Cooperation against Proliferation: How the United States and Russia Can Stem Future Nuclear Threats

By Zarate, Robert | The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

Cooperation against Proliferation: How the United States and Russia Can Stem Future Nuclear Threats


Zarate, Robert, The Brown Journal of World Affairs


Arms control has emerged as a key element in President Obama's effort to "reset" nuclear relations with Russia. By the end of 2009 Washington hopes to conclude talks with Moscow for a new treaty thatwill oblige further reductions to U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Yet, regardless of whether the Obama Administration meets this negotiating deadline, the United States and Russia will continue find themselves at odds, or at least on different pages, when it comes to other important nuclear issues. Most notably, on how to rein in Iran's pursuit of the capability to produce bomb-usable nuclear material on short notice in defiance of numerous UN Security Council Resolutions.

Given that new efforts in nuclear arms control may not suffice to enlarge the community of interests between Washington and Moscow, this essay argues that the United States should adopt a different and complementary approach to redefining bilateral nuclear relations with Russia and cumulatively realigning each country's interests. It calls for both countries to shift their so-called "nuclear threat reduction and nonproliferation" (NTR/N) agenda-which has historically focused on securing and stabilizing the Soviet-built nuclear establishment-towards cooperative programs to stem the spread of civil nuclear energy's military potential to conflict-ridden regions like the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Indeed, these are the regions where the next waves of nuclear threats are likely to emerge.

The remainder of this essay proceeds in two parts. The first part summarizes the origins of U.S.-Russian nuclear threat reduction and nonproliferation, and then describes the status of major bilateral NTR/N programs. Part two sketches how Washington and Moscow might redirect the NTR/N agenda towards new efforts to discourage rivals in war-prone regions from cultivating the civil nuclear energy's military potential as a security hedge.

Progress in Sstemming U.Ss.-RruUssian NnuUclear Rrisks

"Nuclear threat reduction and nonproliferation" refers to the range of government-to-government programs by which the United States has assisted Russia in securing, stabilizing, and shrinking the vast Soviet-built nuclear weapons complex left over after the Cold War. NTR/N activities initially focused on preventing the misuse of, or theft from, the post-Soviet nuclear establishment. The rationale for these activities, however, expanded in the late 1990s and after 9/11 to include-and even to emphasize-efforts to deny nuclear terrorists access to former Soviet nuclear weapons, materials and equipment. Today, NTR/N programs are implemented on the U.S. side principally by the Departments of Defense, Energy, and State. Since 1992, the United States has invested as much as $15 billion (adjusted for inflation) on such projects in the former Soviet Union.1

In general, U.S.-Russian NTR/N programs have performed well. However, while some of these programs still have substantive work to complete in the former Soviet Union, the analysis below suggests that many programs have attained, or are close to attaining, their planned objectives.

Defense Department's Cooperative Tthreat RredDucCtion

The Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency is currently leading the implementation of a NTR/N program called "Cooperative Threat Reduction" (CTR)-known also as the "Nunn-Lugar" program after the Senators who helped to create it in the early 1990s. The Congressional Research Service reports that Congress authorized roughly $426 million for CTR activities in fiscal year 2008.2

The scope, composition, and objectives of Cooperative Threat Reduction projects have evolved over the years, sometimes dramatically. Although CTR now also deals with dangers posed by biological and chemical weapons, it still largely focuses on limiting and managing nuclear weapons-related risks in the former Soviet Union. In particular, CTR activities have sought to dismantle and destroy Soviet-era nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, partly in support of arms control agreements like the so-called Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a landmark 1991 agreement for significant cuts to U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cooperation against Proliferation: How the United States and Russia Can Stem Future Nuclear Threats
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.