Military Review

Strategic Stability - Misconceptions and Prospects

Strategic Stability - Misconceptions and Prospects

In the period before 2030, nuclear forces will invariably play a key role in ensuring Russia's military security.

Today, the world military-political and strategic situation is characterized by instability due to a combination of two main trends: the emergence of a large number of technological innovations that can significantly affect the appearance of the armed forces of the leading countries of the world and their ability to wage armed struggle on the basis of national decisions and outside the UN mandate. In addition, the situation is exacerbated by the exacerbation of social problems in many countries of the world, the spread of weapons mass destruction and terrorism.


A pragmatic and unequivocal assessment of the current situation in the world was given by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his last message to the Federal Assembly: “The coming years will be decisive and, perhaps, crucial, and not only for us, but for the whole world that is entering the era fundamental changes, and maybe even shocks. "

Against this background, a reasonable concern has arisen in the expert community about how to ensure strategic stability in the world in the context of the predicted dynamics of destabilizing factors.

Notable on this topic are the articles of the well-known domestic expert Vladimir Dvorkin, in particular the article “Post-strategic stability and destabilizing factors”, published in the weekly “Independent Military Review” No. 6 for 2013 a year.

In these materials, the main idea of ​​strategic stability is “woven” from a set of theses, the skillful manipulation of which allows the author to conclude in conclusion that it is necessary to part with mutual nuclear deterrence of the two most powerful nuclear states of the world. There are five such abstracts:

- NATO’s full-scale NATO war against nuclear Russia can be imagined only with extremely inflamed consciousness;

- even a single nuclear attack can lead to a conflict of civilizations (according to Huntington);

- The scenarios of the destruction of the nuclear triad by massive strikes of non-nuclear precision weapons cannot be considered wealthy;

- missile defense systems do not have a destabilizing effect on global stability;

- instead of nuclear strike exchange models, it is necessary to exchange technologies.

Consider these theses in order.

A full-scale NATO war led by the United States against nuclear Russia can only be imagined with extremely inflamed consciousness. In order to understand the dubiousness of this thesis, it is necessary to refer to the beginning of the article and the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as recall the statement made by General of the Army Valery Gerasimov as the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces at the general meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences in January 2013: No one denies large-scale war, and no one can be unwilling to speak about it, ”so did its predecessor:“ Under certain conditions, I do not rule out that local and regional armed conflicts can grow into a large-scale war, including with the use of nuclear weapons. " Thus, it can be argued that the basic guiding documents of the military construction of the Russian Federation are in full compliance with the statements made by the highest military-political leadership of the state.

Even a single nuclear attack can lead to a conflict of civilizations. Of course, the consequences of nuclear terrorism can be catastrophic. But it is impossible so persistently to lead the reader towards considering only the consequences of nuclear terrorism. Nobody denies the danger, but the main emphasis on it is not necessary. In addition, the formation of an apocalyptic picture of the world based on the Huntington understanding of the world order requires a number of significant observations.

Huntington’s very idea of ​​a clash of civilizations, based on the assertion that in the foreseeable future there will be no single civilization, but there will be a world of different civilizations that will have to learn to coexist with each other, is ambiguous in academic works. Suffice it to recall the assessments given to Samuel Huntington’s work by outstanding Soviet thinker Academician Nikita Moiseyev: “... his argument is not convincing enough for me, since the reasons for the inevitable clash of civilizations, in my opinion, lie in much deeper horizons than it seems to the author. And his fair observations are only superficial manifestations of deep-seated processes of the modern stage of anthropogenesis. ” Oh, that the concept of Huntington is controversial both in essence and in particular, is also described in detail in the work of the team of specialists of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces “Wars of the 21st Century”, published back in 2000 year.

Thus, the question of the necessity and credibility of the justification of Russia's future nuclear weapons with an eye to the controversial Anglo-Saxon concepts of the world order remains open.

