Online Seminar on Strategic Arms Control

Graphic for Seminar on Regional Security, EU map and EU flag

Online Seminar on Strategic Arms Control

The Online Seminar on March, 23 2021 was dedicated to a stock taking of Strategic Arms Control. Today's agenda cannot be understood without the history of this complex matter. The lecturer, Ambassador rtd Steven Pifer, currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy Berlin, presented a comprehensive overview, starting in the early years of the cold war, prominently with the first bilateral (USA-SU) agreements on strategic offensive and defensive weapons 1972. Up to now, fifty years of Strategic (Nuclear) Arms Control led to the so-called New START treaty 2010, with its core limit of 1.550 deployed strategic warheads on both sides. Under the new US Administration, New Start was prolonged until 2026.

What could be the way forward? There are several strategic stability dilemmas for the foreseeable future. With other words: The strategic stability equation is very different from during the Cold War. The goal remains the same: to reduce incentives to use nuclear weapons, even in a sharp crisis or conventional conflict. However, instead of a two-player model (United States and Soviet Union) that compared strategic offensive nuclear forces and their ability to survive and deliver a devastating retaliatory attack, even after suffering a massive first strike, today's model must be both multi-player and multi-domain, to include missile defense, precision-guided long-range conventional strike, space and cyber.

Event Details

March 23, 2021