ABSTRACT

Enhancing Deterrence with Supplemental Nuclear Capabilities   [open pdf - 239KB]

From the Document: "In addition to modernization and fielding of new strategic nuclear capabilities, Russia is modernizing and expanding its arsenal of approximately 2,000 nonstrategic nuclear weapons. This includes nuclear torpedoes, nuclear air and missile defense interceptors, nuclear depth charges, nuclear landmines, and nuclear artillery shells--more than a dozen types. None of these are limited by any current arms control treaty. The U.S. and Russia agreed to reduce or eliminate many of these non-strategic nuclear weapons at the end of the Cold War. Although the U.S. did so, and retains only a small number of one type (B61 nuclear gravity bombs), Russia has not fulfilled its commitment and has retained, modernized, and is expanding its non-strategic arsenal. The numerical imbalance in non-strategic nuclear weapons between Russia and the U.S. is very large and growing. Russia's public statements and nuclear threats, its well-documented and well-rehearsed military doctrine to use nuclear weapons to 'de-escalate' a conventional conflict, and its military resourcing decisions make clear that Russian leaders may perceive they can use these lower-yield, non-strategic nuclear weapons to coerce other countries and win a conventional conflict without a nuclear response from the United States."

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