Scenarios for the destruction of nuclear triad objects by massive strikes of non-nuclear high-precision weapons cannot be considered wealthy. As evidence of the veracity of this thesis, Vladimir Dvorkin appeals to the experience of the Soviet Union, as well as to the impossibility of a non-nuclear strike by non-nuclear means. However, an inexperienced reader should not have any illusions about the authenticity of this thesis. This is due to the following circumstances. As part of the USSR SNF in 1980 – 1990, there were up to 70 submarines, up to 180 strategic bombers, and the USSR general purpose forces had a combat potential comparable to that of the NATO armed forces. At the same time, the level of technical excellence of high-precision facilities of the United States and its arsenals were really insufficient for the impunity of defeating Soviet nuclear power. The current picture is significantly different from the 20 – 30-year-old picture, as the situation is developing against the background of a deep reduction in strategic offensive weapons and limited combat capabilities of the general-purpose forces of the RF Armed Forces. Thus, the results of calculations and the conclusions obtained at the time of the existence of the Soviet Union can hardly be used in the current and forecasted conditions of the military-political situation.

The question of the simultaneity of strikes with high-precision means should also be analyzed. Indeed, at present, the United States is experiencing certain difficulties in implementing rational methods for constructing a space-time structure of an impact with high-precision means. However, work aimed at solving this problem is being carried out in the United States and its allies in the NATO bloc and it is unequivocal to state that in the foreseeable future the technologically advanced country in the world will not succeed in accomplishing this task, at least unconvincingly.

Missile defense systems do not have a destabilizing effect on global stability. Many copies have already been broken on this issue. Officially, the United States does not confirm the target orientation of the missile defense system against the Russian strategic nuclear forces. However, the statement made by Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov in an interview with a Russian radio station 25 in May 2013 of the year draws attention to himself: “I had meetings in Geneva with very high-ranking congressmen who told me clearly on the sidelines (I’m talking about the sidelines, so I I don’t name names): “Mr. Antonov, if there were no nuclear deterrent forces in Russia, there would be no missile defense system”. If the US missile defense is directed specifically against the Russian strategic nuclear forces, then its destabilizing role becomes apparent, especially against the background of cuts in strategic offensive weapons and the uncontrolled build-up of the potential of strategic non-nuclear weapons by Western countries.

Instead of models for the exchange of nuclear strikes, it is necessary to exchange technologies. To discuss the content of this thesis, use should be made of the results of research by the eminent Russian scientist Nikolai Kondratiev, which laid the foundation for an understanding of the change in technological patterns.

Currently, the world is moving towards the sixth technological order, approaching it, working on it. First of all, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, information and communication technologies and technologies of new materials are developing. The development of a new way of life in the world has been observed for 15 – 20 years. Thanks to the achievements of the new technological order through 15 years, radical changes in the economic and social spheres are expected. By the 2020 – 2025 years, a new scientific and technological revolution will take place - a technological one, the basis of which will be developments synthesizing the achievements of the sphere of basic technologies in these areas. Consideration of the achievements of the fifth and sixth technological orders is characteristic of the development strategies of the USA, EU countries, Japan and South Korea. However, according to many scientists, Russia is today mainly in the third, fourth and partly fifth technological lines. Therefore, despite Russia's deep interest in the exchange of technologies, given our lag in this area, one can hardly expect that a possible barter will be fair. In any case, the experience of "dashing 90-x" confirms this.

To summarize The theses put forward by Vladimir Dvorkin aimed at revising the traditional approaches to maintaining strategic stability are internally contradictory. In general, the stated position seems futuristic, while its practical significance is questionable. However, it is a matter of respect that, following its own logic and conviction, the author, despite obvious contradictions, remains a dramatizer, drawing attention to such important aspects of Russia's defense security.


Elements of the coastal-based Aegis PRO system will be deployed in Poland and Romania.

Considering the above, readers are offered a view based on the preservation of mutual nuclear deterrence as the basis of strategic stability and on the fact that most military security challenges in the foreseeable future cannot be parried without relying on sufficient nuclear potential.

