• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline the main features of Russian nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War era

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline the main features of Russian nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War era The evolution of present Russian nuclear strategy can be traced through the post- World War II epoch of Soviet- U.S. nuclear arms race. According to Greg Sheridan we can find ourselves in a new era of international relations- the post-Cold War era. This new period is characterised by bilateral efforts and disarmament agreements (for example the START treaties) and 'strategic drift and entropy' (Sheridan, 2002: 27) between the United States and Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union had caused a 'global transformation and shift in power' (Hartle & Sikonen, 1991: 215) and as a result the new, democratic Russian Federation emerged in 1991. Although this new state is a regional superpower, it is only a great power in the multipolar contemporary international system, but it is still regarded by United States as the only compatible country which could as its adversary cause the unaccepted damage in a single-large scale nuclear attack (Wallander, 2002: 25). The future relationship between these nuclear superpowers will play the key-role in international relations, especially in the spheres of international security, crisis management, nuclear strategy and maintenance of global stability. It is necessary that in today's era of 'global insecurity' (Podvig, 2000: 12) Russian Federation and the United States join hands and build the mutual confidence, in order to effectively deal with numerous issues such as the arms control, further nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, post-Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) ...read more.

Middle

Treaty. Despite much criticism it receives, START-II Treaty overall contributes to strategic stability and reduces both countries' capabilities to make explicitly damaging counter-force nuclear strike. (Berry, 1987: 37). It also strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation regime, reduces the risk of accidental nuclear conflict and aids in confidence building in Russo-American relationship. For example, the Black Brant XII incident occurred in 1995, where Norwegian-U.S. joint research rocket was mistaken by Russia as a nuclear attack. Yeltsin did not act immediately, primarily because Russia was guaranteed some form of partnership and security by START Treaties and it felt confident in its relationship to Washington. Thus the retaliatory counter-attack was not carried out, and the breakout of the accidental nuclear war was avoided (Dvorkin 1999: 2). The issue of Russian New Military Doctrine followed START-II Treaty in the same year (1993). It concentrated more on internal than external threats to Federation's security. The concept 'Kontzeptzia' and the main tenants 'Osnovnye Polozhena' gave priority to economic progress and elaborated national interests of Russia as regional superpower, great power and nuclear superpower (Dvorkin, 1999: 5). This doctrine allowed Russia to use nuclear weapons first in an attack by a nuclear weapon state and any of its allies, but stressed the internal threats as the major threats to national security. Russian New Military Doctrine was the expansion of its post-Cold War nuclear strategy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite the claims by Russian military and political leadership that American NMD is currently not technically possible, there is a difference between said and done. Russian nuclear strategy took another turn, and instead of mutual efforts towards nuclear disarmament, Russia is now working towards modernisation of its nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons. There is a current deadlock on US-Russian agreements in terms of further nuclear disarmament. These nuclear giants are still operating within the old army control negotiations framework, which provides few incentives for solving the problems that exist today. Although Russian nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War era was evolving through mutual treaties to build-up more confidence with United States, the underlying political issues did not resolve the controversies. The failure of United States and Russia to make a better progress towards nuclear disarmament and end nuclear testing, cleared the ground for India and Pakistan to engage in a new nuclear arms race (Hartle & Sikonen, 1991:101). Many analysts urge all nuclear countries, especially Russia and United States to collaborate towards a further nuclear disarmament, better arms control and prevent international terrorist organizations to reach nuclear materials. Russian post-Cold War nuclear strategy contributed to overall reduction of nuclear weapons (from 60.000 to 35.000) (Dvorkin, 1999: 17), however the risk of accidental nuclear war is still real and the threat of nuclear proliferation is greater than ever. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did the Cold War start

    The Soviet fear was amplified by their concerns over the use of the bomb due to the fact that America had now candidly expressed their anti-communist opinions, and were afraid that it would be used '... for the purpose of achieving its Imperialist goals from a position of strength in

  2. What were the Main Causes of the Cold War? and Which of these Causes ...

    Once the Russian Communist regime was in power then ideologically differences were bound to appear but it didn't really matter until 1941, as America was isolationist. When Japan attacked American soil, the conflict of ideologies between the two superpowers could be seen as a troubling and dangerous post-war focus but

  1. Who was responsible for the start of the Cold war?

    In truth he drained regions of the Soviet Union such as the Ukraine almost until the barrel was empty yet in many ways he needed, as there was still a demand for more oil in order to fuel Russia's economic recovery.

  2. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    However, this incident made Kennedy determined to stand up to Khrushchev the next time. 5. Why was there superpower conflict over Cuba? What were relations between Cuba and the USA like before the Crisis? * In 1959 Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba.

  1. The world would be a better place without nuclear energy. What do we use ...

    all of they money they spend on nuclear bombs on stopping AIDS. All the weapons that have been created by a country have been used against them in the end. America invents biological weapons. It then sells them to Iraq so that they don't ally with the USSR.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    Truman's change in attitude toward Stalin, from that of FDR's negotiation with "Uncle Joe" to one committed to stopping the Soviet cause, led to the creation of a new American anti-Soviet political policy. The Truman Doctrine, the name given to the policy established by Truman, would soon arise in American foreign policy.

  1. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    allow if Germany remained neutral * However, was made more complicated by the admission of West Germany into NATO in May 1955 * For USA, West Germany of vital strategic importance. * Khrushchev suggested the dismantling of NATO and Warsaw Pact and a new system of collective security in its place.

  2. The aim of this essay is to evaluate if the end of the Cold ...

    This view gained further prominence at the end of the Second World War when the United Nations was created for fostering cooperation amongst nations. The end of the Cold War also pushed up the liberalist views to the forefront of international politics.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work