Issue Brief on “The Brewing US-Russia Nuclear Arms Race: An Assessment”


US and Russia relations have deteriorated over the last few year. These tensions in relations between the two great powers have been accompanied by a breakdown in bilateral arms control regime. This, in turn, is threatening to reignite a new arms race between the two countries.

The most recent development in this chain of events is the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Trump administration has accused Russia of developing a missile that  violates the treaty. Russia has counter accusations against the US. The US had given Russia an ultimatum that it will withdraw from this landmark treaty that helped protect Europe from the danger of small and medium range ballistic missiles. The START treaty is also about to expire in 2021 and there are no signs that the two sides are going to extend the treaty. The breakdown in arms control comes as the US is planning to develop new nuclear weapons. Through its Nuclear Posture Review in 2018, the US has made it clear that it is going to develop a whole new range of nuclear weapons. US plans could push other countries like China and Russia to modernize their nuclear arsenals. This is setting off  a new arms race that would bring more global instability.

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