Under the influence of scientific and technological progress, the nature and content of the armed struggle change, it acquires new features. For Russia, which currently retains the status of a great nuclear power, the potential of its general-purpose forces is significantly lower than that of the United States, European NATO countries, and China, nuclear forces will play a key role in ensuring military security in the period before 2030. However, forecasts of the dynamics of the military-political and operational-strategic situation for the period up to 2030 have already allowed us to express considerable concern about Russia's ability to maintain its leading positions in the “nuclear rankings” of the nuclear club and the system of interstate relations in general.

The reasons for this kind of concern are due to the actions of the United States and its allies in the NATO bloc aimed at devaluing Russia's nuclear potential. These actions are systematic, purposeful and are reflected in the military-political, information and military-technical spheres. Their main focus is related to:

- in the military-political sphere - with Russia's involvement in the process of further reduction of nuclear weapons;

- in the information sphere - with effective organization and introduction into mass consciousness of ideas about changing priorities in ensuring US national security in favor of non-nuclear means and defense systems, as well as the need for other countries to unconditionally follow the ideas of nuclear disarmament in the forefront with the US;

- in the military-technical sphere - with a substantial uncontrolled build-up of the combat capabilities of strategic non-nuclear weapons and the deployment of a global missile defense system, which in the foreseeable future can actually compensate for the contractual reductions of the American strategic nuclear forces, as well as improving the forms and methods of their use within the framework of the “network-centric war” concepts and "Fast global strike".

In the geopolitical chess game played by the United States, the risks for Russia to be in a “nuclear mate” are very high. Against the background of risks, special attention is drawn to the consolidated position of a number of well-known Russian public figures who are in the wake of the pro-American understanding of the issue. At the same time, it is necessary to ascertain the presence of targeted informational influence on Russian public opinion on the future nuclear potential of Russia.

In the context of a detailed presentation of the problem under consideration, attention should be paid to the following key aspects.

Another round of discussion on US disarmament initiatives. Due to the involvement of Western politicians and well-known socially significant figures in this discussion, the process is unprecedented and is primarily aimed at increasing Washington’s pressure on Moscow on this issue. Thus, at present, initiatives of the Global Zero movement, officially supported by US President Barack Obama, are widely spread. As part of these initiatives, it is proposed to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads to 900 units, one half of which is in an operatively deployed state with an 24 – 72 hour ready time, and the other is stored in warehouses. For the Russian strategic nuclear forces such quantitative indicators will not allow the solution of the task of nuclear deterrence at the global level by causing (threatening) a given unacceptable damage in any situation. It should also be remembered that the use of US strategic offensive forces is planned under a single plan with the British strategic nuclear forces (under certain conditions with the French strategic nuclear forces), which are outside the international legal framework for the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons. It is obvious that the status of Russia from the “great nuclear power” will drop to the “conditionally nuclear power”. That is, formally, possessing strategic nuclear weapons, the Russian Federation will not be able to provide an adequate force response to large-scale military actions of potential aggressors.

Due to Washington’s significant interest in a positive resolution of this issue, it’s not reasonable to expect its attempts to withdraw Russia to the disarmament trajectory, which, given the considerable resources of the United States to implement the “soft power” policy in achieving its political goals, devaluation of the nuclear potential of Russia.

US initiatives to engage the Russian Federation in the negotiation process for reducing tactical nuclear weapons (TNW). If the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons is the traditional agenda of Russian-American relations in the field of military security, the issues of reducing tactical nuclear weapons (if we exclude the non-legally binding Soviet and American unilateral initiatives of the last century) are in the “embryo” state.

Russia's view on the role and place of domestic TNW is formed on the basis of the need to compensate for the insufficient combat capabilities of the general-purpose forces of the RF Armed Forces at the regional level in relation to those of potential aggressors. In the foreseeable future, a significant change in the disproportions in the combat capabilities of domestic and foreign general-purpose forces should not be expected. In this regard, the TNW is the only and unallocated trump card in the hands of the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation when it is necessary to counter threats to military security on a regional scale. The fact that Russia does not have strong nuclear and nuclear-free allies only strengthens its position on preserving sufficient capacities of tactical nuclear weapons and allows it to maintain a balance of power in Europe and other regions vital for its security.

