Andrei Zagorskiy in his article proposes to Russia such a "radical reduction" of nuclear weapons, which clearly goes beyond the scope of practice, such as historical the SALT-1 (1972) and SALT-2 (1979) treaties, as well as the newest ones - START-1 (1991), START-2 (1993) and START-3 (2010). Note that a radical reduction of nuclear arsenals by a whole third quite recently, in June 2012, was proposed to the Russian Federation by US President Barack Obama in his speech at the Brandenburg Gate. However, prof. Zagorskiy speaks, after all, not of a "cardinal", but of a "radical" method, that is, of a completely different approach than a balanced reduction of nuclear armaments, taking into account all kinds of carriers and nuclear warheads. In his article, the MGIMO professor simply suggests that the United States and Russia eliminate one of the components of their nuclear triad, which, as you know, includes three components: strategic Aviation, intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear submarine missile carriers. Specifically, the article in Zagorsky’s article is about the complete elimination of ballistic missiles. Note the fact that only two countries possess the full-fledged nuclear triad in the world at the moment: the USA and Russia.
In support of their logic prof. Zagorsky refers to the rhetorical appeal of the presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation dated April 2008 to "step over the barriers of the strategic principles of the past." True, by "stepping over barriers" the INF writer clearly understands something other than the leaders of the two countries.
Why do you need it? It turns out that it became difficult to count. According to Professor MGIMO, "maintaining strategic stability, understood as the preservation of the ability of Russia and the US to mutually destroy each other, becomes an increasingly complex task as the development of military technology." The formula of the two-sided "strategic stability" equation begins to include not only strategic nuclear weapon two countries, but also promising missile defense systems, as well as new classes of precision weapons. Because of such multifactorial nature, the formula of strategic stability for new negotiations on strategic offensive arms, Andrei Zagorsky believes, becomes difficult to calculate. It is not clear how, in the case of bilateral disarmament, the United States and the Russian Federation should relate to it the existing potentials of "China, Britain, France, and sometimes even India and Pakistan." The achievement of agreements on the reduction of strategic offensive arms is beginning to impede new factors in the development of military technologies and the promotion of new strategies. But instead of taking control of the "new factors", Zagorsky proposes to eliminate the original "old factor".
In the emerging new situation, Zagorsky considers the position incorrect that a further reduction of nuclear weapons is incompatible with the interests of Russia's national security. To break the impasse of multifactorial nature, Zagorsky proposes to simplify the initial components of the formula itself by "phasing out all ground-based long-range ballistic missiles worldwide". “As a first step, Russia and the United States could set an example to other countries, agreeing on a substantial reduction in their intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),” he writes. Such a measure, according to Zagorsky, "would allow Russia not only to make a breakthrough and significantly strengthen cooperation with the United States, at the same time strengthening its own national security, but also to make progress in a number of other equally important areas." Practical implementation of such an initiative would reinforce another possible proposal of Russia - to eliminate the general class of ballistic missiles by making the Russian-US Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Short-Range Missiles (1987 of the Year) universal, that is, to eliminate the global class of ballistic missiles altogether. True, we note, it is not clear whether North Korea will agree to such a step, for example. A radical reduction and liquidation of the ICBM, according to the INF expert, will provide an opportunity to remove the issue of the missile defense program in the mutual strategic balance between Russia and the United States, since the facilities for interception by the missile defense system will simply disappear. True, here the INF writer is in conflict, since he proposes to preserve the strategic sea-based systems "to maintain a reasonable potential for mutual nuclear deterrence at reduced levels."
Prof. Zagorsky also believes that the elimination of ICBMs "will also alleviate the issue of the possible appearance of non-nuclear high-precision long-range systems in the future, which could theoretically solve the problem of delivering a first strike on the ICBM mines - there will be no more such targets for them." Here the DIMO expert again makes an obvious mistake. The elimination of mine ICBMs does not negate the presence of many other potential targets for enemy precision weapons.
What benefits does prof. Zagorsky in the proposed version of the new START?
1. The elimination of the most destabilizing systems will remove the threat of mutual guaranteed destruction.
2. The Russian leadership will be able to save a significant part of the budget by eliminating the cost of maintaining the current quantitative level of ICBMs and abandoning the development and deployment of new ICBMs in exchange for old ones being removed from combat duty. In particular, there will be no need for the execution of a part of the Russian program for the modernization of strategic weapons - the creation of a new heavy ICBM with multiple warheads. Such a proposal seems to be a more than controversial decision even within the framework of the traditional definition of strategic stability in Russian-American relations.
