24 Items

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 1, 2018.

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Putin’s Remarks on Use of Nuclear Weapons Are Confusing, But Unlikely to Constitute a Shift in Nuclear Posture

| Nov. 28, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eschatological talk of nuclear Armageddon at this year’s Valdai forum has stirred up heated debates on how well his description of Russia’s potential use of nuclear weapons matches the country’s official military doctrine. However, a close look at Putin’s Oct. 18 remarks and Russia’s 2014 military doctrine reveals that, while Putin deviated from the language in the doctrine, he did not lie on the first use issue. Nor did he seem to be hinting at a shift in Russia’s nuclear posture. More likely, he was signaling to Washington that the existing nuclear arms control treaties need to remain in place for the sake of ensuring strategic stability in the U.S.-Russian nuclear dyad and avoiding an accidental war between the two countries.

The head of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, speaks in a conference called "A World Without Terror," in Tehran, Iran on Oct. 31, 2017. Jafari said that the country's supreme leader has limited the range of ballistic missiles it makes (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi).

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How to Stop Iran's Missile Program

| Dec. 10, 2017

Just four weeks ago, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s commander, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, told the Associated Press that Tehran was imposing a 1,242-mile range limit on its surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. Although lax (all of Israel’s bases, and most of America’s in the Gulf and Middle East, fall within this range), this limit should be seen as a start. The question now is how much further might the United States and other like-minded countries be able to push Iran to impose tighter controls.

Wearing traditional Kazakh costumes on the shoulders, from left, U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins and Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, shortly after their landing aboard Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. Hopkins together with the two Russia's cosmonauts landed safely in the Kazakh steppe aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool)

AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

US-Russian space cooperation: a model for nuclear security

| Mar. 07, 2017

This interdependence between the US and Russian space programs persists even though the two countries are now living through what some pundits describe as a new Cold War. There was a time not so long ago, however, when the two nations viewed space solely as an area of strategic competition. The steps that Washington and Moscow took to transform their space rivalry into cooperation can serve today as a model for working together to help prevent nuclear terrorism, no matter how strained relations may seem.

A model of the Capitol Building is displayed on a giant planning map during a media tour highlighting inaugural preparations Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at the DC Armory in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Conservative’s Prescriptive Policy Checklist: U.S. Foreign Policies in the Next Four Years to Shape a New World Order

| Jan. 09, 2017

Based on the rigorous definition of vital U.S. national interests, this essay proposes a prescriptive checklist of U.S. policy steps that would strengthen the domestic base of American external actions; reinforce the U.S. alliance systems in Asia and Europe; meet the Chinese and Russian challenges, while improving the quality of diplomatic exchanges with Beijing and Moscow; reshape U.S. trade policy; gradually pivot from the Middle East to Asia (but not from Europe); maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran; and confront international terrorism more aggressively, but with minimal U.S. boots on the ground in ungoverned areas and without nation building.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, October 29, 2016.

Wikicommons photo by Gage Skidmore shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Russia Matters

Trump’s Victory Bodes Well for US-Russia Ties, But Expect No Tectonic Shifts

| November 10, 2016

Proponents of improved U.S.-Russian relations might take heart in Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election. Tangible positive changes are certainly possible, but fundamental differences over issues such as U.S. missile defense, NATO expansion and Russia’s willingness to use force against its neighbors, as well as the absence of robust economic ties, make a qualitative breakthrough in the bilateral relationship unlikely.

In this March 6, 2013 photo, a warning sign is shown attached to a fence at the 'C' Tank Farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Wash.

(AP Photo)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Experts Provide Analysis and Commentary on 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

April 5, 2016

Leading up to and during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, Belfer Center experts released reports, published commentary, and provided insight and analysis into global nuclear security. In advance of the Summit, the Project on Managing the Atom set the stage for discussion with the report Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?

An in-progress compilation of the expert commentary and analysis is available here.

Presentation - Carnegie Moscow Center

The Real Lessons from the Meeting on the Elbe

| April 23, 2015

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and on the eve of the anniversary of the meeting of Soviet and American troops on the Elbe, the Carnegie Moscow Center organized a conference held April 23, 2015 in Moscow to discuss the experience of Russian-American alliance during the Second World War, as well as the experience of cooperation and rivalry after the end of the Cold War. The Elbe meeting took place on April 25, 1945.

Brigadier General (ret.) Kevin Ryan, director of the Belfer Center's Defense and Intelligence Projects and founder of The Elbe Group, spoke at the conference in Russian about the significance of the Elbe anniversary to U.S.-Russian relations today. His Russian remarks and English translation are available.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottmoeller discusses the importance of cooperation on global security issues.

Belfer Center

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

U.S.-Russia Conference Aims to Reduce Tensions

Spring 2015

For two days in October, Russian and American experts met at the Belfer Center to discuss the state of U.S.-Russia relations and look for glimmers of hope.

Unfortunately, few were seen. The conflict in Eastern Ukraine is only the most urgent manifestation of a deeply troubled relationship between Russia and the West—in particular the United States. As one Russian participant stated, “We should deal first with the problems that existed even before Ukraine.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva, Jan. 2015.

AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool

Analysis & Opinions - National Review Online

Avoiding Failure in the Iran Nuclear Talks

| January 9, 2015

The U.S. negotiating strategy in nuclear talks with Iran is failing. To date, these negotiations have focused almost solely on topics that Iran wants to talk about — how many thousands of uranium-enrichment centrifuges Tehran will continue to operate, and how soon sanctions will be lifted. This all but guarantees an outcome that will fail to block the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons at a time of its choosing.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures during a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Dec 29, 2014. He on Monday signed a bill dropping his country's nonaligned status but signaled that he will hold a referendum before seeking NATO membership.

(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Analysis & Opinions - Moscow Times

NATO-Russian Relations Can Still Be Saved

| January 12, 2013

It is indisputable that the Ukraine crisis has dealt a serious blow to Russia's relations with core members of NATO. It would take many years for Moscow, Washington and Brussels to fully mend the fences even if the conflict in Ukraine were resolved tomorrow.

But as Russia's new military doctrine indicates, the Rubicon in NATO-Russian relations has not been crossed — at least not yet. While naming Russia's allies, the doctrine, which was published on Dec. 26, avoids designating either NATO as a whole or any of its specific members as adversaries.