In his latest Op-Ed for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that the nuclear deterrence relationship between the West and Russia is becoming increasingly unstable. Driven by mutual perceptions of insecurity, both are about to enter a new arms race. The main problem is that each side is entertaining very different threat perceptions on very different levels of military competition. This situation heightens the risk of a complete breakdown of the bilateral nuclear arms control architecture what is compounded by the lack of regular strategic dialogue. Read more...

In his latest article for Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that the nuclear deterrence relationship between Russia and the West is getting increasingly unstable. While Russia's concerns are mainly at the level of strategic stability, NATO and the United States worry about Moscow's regional capabilities in Eastern Europe. This situation would create the conditions for arms racing and dangerous misunderstandings. Read more... (in German)

With relations between Washington, Moscow and Europe at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, the Deep Cuts Commission together with a number of additional high-level actors is warning that urgent steps need to be taken to contain nuclear risks and tensions and prevent a new nuclear arms race.

In a statement issued today, the group notes that: “Existing nuclear arms control agreements are at risk, and both sides are pursuing costly programs to replace and upgrade their Cold War-era strategic nuclear arsenals, each of which exceed reasonable deterrence requirements. A compliance dispute threatens the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will expire in 2021 unless extended.”

Among the 41 signatories to the statement are: Des Browne, former Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom; Richard R. Burt, former U.S. negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; Tom  Countryman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association; retired Major General Dvorkin, chief researcher at the Center for International Security at the Institute of Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations; Gen. Victor Esin, former Chief of Staff and Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces; Volker Rühe, former Minister of Defense, Germany; Strobe Talbott, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; and Sen. Richard G. Lugar, former Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The full statement is available here in English, Russian and German. Inter alia, the Guardian featured the statement in an article, read more...

Amid the rollout of the February 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, security analysts have understandably focused much attention on its implications for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, intra-alliance ties with key North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners, and Washington’s icy relations with Moscow. But nuclear deterrence only partially addresses NATO members’ shared concerns about Russian behavior, especially in light of Moscow’s growing propensity to undermine the alliance with nonkinetic operations and other tactics that nuclear warheads cannot easily deter, argues Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn in his latest report for the Carnegie Endowment. Click here...

Only a few days after the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, a small group of pundits, scholars, journalists, as well as a senior Member of the German Bundestag began to individually debate whether Germany should, perhaps, pursue one of three nuclear options: (1) fielding an indigenous nuclear force; (2) preserving a latent nuclear hedge capacity; or (3) cooperating with the French to open an extended nuclear deterrent umbrella over Europe. In this article for The Washington Quarterly, Ulrich Kühn and Tristan Volpe explain why this short-lived debate happened and what it could mean for Euro-Atlantic security. Click here... 

The article comes with an addendum, listing all original sources linked to the German nuclear debate, click here...

Perhaps like no other exercise since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia’s recently concluded Zapad (West) exercise was of serious concern to NATO’s easternmost members. It provided ample opportunity for pundits to engage in hysteria about Russian intentions. No seasoned NATO official expected the exercise to be the not-so-secret cover for a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Rather, the real problem with Zapad is that it underscored once more the precarious state of security in Europe. Because NATO also decided at its 2016 Warsaw Summit to remain open to dialogue with Russia, and since Germany, in particular, has only recently made a renewed push for conventional arms control in Europe, it makes sense to ask whether a novel conventional arms control arrangement could provide for more security. Ulrich Kühn discusses these questions in his latest article, click here...

 

Deep Cuts Working Paper #11 on European security cooperation by Wolfgang Richter is out now!

 

The European security order as agreed upon in the 1990s has eroded dramatically. The objective of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of cooperative security without dividing lines has been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts. Conventional arms control lies in ruins and the OSCE Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) are insufficient to stabilize the situation and dispel new threat perceptions. These developments started long before the Ukraine conflict triggered the second nadir in NATO-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. In his latest Deep Cuts Working Paper, Wolfgang Richter elaborates the stabilizing role of conventional arms control regarding the return to security cooperation in Europe. Click here...

In his latest article, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that to prepare for future nuclear crises that will affect Europe, the next German government must double down on its role of building bridges in the nuclear realm. And thus posing the general question whether Germany can be Europe's nuclear bridge builder. Click here...