International Security // Analysis

24 march 2017

U.S. Nuclear Warheads' Scary Modernization


U.S. Atomic Scientists have published a report on the ongoing programme to retrofit W76-1/Mk4A warheads of Trident II SLBMs with burst-height compensating super-fuses. The upgrade will significantly improve the missile’s kill ratio as applied to silo-based ICBMs, thus freeing up a considerable portion of the United States’ arsenal for engaging other targets of potential enemies. What should Russia do?

23 march 2017

The US Submarine Force and the Growing Russia-US Animosity

Prokhor Tebin PhD in Political Science, RIAC expert


In June 2016, Proceedings, the US leading naval magazine, published an article by Vice Admiral James Foggo, a Commander of the US 6th fleet, and Alarik Fritz, a senior research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA). The article titled “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic” is dedicated to the growing threat posed by the Russian submarine fleet and to the measures the US needs to take to counteract the threat. Foggo and Fritz write that once again, “an effective, skilled, and technologically advanced Russian submarine force is challenging” the US.

22 march 2017

Could the Ukraine Crisis Trigger a New Cold War?

Ferit Temur PhD Candidate in International Relations, specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs, Turkey


Even after Trump was elected to the office of President, his continued positive statements about Russia has strengthened expectations that relations between the US and Russia would get better. However, expectations for the normalisation of relations between the two countries have been dampened due to an array of issues. One was the recent resignation of Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, on allegations that ‘bargains’ were made during a phone call between him and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. A recent statement from the White House that President Trump expects Crimea to be returned to Ukraine did not alleviate this disappointment. In addition, the decision to recognize the ‘passports’ of the secessionist Donetsk and Lugansk regions by Vladimir Putin against backdrop of the decision taken at the NATO summit to increase the military deployment to the Black Sea signals that new and serious tensions may be on the horizon.

20 march 2017

Francis Fukuyama: We Need a Common Threat


On March 14–16, Berkeley hosted Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit organized by East West Institute and attended by over 150 experts, government and business representatives from a number of countries. RIAC website editor Maria Smekalova had a chance to ask Francis Fukuyama, the author of best-selling “The End of History and the Last Man” and Stanford University professor, about the crises global community faces as well as decline of traditional media following his speech at the event.

01 march 2017

Nuclear Divergence or Convergence? The Logic of Piecemeal Escalation or Piecemeal Integration

Ira Straus Ph.D., Chairman, Center for War/Peace Studies in New York


How to achieve mutual U.S. – Russia reductions without reducing the margin of superiority over China and others? The problem is, on the surface, intractable. It seems that the equation has no solution. Nevertheless there is a solution. It is not obvious, nor easy on the psyche. It requires changing some of the parameters and variables of the equation; and taking the risk of an effort of innovation. The solution is to invest the excess nuclear forces into a joint force.

17 february 2017

Ensuring Euro-Atlantic Security

Sam Nunn Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Former Democratic US senator

Desmond Browne Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Executive Board Member of the European Leadership Network, Former British Defense Secretary

Igor Ivanov President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)

Wolfgang Ischinger Chairman of the Munich Security Conference


The chasm between Russia and the West appears to be wider now than at any point since the Cold War. But, despite stark differences, there are areas of existential common interest. As we did during the darkest days of the Cold War, Americans, Europeans, and Russians must work together to avoid catastrophe, including by preventing terrorist attacks and reducing the risks of a military — or even nuclear — conflict in Europe.

16 february 2017

Pathways to Cooperation. A Menu of Potential U.S.-Russian Cooperative Projects in the Nuclear Sphere

Sam Nunn Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Former Democratic US senator

Igor Ivanov President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)


The U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) launched a new joint report on the future of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation. The report includes 51 recommendations for mutually beneficial cooperation across five thematic areas: nuclear science, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, nuclear security, and nuclear environmental remediation. If implemented, these projects could result in safer nuclear reactors, stronger defenses against nuclear and radiological terrorism, and cleaner approaches to nuclear environmental remediation.

15 february 2017

Nuclear Agreements and Capabilities in 2017

Ilya Kramnik Head of Defense and Security Desk at, RIAC expert


Today, Russia is the only major power that is introducing significant innovations. Moscow is attempting to reduce the gap that appeared in the 1990s–2000s. Besides, given that NATO is much larger in scale, Russia uses its nuclear potential to compensate for the fact that it lags behind in the size of its conventional capabilities.

03 february 2017

Post-ISIS and Future Jihadist Threats

Marcin Styszyński Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Chair of Asian Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University


The ongoing offensive against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as well as the neutralisation of jihadist leaders such as Abu Muhammad al-Adnani or Abu Omar al-Shishani in the Arab-Muslim world, beg the question of post-ISIS and future jihadist threats in the world. The following points provide some prognosis in this context.

12 january 2017

A Difficult Peace: The UN and the Challenges of Modern Peacekeeping

Dmitry Borisov International Security expert, MA in International Affairs, Sciences Po Paris/MGIMO


As the saying goes, peace, like war, must be waged, and the United Nations (UN) has been at the forefront of this battle for almost 70 years. From the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), the first ever peacekeeping mission set up in 1956 at the height of the Suez crisis, to the 2014 UN mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), UN peacekeeping (UNPK) continues to change and adapt to the constantly evolving dynamics of conflict. With at least 40 active conflicts around the world today according to the IISS Armed Conflict Database, the need for UN peacekeeping is as acute as ever, but the institution itself is in flux.

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