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Pavel Podvig

Pavel Podvig

Articles by Pavel Podvig

27 March 2014
AmericasEurope/Russia

What the Crimea crisis will do to US-Russia relations

Pavel Podvig

Cooperation on arms control and non-proliferation has survived so far, but broken ties in other areas will make it difficult to mend the relationship.

12 January 2014
AmericasEurope/Russia

No such thing as a safe nuclear arsenal

Pavel Podvig

Just because no state has detonated a warhead by accident doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

7 October 2013
Europe/RussiaMiddle East

Unexpected dangers

Pavel Podvig

Russia’s reaction to Israel’s anti-missile defense test shows that in the real world, surprise can lead to peril.

1 July 2013
Europe/Russia

A case for unilateral US nuclear warhead reductions

Pavel Podvig

If America leads, Russia will likely follow.

30 April 2013

Shooting down the Star Wars myth

Pavel Podvig

It has been 30 years since US President Ronald Reagan called for development of a missile defense system that was supposed to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) launched by Reagan's famous "Star Wars" speech in March 1983 has survived to the present day, but with ever-lower expectations. Long gone is the vision of a missile defense system that could "counter the awesome Soviet missile threat." That has been replaced with the hope that a few dozen interceptors with a spotty test record will protect the United States from an attack by a few nonexistent missiles from North Korea or Iran. What has not changed is the controversy that surrounds missile defense and its role in the nuclear age.

2 April 2013

Shooting down the Star Wars myth

Pavel Podvig

It has been 30 years since US President Ronald Reagan called for development of a missile defense system that was supposed to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) launched by Reagan's famous "Star Wars" speech in March 1983 has survived to the present day, but with ever-lower expectations.

31 October 2012

The myth of strategic stability

Pavel Podvig

Strategic stability is one of those ideas that seem to enjoy almost unqualified support among nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, nuclear disarmament advocates and skeptics, as well as nuclear abolitionists and nuclear hawks. And it is probably because of this universal support that the pursuit of strategic stability became the single most serious obstacle on the way toward nuclear disarmament.

1 June 2012

Point of distraction

Pavel Podvig

Judging by the intensity of Russia's constant opposition to US missile defenses in Europe, one might think that the very survival of the nation is in danger. In reality, though, the opposite is true: The battle over missile defense is so fierce because the stakes are so low. In terms of an actual impact on Russia's security, US defense is largely irrelevant.

22 February 2012

Toward a better Nuclear Security Summit

Pavel Podvig

The Nuclear Security Summit taking place in Seoul next month is expected to reinforce the commitment of the international community to confronting the threat of nuclear terrorism. The summit process provides a unique opportunity to ensure that nuclear security receives the high-level attention it deserves from governments around the world. It also entrusts the participants with a special responsibility not to let this opportunity pass by.

6 January 2011

Offense and defense after New START

Pavel Podvig

Senate approval of New START on Dec. 22 opened the way for quick reciprocity on the side of the Russian parliament, which launched its own ratification process just two days later. Russia has expressed some concerns about the wording of the Senate's ratification resolution on missile defense and conventionally armed strategic launchers; however, since the treaty text remained unchanged, the Duma will pass a resolution in which it will register its own understandings of some of the treaty provisions, but will avoid inserting those into the treaty itself.

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