The General Development of Nuclear Weapon in Russia
In keeping with the aggravation of the situation, the issue of global safety has proved itself to be in the need of reconsideration. Specifically, proliferation has posed a global threat, which requires an adequate response. At the same time, the most powerful and influential states of the world seem to make notice of the fact that the menace of nuclear attacks and conflicts still exists. The nuclear peril is considered shared mostly due to its fatal consequences. Ever since the Cuban missile crisis has woken the world by the danger of war, the mankind has reconsidered the conception of global safety. Russia, being involved in the Caribbean crisis as a part of the former Soviet Union, is reported to have been expanding its military might lately. This fact can be regarded as an issue of concern by all the nations.
Nuclear weapons have not been used ever since the final stage of the World War II. The Schlesinger Commission has classified the nuclear weapons as a deterrent, defining its role as vague but still noticeable (Forsyth Jr., Wood, Saltzman, and Schaub Jr. 74). The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) has expired, and the problem of its replacement is negotiated with Russia (Forsyth Jr. et al. 74). The concept of deterrence positions itself as a mediator between the potentially hostile states’ nonaggression and “a threat to use force” in response in case the latter fails to comply (Forsyth Jr. et al. 75). One of the key postulates of the deterrence theory is “the adversary to be deterred is rational.” (Forsyth Jr. et al. 76) Policies are developed and implemented by humans, and it is in the nature of a human being to act irrationally. Hence, foreseeing all the scenarios of response to deterrence does not seem possible. Social, economic, and political life nowadays are riddled with hostility and containment. But most importantly, propaganda and manipulation of public opinion gains momentum. It is rather alarming that the latter tends to become noticeable in Russia at present times.
As far as the issue of the impact of nuclear weapons on politics is concerned, it is important to mention the following. “The absence of war or major crisis” it typically termed as stability of international security. In this regard, nuclear weapons are viewed in their inherent relation to the concept of general deterrence.” (Forsyth Jr. et al. 77)
Alongside France, the United Kingdom, the United States and China, Russia is considered one of the five nuclear weapon states (Kerr 2008). At the same time, it is believed that some organizations in Russia continue exporting technology of weapons (Kerr 2008). Russian weapons of mass destruction (MWD) were significantly impeded after the dissolution of Soviet Union. Furthermore, it is admitted that, particularly, U.S.-Russian arms control and international arms control, in general, have progressed recently (Kerr 2008). On the other hand, Russia is accused of transferring dangerous weapons technologies (Kerr 2008).
In 2007, the assumed amounts of Russian strategic nuclear forces were as follows: “104 10-warhead SS-18 ICBMs, 136 6-warhead SS-19 ICBMs, 222 single-warhead SS-25 road-mobile missiles, 44 single-warhead, silo-based SS-27 ICBMs, and 3 single-warhead, mobile SS-27 ICBMs” (qtd. in Kerr 2008). It is believed that Russia obtains around “2,000-3,000 operational tactical warheads and approximately 8,000-10,000 stockpiled strategic and tactical warheads” (qtd. in Kerr 2008). The researchers assume that, in the next few decades, the amount of Russian stockpiles will continue to decline (Kerr 2008). Assuming arms control agreements, nonproliferation regimen, strategies of security and assistance prove themselves to be effective, the number of countries either obtaining or creating NBC weapons may presumably decrease (Kerr 2008).
Principle Guidance on the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation, a document determining the Russian new military doctrine, was issued in the year 1993 (Blank 4). Russian new military doctrine is believed to lag behind the rest of the world’s most influential countries in terms of coherence (Blank 11). In the year 2007, Russia tested new ground-based missiles (Blank 15). The scholars admit that Russia is yet incapable of producing modern high-quality weapons (Blank 26). Instead, it is buying weapons abroad (Blank 26).
It is characteristic of Russian strategic policies of nowadays to be shaped by the changes “at the top of the Russian ruling elite” (Blank 135). Russian internal policies are subject to total control on the part of authorities (Blank 135). Consequently, Russia failed to be transformed into a progressive, democratic society (Blank 142). The authorities in Russia are incapable of developing their defense systems primarily due to the fact that the impact of the criminal world is difficult to be restrained (Blank 142). Apart from that, Russian authorities seem to realize that the state’s defense and military systems are in the need of reconstruction (Blank 271). By and large, the status of Russia as a nuclear state and its trends of development of nuclear weapons can be regarded as an ambiguous and controversial issue.
All in all, even though the quality of Russian weapons can be questioned, the numbers of its strategic arms are a point for concern. Under the circumstances of deterioration of its military equipment, Russia nowadays attempts to pose a threat to the world community. Furthermore, the Russian practice of carrying out foreign policies proves itself to be disreputable. Russian authorities tend to think in terms of force. As far as the Russian domestic policies are concerned, it is worth noting the following. The practices of total control over personality and propaganda start to assert themselves in Russia with a renewed vigor. It appears that the Russian political leaders approve of totalitarianism and dictatorship. This particular premise can be proved by the fact that the developing states are urged to unlock and exploit their military potentials by Russia, in particular. Each of the aforementioned aspects should be taken into consideration for they prove that the general trends of development of nuclear weapon in Russia trigger broader concerns.
After a careful examination of the general trends of development of nuclear weapon in Russia, the following conclusions can be made. Above all else, armaments race as such should be treated with caution. Nuclear peril has been brought on the verge of becoming a reality at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Consequently, many states have employed a deterrence technique. Russian Federation makes no exception. The amounts of Russian strategic nuclear weapons are enormous, even though modernization of the latter is needed. It is assumed, however, that they will be continuing to decline in the nearest decade. Nuclear weapons pose a serious hazard by all means. At the same time, nuclear weapons have proved themselves to serve as a deterrent. The Russian case is controversial in particular in a sense that Russian foreign policies as such trigger concern.
The aftermaths of nuclear peril are fatal. Consequently, the menace of nuclear conflict is relatable to each state regardless of its status. In spite of the fact that the deterrence strategies proved themselves to be effective, it is needed to work out the new mechanisms of reducing the threat of nuclear peril. Political leaders of the world’s most powerful states should consider the adequate mechanisms for improving safety in a global sense. Nonproliferation and partial nuclear disarmament can be viewed as the adequate mechanisms for guaranteeing global safety and responding to threats posed by hostile elements.