Wary of the West: Russian Security Policy at the Millennium

By Wallander, Celeste A. | Arms Control Today, March 2000 | Go to article overview

Wary of the West: Russian Security Policy at the Millennium


Wallander, Celeste A., Arms Control Today


Russia's new national security concept mixes elements of exceptionalism, great power concerns, and material interests in the international economy.

Russia's national security policy is defined by opposition and diversity ideas and interests, power and geopolitics. It is affected by elements of Russia's Soviet past, by the cultural struggle to define its post-Soviet identity, and by the new economic and political interests that have served as the agents of change in Russia's transition from communism. It is also, of course, shaped by the limits of Russia's post-Cold War power and its relationship with the United States.

On January 10, Acting President Vladimir Putin approved a new national security concept detailing Russia's political security policy. A draft military doctrine, a more specific policy paper dealing with military issues, was approved by the Russian Security Council in late February.l Both the concept and the doctrine mix elements of Russian exceptionalism, great power prerogatives and concerns, and material interests in the international economy. The documents are not binding-they can be (and have been) changed, amended, and even ignored-but they are important for understanding Russian security policy nonetheless because they reflect the priorities, assessments, compromises, and negotiations within the Russian political and security elite.

America's most important interests can be managed well only in a fundamentally secure environment made possible by the passing of Cold War confrontation. Russia is not the Soviet superpower, and bipolar competition will not return. Russia nevertheless remains the only country that can destroy the United States in a single large-scale nuclear attack-a threat that will remain even if the United States deploys a national missile defense (NMD) and even if economic factors drive Russia's nuclear force downward to only 1,000-1,500 warheads.

It is not enough if Russia is simply not hostile to the West. The United States needs active Russian cooperation in order to achieve its non-proliferation goals. Given the state of Russia's economy, unauthorized sale of technology for missiles or for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons poses a major challenge to the non-proliferation and export control regimes the United States counts on to prevent countries such as Iraq or terrorists like Osama bin Laden from acquiring weapons that can kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. The West needs a Russian governmentsupported by its society-that deems cooperation in this area a priority worth economic and political resources. In particular, the West needs a professional Russian military willing to work with Western security professionals in areas of national security and military sensitivity.

Russia's security concept and military doctrine also define what is possible in conventional and nuclear arms reductions. The recently adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty will not be successfully implemented if Russia's security elite believes that NATO is hostile to Russia, is expanding its capabilities by enlarging its membership, and views the war in Kosovo as a stepping stone to a larger European role. Ratifying START II and moving on to START III requires convincing the security elite that the United States is a reliable partner, subject to international law and respectful of its treaty commitments. And any prospect for an agreement on NMD that will avoid sparking a new multilateral nuclear arms race (involving not only Russia and China, but also possibly India and Pakistan) cannot succeed unless Russia believes that it can enhance its security more by working with the United States than by assuming the worst about American intentions and falling back upon unilateral remedies.

Analysis of Russia's new security concept and military doctrine conveys how likely Russian cooperation on these fronts will be and offers insight into how Russia's threat perceptions could complicate multilateral efforts. …

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

Wary of the West: Russian Security Policy at the Millennium
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.

    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.