Dangerous Trajectories: Obama’s Approach to Arms Control Misreads Russian Nuclear Strategy

Russia still considers the United States its “principal adversary.” Russia also relies on its nuclear weapons to compensate for its inferiority in conventional weapons relative to the U.S., NATO, and China. Russian political and military leaders are still captives of czarist and Soviet geopolitical thinking and military traditions. U.S. policymakers need to understand this background and Russia’s Soviet-style negotiating tactics when negotiating realistic and verifiable arms control agreements with Russia. The Obama Administration’s wishful thinking and unilateral concessions will not prevent a new arms race.

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