Raising Our Sights: Russian- American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability

By David C. Gompert and Michael Kofman Strategic Forum 274

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Russian- American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability
Russian- American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability
Strategic Forum 274
Photo By: NDU Press
VIRIN: 180313-D-BD104-010

Key Points

  • With the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in place, the United States and Russia should expand negotiations to include cyberspace and space. 
  • Further, the United States and Russia should agree not to be the first to use nuclear or antisatellite weapons against the other or the first to attack the other’s critical computer networks. In view of its NATO obligations, the United States must insist that Allies be covered. Such strategic restraint would rely on mutual deterrence in all three domains, buttressed by cooperative measures. 
  • By reducing the utility of nuclear weapons and mitigating vulnerabilities in space and cyberspace, mutual strategic restraint would serve U.S. interests, and Russia should be receptive. 
  • The undemocratic character of Russia’s government should not prevent the United States from seeking an understanding that serves its interests, though it will have to be satisfied that its partner is a reliable one.

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