From Mutual Assured Destruction to Mutual Assured Stability

March 27, 2013

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted two workshops with members of The Institute for USA and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, to examine questions surrounding the future of U.S.–Russian arms control. The first meeting was held in Washington, D.C., in late May and early June 2011, and the second meeting was held in Moscow in March 2012. Our primary goal was to describe a set of further arms control options for these two countries at a time when their national leaderships are in a period of potential change. The secondary goal was to facilitate a greater understanding of Russia’s perspectives on its national security and how nuclear weapons fit into the larger picture of Russian security planning. NRDC’s experience is that while intragovernmental debates on nuclear weapons policy are often fought out in public in the United States, it remains difficult to gauge the nature and extent of other states’ internal nuclear policy deliberations.