Foreword by John Steinbruner

For nearly fifty years—and the decade and a half since the end of the Cold War—deterrence has remained the central nuclear arms control policy between the United States, Russia, and other principal nuclear powers. The question today is: Has it outlived its usefulness?

In Beyond Nuclear Deterrence, two of Russia’s top nonproliferation and international security experts, Alexei Arbatov and Vladimir Dvorkin, critically assess the history of deterrence as it emerged between the Soviet Union and the U.S. and evolved through the Cold War to include an expanding nuclear club. The authors argue that while deterrence as a concept has always been paradoxical, it is poorly equipped to handle today’s most significant nuclear challenges: proliferation and terrorism. Nuclear arms control must move beyond the deadlock of deterrence. The U.S. and Russia need to take the first bilateral steps to remove mutual nuclear deterrence as the foundation of their strategic relationship and implement changes that can be exported internationally.

Alexei Arbatov is Scholar-in-Residence and Program Co-chair of Nuclear Nonproliferation at the Carnegie Moscow Center and head of the Center for International Security at the Institute for International Economy and International Relationships of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Vladimir Dvorkin is a senior researcher at the Center for International Security at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences and former director of the Fourth Central Research Institute in Moscow.

Reviews for this publication

Beyond Nuclear Deterrence helps us face the fact that we have been marking time in arms control since the signing of the CTBT in 1996 and that nuclear arms control and proliferation issues do not go away if ignored but tend to get more complicated and critical.”
Jack Mendelsohn, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University and member of U.S. SALT II and START I delegations