Nuclear weapons issues continue to figure prominently on the bilateral agenda between the United States and Russia. Although the U.S.-Russia relationship is no longer characterized by the hostility of the Cold War years, mutual nuclear deterrence continues to underpin the relationship between the two countries. Is mutual deterrence a permanent fixture of the relationship between Washington and Moscow, or can they move beyond it?
On September 30, the Arms Control Initiative at Brookings, in conjunction with Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, held a panel discussion to explore the possibilities for the United States and Russia to move past mutual deterrence. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer moderated a panel consisting of Gary Samore, executive director for Research at the Belfer Center and a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings; William Tobey, senior fellow at the Belfer Center; and Pavel Zolotarev, deputy director of the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The three panelists are co-authors of a new Belfer-U.S. and Canada Institute report, “Transcending Mutual Deterrence in the U.S.-Russian Relationship.”