Russia and the world arms race (part 1)

Author : Oleksiy Arbatov

Source : 112 Ukraine

Any global problem will be sooner or later solved only if the nuclear catastrophe is prevented today
14:11, 28 April 2016

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Despite periodic official statements that Russia will not allow to be involved into an arms race, the real situation is different. The state is already involved into a large-scale military competition, primarily with the United States. This new arms race might be more difficult, expensive, and dangerous than the arms race during the Cold War.

At the moment, we can identify at least four directions in which this process is unfolding. It is only about the strategic arms, not taking into account the general purpose forces. Their State technical re-armament program for 2020 and 2025 also carries a bright moment of competition in relation to aviation, land and naval forces of NATO countries.

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First, the full swing of work is in the field of strategic offensive nuclear forces (ONF). The state program of arms development fir 2020 provides for the deployment of 400 new intercontinental ballistic missiles, eight nuclear missile submarines, the creation of a new system of a heavy bomber (PAK-DA) with the aircraft cruise missile long-range dual-use X-101/102 until 2020, and before that the resumption of construction modernized Tu-160 is planned. First of all, these systems replace outdated gears, that is, the aim is to upgrade the Russian strategic forces within the framework of the New START Treaty in 2010 year.

The United States, according to the life cycle of the chronology of the strategic systems, will begin their renewal after 2020, and in the first decade $ 350 billion will be allocated; for 30 years 1 trillion dollars to be allocated for complete refurbishment of the nuclear triad. Of course, the United States will pursue the goal of confrontation with Russia in deployable systems. It is likely, the Russian Federation should, in turn, respond to it in their further steps of development of strategic nuclear forces. Thus, classic race on offensive nuclear arms might start in a few years. Building ground-based medium-range missiles may also take place if the 1987 INF Treaty is not denounced, what is advocated by many Russian experts.

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All this is more or less familiar: the Cold War was going on this direction major rivalry between the two superpowers. The only difference is that in the past, since 1972, the race was limited to a succession of treaties SALT / INF / START / SORT, and all constraints can be dropped in the future. After the conclusion of the START Treaty in 2010, negotiations are not conducted for political reasons; the parties cannot overcome their differences on missile defense and other issues. Previously, new negotiations began immediately after the conclusion of the next agreement, and the two sides came to them with the prepared agenda. Now the two powers have very different attitude towards nuclear weapons; in a sense, they are reversed compared to the previous decade (since 2000). Time for negotiations on a new agreement is getting shorter, and the Russian political elite is not worried about it. Thus, after the expiry of the current START Treaty in 2020, for the first time in 45 years, there might be a yawning gap in the central area of ​​control over nuclear weapons. The entire system of nuclear disarmament created during the past fifty years, the tireless work of government leaders, diplomats, politicians, military and civilian experts of the leading powers of the world could be useless.

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