So prof. MGIMO Zagorsky offers essentially the same as US President Barack Obama in Berlin - a significant mutual reduction of nuclear arsenals, albeit by eliminating one component of the triad. Specifically for Russia, the Zagorsky proposal means the elimination of a whole kind of troops - the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN). As of 22 June 2013 of the year, the strategic nuclear forces of Russia include 448 combat-ready strategic carriers that can carry 2323 nuclear warheads. At the same time, as of 1 June 2013, the Strategic Missile Forces include 395 missile systems capable of carrying 1303 nuclear warheads. Of the total number of missile systems, 171 belongs to the category of "mobile missile systems", and 36 - to the "mobile". Thus, the mine component of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces is equal to slightly less than half of all deployed missile systems.
The naval component of the Russian nuclear triad includes 7 SSBNs whose ballistic missiles are capable of carrying 512 nuclear warheads.
The strategic aviation of the Russian Federation includes 45 strategic bombers, which are capable of carrying up to 508 long-range cruise missiles.
Let's compare the Russian potential with the American nuclear triad. At the end of the 2012, the US nuclear triad had 450 deployed silo-based ICBMs with about 560 warheads, which is two times smaller than Russia, 14 SSBNs with 336 missiles and 131 strategic bomber. (2)
According to the report of US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, submitted to the US Congress in May 2010, after meeting the conditions of the START-3 Treaty, by February 2018, the US strategic forces will have 420 "Minuteman-3", 14 SSBN type " Ohio's 240 Trident 2 SLBMs with 1000 Charges and 60 Strategic Bomber B-52H and B-2A. At the beginning of 2011, only the US Navy’s nuclear arsenals contained 320 Tomahawk sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles (SLCMs) that were beyond the scope of strategic agreements. In the past three years alone, more than 6 thousand rocket launchers for SLCMs have been deployed on US sea-based carriers. In quantitative terms, Russia lags far behind the US in this class of weapons.
Thus, the United States, as before, has some advantage in the sea and air component of its triad. At the same time, the potential of the maritime component of the American triad is approximately equal to the Russian component of land ICBMs. All the advantages of the secrets of the SSBN remain with the Americans. American submarines of the Ohio type are the most efficient component of the US nuclear triad. The presence, in turn, of the Russian Federation of mobile and mobile ICBM complexes, according to experts, reduces the possibility of a sudden disarming nuclear strike in peacetime. However, the sea and air units of the American triad are carriers of highly sophisticated cruise missiles that are not counted on to the potential of strategic nuclear forces. The new generation of ALCM being created in the US will have the ability to retarget in flight, which gives the potential possibility of defeating Russian mobile complexes. In addition, the system of non-nuclear weapons of rapid global strike (NBGU), which has been developed in the USA for over a decade, poses the threat of an almost sudden attack. At the same time, this system creates for Russia a dilemma of the possibility of a reciprocal use of nuclear weapons.
In general, it can be concluded that with the hypothetical implementation of the proposal by prof. Zagorsky on the elimination of ICBMs in the brackets of the strategic equation should be entered cruise missiles - weapons that have mobile capabilities that are incomparable to ICBMs - a class in which the United States, beyond any doubt, is superior to the Russian Federation. At the same time, speaking of budgetary benefits, prof. Zagorsky clearly decided to play with the United States in giveaway. It is the United States that will face major expenditures on upgrading its missile component of the triad, which only the outdated Minuteman-3 ICBMs are currently armed with. The retrofit of the missiles first tested in the 2012 for the year of the 1968 was canceled. For the time being, the modernization program envisages the problem extension of the “Minuteman” resource to 2030. To modernize the missile component of its triad, the United States has yet to create its own project. Prof. Zagorsky proposes Russia to abandon its new and modernized mobile ICBMs in exchange for the US decommissioning of the obsolete Minuteman-3 missiles.
And then the proposal of prof. Zagorsky has a downside. In recent years, the United States has achieved impressive successes in the creation of high-precision non-nuclear ammunition and their means of delivery, to which Russia cannot effectively oppose anything in this area of military technology. The elimination of ICBMs will make it impossible for Russia to create a cheap asymmetric response to the threat of a pre-emptive strike with a high-precision non-nuclear weapon. A possible answer in this direction can be given only after the restoration of the industrial potential of the Russian Federation and the reconstruction of entire industries of its industry, in particular, domestic electronics. In the new situation, the high-precision weapons of the United States are a polished stiletto, and the Russian ICBMs are a striking club. It is the ICBM for Russia that is a kind of strategic insurance against risks and challenges in the field of security. Speaking for the elimination of the ICBM, prof. Zagorsky proposes to move military-technological competition from the United States into a deliberately costly sphere for Russia.