Published in 2013, the book Vitaly Aladyin, Viktor Kovalev, Sergey Malkov, Georgiy Malinetsky, The Limits of Reduction rightly notes that the position of the United States is due to the persistence in the field of arms control approaches characteristic of the period of the peak phase of the Cold War and still defining the direction political thought not only in the US, but also in their allies. All the so-called disarmament initiatives and new approaches to arms control behind the entire verbal smoke screen that accompanies them have their ultimate goal - to implement the guidelines of the US military-political leadership about the need to “pull out of Russia’s nuclear sting and act in this direction until until she has more nuclear weapons. ”

In accordance with the US Senate amendment made upon ratification of the START-3 Treaty, the United States may receive ratification documents under this treaty after the Russian side agrees to the negotiations on eliminating the imbalance in tactical nuclear weapons of Russia and the USA (Sen Lemieux amendment). When the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation ratified the START-3 Treaty, there were no official objections from Russia regarding this amendment, which ultimately could mean Russia's agreement to start negotiations on tactical nuclear operations. In the event Russia’s withdrawal to the disarmament trajectory in the field of tactical nuclear weapons, the risks of failure to solve the strategic deterrence problem at the regional level are maximized by limiting the independence of the Russian Federation in conducting independent military-technical policy to create and deploy tactical nuclear forces.

Creation of a global multi-defense system US missile defense Over the past decade, the United States tried to drive controversial arguments in favor of deploying a global missile defense system to the Procrustean bed of its own logic, cutting off what contradicted it and adding what, in their opinion, should have been added. The issue of creating a missile defense system for both the previous and the current administration was not a matter of politics or military strategy, but a matter of faith. Therefore, amid such a painful reaction by the US administration to attempts to limit their plans for missile defense development, it is most likely that the status quo will remain on this issue.

Currently, the missile defense system itself as a military-technical system has a negligible impact on the effectiveness of the response of the Russian strategic nuclear forces. However, coupled with the build-up of high-precision strategic means (not amenable to any international legal regulation) and the possible further reduction of domestic strategic nuclear forces, the role of missile defense does not look so harmless. With a high degree of certainty, it can be argued that its creation poses a significant threat to the ability of domestic strategic nuclear forces to guarantee unacceptable damage to the enemy in response. The US’s political decision to deploy nuclear missile defense will further complicate the resolution of the combat missions of the Russian strategic nuclear forces.

Improving the forms and methods of combat operations of NATO within the framework of the implementation of the “network-centric war” concept, including with the use of a “fast global strike” weapon. The concept of a “network-centric war” is focused on increasing the combat capabilities of the US and NATO military formations in modern wars and armed conflicts. This concept involves the conduct of hostilities in the form of central network operations of various mobile tactical groups controlled from a single strategic center throughout the depth of the theater of operations, and is aimed at reducing the cycle of combat command and control of troops.

In the interests of implementing the concept of “Fast Global Strike”, the United States is conducting work on the creation of promising hypersonic non-nuclear means designed to strike at the most important enemy targets in the shortest possible time (within one hour from the moment an appropriate decision is made). The choice of this line of development of weapons of destruction is due to the fundamental possibility for the United States to circumvent existing international treaties and agreements limiting the development of offensive nuclear weapons and missile technologies while maintaining a significant advantage in the course of strategic offensive operations.

Thus, as a result of the enemy’s use of non-nuclear strategic means of “fast global strike”, a situation may arise in which the domestic nuclear potential remaining after a preemptive impact will be neutralized by the US missile defense system or will be completely destroyed if the combat readiness of domestic strategic nuclear weapons is determined by the parameters of the initiatives “ Global Zero.


In view of the above, it seems appropriate in the near future to maintain strategic stability to implement the following basic directions.

In the military-political sphere. To ensure the preservation of the official position of the Russian Federation aimed at unconditional linking of further reductions in the Strategic Nuclear Forces with reductions in missile defense, strategic non-nuclear offensive weapons and the involvement of China, Britain and France in the further negotiation process. When making a political decision to start Russian-US negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons, a clear program of actions at the negotiations should be developed that would fully reflect and defend the interests of Russia in this type of weapon.

