The vicissitudes of Russian missile defense

By Alexey Arbatov, June 28, 2018

The Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, pictured in 2017.. Source: Соколрус, via WikimediaThe Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, pictured in 2017. Source: Соколрус, via Wikimedia

The Russian vision of ballistic missile defense has reflected the specifics of the Russian/Soviet political system and decision-making mechanisms, and it is entangled with Moscow’s peculiar perceptions of external military threats, nuclear deterrence, and conventional warfighting. In this article, the author attempts to answer three basic questions about that vision: What is Russia’s long-term aim in regard to missile defense? Does it still want a new agreement with the United States that limits missile defense? And what kind of agreement could it be?

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