Russian Strategic Modernization: Past and Future

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Overview

This invaluable study provides a unique insider's view of the history of Soviet and Russian policy on nuclear weapons modernization and charts the future evolution of the Russian strategic arsenal. Using information that has only recently become available and introducing new, previously unknown data, Sokov concludes that the most important force behind the evolution of the Soviet and Russian strategic arsenal was the military itself, which sought to increase strategic stability by enhancing the survivability of weapons systems. The highly destabilizing posture of the 1970s and 1980s was, he argues, in a sense 'accidental,' resulting from the failure of several R&D programs and specific features of the Soviet decisionmaking mechanism. The author demonstrates that the role of such factors as the economic crisis, U.S. modernization programs, and general Russian foreign policy goals has been exaggerated by Western analysts. No matter how hard-pressed, Russia will hold to its current plans, Sokov argues. At the same time, the military will be unlikely to engage in a new arms buildup even if the economic situation improves or a nationalist government comes to power. Instead, stability will be sought through better quality of weapons at progressively lower levels. Introducing a wealth of new information on Soviet and Russian national security policymaking, the author explores in meticulous detail such key issues as decisions on weapons development, arms-control negotiations, and the handling of the Soviet nuclear arsenal after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The reader will be able to follow the debates and intrigues between military planners, diplomats, and weapons designers as they clashed over the choice of acquisition programs and negotiating positions. With its combination of informed analysis and use of new documentation, this work will be invaluable for all concerned with U.S.-Russian strategic relations.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Peace Research
This compact and concisely written study deserves attention not only from the shrinking tribe of nuclear experts but from all those interested in strategic decisionmaking in Moscow.
International Review Of Administrative Science
A well documented treatise which helps the reader to understand the dynamics of Soviet defence planning during the Cold War era.
International Review of Administrative Science
A well documented treatise which helps the reader to understand the dynamics of Soviet defence planning during the Cold War era.
Oct.2000 International Affairs
Sokov provides an invaluable background to current nuclear arms control questions. The book is a useful addition to the literature.
Benjamin S. Lambeth
An informed and documented treatise on a crucial area of Cold-War inquiry by a bona fide former Soviet security professional. As such, it provides a revelation for those in the West who long struggled to understand the dynamics of Soviet defense planning, but had little clue, beyond vague generalities, about what went on inside the black box of Soviet decision-making.
Journal of Peace Research
This compact and concisely written study deserves attention not only from the shrinking tribe of nuclear experts but from all those interested in strategic decisionmaking in Moscow.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847694679
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Soviet Bloc and After Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikolai Sokov is senior research associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies. From 1987 to 1992, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and before that of the USSR. During the same period, he was an expert of the Soviet delegation to the START talks.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Table of Designatoins for Soviet/Russian Strategic Ballistic Missiles Chapter 4 Introduction Chapter 5 I: Past Chapter 6 1 An Unintended Posture Chapter 7 2 Arms Control Talks and the Shaping of the New Posture Chapter 8 3 A Leap over Stages of Development Chapter 9 II: Future Chapter 10 4 Modernization of the Russian Nuclear Triad Chapter 11 5 The Nuclear Debate Chapter 12 Conclusion Chapter 13 Index Chapter 14 About the Author
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