both Europe and Asia. [...] The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to offer this monograph as part of the ongoing debate on Russo-American relations."
Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/