The content of the program should be scientifically based, which will minimize the attempts of the United States to dilute and weaken Russia's position. At the same time, it is already clear that the Russian program of action should include at least the following requirements: to give a multilateral character to the indefinite Russian-American INF Treaty; participation in the negotiations on the limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons of all states that possess nuclear weapons; a ban on the militarization of outer space. At the same time, it is hardly possible to recognize as equal bargaining with respect to the Russian TNW (a real deterrent tool and posing a real threat to potential aggressors) and the above-mentioned foreign strategic weapons development programs, the threat of which for Russia is currently only potential. We emphasize that this is not about not paying attention to these programs, but only about the unevenness of bargaining.

In the military-technical sphere. Keep unchanged the principles of the nuclear strategy of the Russian Federation, as well as maintain the highest state priority in matters of maintaining and building domestic nuclear forces.

In the information sphere. Intensify domestic and foreign policy actions aimed at explaining the importance of ensuring strategic stability based on the implementation of the nuclear deterrence policy of the Russian Federation, and also provide unconditional confirmation of the role and place of nuclear weapons in the Russian Armed Forces as an attribute that largely determines, determines and is able to determine security in the future our country.

In conclusion, we note that in the event that the US initiatives in the field of nuclear disarmament are brought to life, we risk witnessing the strongest upheavals not only in Russia, but throughout the world, which will remain alone with the “greatest democracy of the world” , over the past decade has convincingly shown its true nature.
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  1. AVV
    AVV 9 March 2014 01: 26
    As long as there is a nuclear component, we can sleep peacefully, if it does not exist, then Ukraine and Syria will only appear as flowers. Frozen Anglo-Saxons will try to reformat the whole world for themselves, even they make such attempts even now and do not even blush !!!
    1. Boris55
      Boris55 9 March 2014 09: 21
      The modern war is somewhat different from the Second World War. You can’t hit small gangs with a nuclear missile - it’s more expensive for yourself. Their task is to make us destroy ourselves. The third world war is a war of ideologies and it is in full swing. In their hands is money, the media, NGOs ... we have the absence of all this, the ban on having our own ideology ...
      A man is sitting behind the rocket launch button. Who formed his worldview - in the interests of that he will act ...
  2. dojjdik
    dojjdik 9 March 2014 07: 28
    the small chest opens with simply restoration of the USSR (there’s no way to stupid the current that there are supposedly no funds for this in 17-28 years, all the more so there were none)
  3. 9 March 2014 08: 41
    if US initiatives in the field of nuclear disarmament are implemented, you and I risk becoming a witness to the most severe shocks, not only in Russia, but throughout the world, which will remain face to face with the “greatest democracy in the world”, over the past decades convincingly showing its true essence. Author Vasily Burenok

    It would be five years earlier to break the stool. And now, to clean up his "cadres", and with show trials.
    Dreams Dreams,
    Where is your sweetness?
    This is not me, this is A.S. Pushkin.
    1. baltika-18
      baltika-18 9 March 2014 10: 09
      It would be five years earlier to break the stool. And now clean up his "shots",

      In 2007, Serdyukov was appointed Minister of Defense by Putin’s decree; in 2012, Putin’s dismissal from office. If you want to say that he didn’t have to be appointed, then yes.
      1. 9 March 2014 10: 30
        Quote: baltika-18
        want to say that it was not necessary to appoint him, so it Yes.

        If a priori it was a tricky move of the GDP to admonish the masses in uniform, then HE clearly outwitted himself ...
  4. Siberian19
    Siberian19 9 March 2014 08: 57
    these are the result of disarmament, we can become a colony of Tan! Well, Vova, God help you! the whole world is looking at you !!!
  5. Stinger
    Stinger 9 March 2014 13: 01
    I would add that the priority of the development and production of means of suppressing communications systems and control of the United States and NATO should be the same as the priority regarding the maintenance and construction of domestic nuclear forces.