In words, the sentence of prof. Zagorsky aims to get away from the model of mutual guaranteed destruction. In practice, the abandonment of the ICBM makes it more problematic to defeat the territory of the United States, while for the Americans, with their real military presence on all extremities of the Eurasian continent, such difficulties in relation to Russia should not arise. Therefore, the abandonment of the model of mutual guaranteed destruction after the elimination of ICBMs will mean the elimination of the basic principles of the Yalta-Potsdam security order.
Back in 1948, the administration of US President Harry Truman set the main goal in relations with the Soviet Union — to reduce the Soviet military potential to a level safe for the United States. After the end of the Cold War, Washington once again confirmed this thesis.
Initially, the creation of nuclear missiles in the USSR was regarded as an effective means of compensating American superiority in strategic aviation. Then the appearance of nuclear missiles allowed the development of a political concept of "nuclear deterrence." The concept of "deterrence" is a policy of preventive threats to use nuclear weapons in order to induce the adversary to abandon any actions or, on the contrary, to carry out them. Thus, in the practical execution of the proposal of prof. Zagorsky traditional deterrence policy is transformed into a military-strategic situation, characteristic of the era preceding the nuclear-missile era. At the same time, it is impossible to imagine a situation that technological development in the foreseeable future will reduce the importance of ICBMs.
In 1977, a prominent American expert in arms control, Paul Nitze, in his concept of strategic stability, determined that, from the US point of view, the Soviet ICMMs with MIRVs undermine stability in the strategic sphere. He suggested at negotiations with the USSR to seek a reduction of Soviet heavy ICBMs with a MAP, subject to moving beyond the framework of negotiations on the reduction of strategic armaments of cruise missiles. In 1989, a similar basis was adopted by the leaders of the USSR - Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze.
An important concession by the Kremlin, both in Russia and in the United States, was the signing of the START-2 Treaty (1993), which envisaged the elimination of heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), especially dangerous for the US Р-36М (SS-18 Satan) and Р-36Х2 " Voevoda "and promising P-36М3" Icarus ". In the second half of the 90s, the Americans at the talks suggested that Russia should transfer the ICBMs to a mode that would take several hours to prepare for their launch. Washington’s actions to deploy a missile defense system in Europe prompted Russia to begin upgrading its nuclear forces, which began with the development of new ICBMs. The 2007 year was developed by the MBR RS-24. Representatives of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces announced the possibility of restoring production of ICBM railroad-based RS-24 and partially RS-36orb orbital missiles. In 2010, under the reboot talk, the administration of US President Barack Obama adopted a "minimum deterrence" strategy, which included redirecting part of the US strategic nuclear forces to key economic infrastructure sites of potential adversaries. The new strategy envisaged a radical reduction in Russian and American strategic nuclear forces to 75% and the extensive development of missile defense systems. As a result of START-3, Russia and the United States approached the ceiling of deployed warheads - 1550 units. Further reduction of this limit below the 1000 warheads leads to a possible disarming strike on the strategic forces of one of the parties. Further reductions in the US and Russian ICBMs are also hardly possible due to the continuing uncertainty regarding the existing strategic forces of China and plans for their further deployment. At the same time, not one of the nuclear powers of the world, including China, possesses a volume of funds that allows destroying the strategic potential of Russia and the United States. Because of the presence of mobile ICBMs in Russia, the Americans now also have no way to quickly and guaranteedly destroy the entire nuclear potential of Russia.
Summing up, it should be noted that due to the continental specifics of Russia, the United States has always been particularly interested in reducing or eliminating certain categories of Russian ballistic missiles. The hypothetical elimination of Russian ICBMs will be followed by the diffusion of the doctrine of deterrence. The consequences for the Russian military industrial complex, which in this case will lose another segment of its relatively technological enterprises, are also significant. Let's not forget that in modern conditions it is the ICBM that, in the first place, become an attainable strategic weapon for the countries of the Third World.
In general, the article by Andrei Zagorsky, head of the IMEMO department of the Russian Academy of Sciences and MGIMO professor, “Radical reduction of nuclear weapons will strengthen the security of Russia” and its author can be assessed differently. We can say that Zagorsky, with its more than “original” proposal, wants to “please” the Western expert community. Professor Zagorsky can be likened to another well-known professor at the Higher School of Economics, who suggested transferring the Russian Arctic under international control. However, from our point of view, the other is true - the INF Treaty has voiced a recipe for depriving a future "Russia without Putin" sovereignty in one of the key areas. Under the talk of a radical reduction in nuclear weapons, which supposedly strengthens Russia's security, it is quite legal through negotiations on the next START to deprive the country of the tool that for more than half a century has ensured the security and independence of our Motherland.
(1) Zagorsky Andrey. A radical reduction of nuclear weapons will strengthen the security of Russia // http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=2538#top
(2) Esin V.I. US nuclear forces // http://www.rusus.ru/?act=read&id=311