At its recent Chicago summit, NATO declared that its new ballistic missile defense (BMD) architecture had achieved “Interim Capability.” Nonetheless, questions persist regarding potential contradictions between missile defense and other NATO goals such as nuclear deterrence, Russian unease regarding the entire BMD project and the alliance’s ability to sustain the necessary expenditures to construct a comprehensive BMD architecture. In 2010 at Lisbon, NATO committed to making missile defense a core mission within an alliance context. In particular, member governments agreed in principle to integrate their European missile defense programs with those of the United States, with the goal of providing […]

Earlier this month, the Brazilian navy successfully tested an indigenously designed and manufactured anti-ship missile. In an email interview, Dinshaw Mistry, an associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, reviewed the state of the global missile industry. WPR: Which countries currently have an indigenous missile capability, and in what ranges, and which countries are currently seeking to develop this capability? Dinshaw Mistry: About a dozen countries currently build ballistic missiles with varying ranges. The United States, Russia, France and China have built long-range missiles that serve as nuclear weapon delivery systems. China, Israel, India and Pakistan have […]

The narrative that U.S.-Russian relations are set on a downward path with the return of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin has received a major shot in the arm with this week’s “summit-gate” saga. Aware that the inability to reach any accord between Russia and the United States over the contentious issue of missile defense would overshadow the NATO summit in Chicago, the Obama administration deliberately changed the location and timing of the G-8 summit, originally scheduled in Chicago immediately after the gathering of the Atlantic alliance, to the presidential retreat at Camp David the weekend before. This change […]

An important challenge for U.S. diplomacy during the upcoming NATO summit is to ensure that the lack of a decision to enlarge NATO does not become a defining outcome of the gathering. Most NATO summits do not invite new members. Indeed, there have been only three enlargement summits since 1989. But even at summits where new members were not invited to join, NATO leaders have emphasized that the alliance maintains an “open door” to new members, and the Chicago summit should be no exception in this regard. Perhaps nowhere is this more relevant than in the case of Georgia, which […]

Despite parallel histories and a concerted push on both sides to forge lasting ties over the past decade, it is apparent today that Georgia and Israel face very different geopolitical concerns and increasingly conflicting national interests. Indeed, their partnership, which once seemed so natural, now looks permanently derailed. After Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution propelled a new generation of Western-educated modernizers to power in Tbilisi, the country sought to leverage its 130,000-strong diaspora in Israel for investments and partnership. Georgian officials praised Israel as a model and frequently drew comparisons between Israel’s difficult journey to statehood and Georgia’s ongoing conflicts with […]

One issue that warrants greater attention from Washington policymakers moving forward is how relations between Russia and China will affect those two countries’ policies relating to nuclear arms control. In particular, the next administration needs to consider how the U.S. government and other actors can help shape this evolving relationship so that it moves in benign directions, while hedging against possible adverse outcomes. Russia and China have the world’s two most powerful militaries after that of the United States. China is currently undertaking perhaps the most comprehensive military modernization program in the world, while Russia still has approximately as much […]

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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite declined an invitation by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski earlier this month to join her Baltic colleagues in Poland to discuss regional security issues ahead of the NATO Summit in Chicago in May. In an email interview, Kinga Dudzinska, an analyst in the Eastern and Southeastern Europe program at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, discussed Polish-Baltic relations. WPR: How have Poland’s political and economic relations with the Baltic countries evolved in the post-Cold War period?Kinga Dudzinska: Since Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia regained their independence from the USSR in 1991 and joined the European Union and NATO […]

The Missile Defense Conference currently taking place in Moscow demonstrates the wide gap that continues to separate Russia and the West on the issue of ballistic missile defense (BMD). Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov warned attendees that the two sides “have not been able to find mutually acceptable solutions at this point, and the situation is practically at a dead end.” The BMD issue has divided Moscow and NATO since the 1980s, and nothing on the horizon seems likely to narrow these differences any time soon. If there is one thing these years of frustrating experience should have taught us, […]

News reports indicate that the United States and Russia are close to reaching an agreement that would expand a secure communications channel originally established to avert misunderstandings that might lead to nuclear war to the domain of cyberconflicts. Such confidence-building measures are useful tools given all the uncertainties regarding cyberconflicts as well as the poor prospects of negotiating cybersecurity treaties such as those that already exist for nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons. The Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, created in 1988, has already been extended to exchange information in support of more than a dozen bilateral and multilateral treaties, some […]