the Bear and the Eagle

U.S.-Russian Security Relations

An Arctic Role for OSCE?

As the Arctic becomes increasingly accessible and as Arctic and Non-Artic states explore their strategic interests in the region, the potential for misunderstandings or even conflict rises. The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that includes all Artic-bordering states, has been an effective coordinating mechanism for many of the region’s challenges, but its mandate precludes it from addressing security issues. The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) is in a good position to be able to fill this gap....

Can the OSCE Facilitate Greater U.S.-Russia Collaboration?

As one of the few security organizations counting both the United States and Russia as members, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is well positioned to help improve relations between the two. In the 1980s and 1990s, the organization bridged divisions between Eastern and Western Europe on security issues. Could it foster cooperation on security matters between the United States and Russia today and bring the two together in less controversial areas as well? In a series...

Trump’s tax overhaul: A view from Russia

The U.S. tax overhaul, which became law after President Trump signed the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” may become the most significant element of Trump’s domestic economic policy. It's unclear however, how the combination of tax cuts and increased military and infrastructure spending promised by Trump will affect overall economic conditions in the United States and internationally.

Reluctance on arms control extends to autonomous systems

Russian and U.S. diplomats opposed commencing formal negotiations on legal or politically binding international measures aimed at governing the development, possession, or use of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) at the first Group of Governmental Experts meeting held on the topic in November 2017.  

Representatives from 86 countries participated in the meeting organized by the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which has held several informal discussions on LAWS in recent years. 

Russian delegates argued that...

LNG: A Game for All?

Developments in the global trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) promise to substantially benefit energy-strapped European countries in the coming years, but they also have the potential to lead to increased competition between the United States and Russia—who are two of the most ambitious emerging LNG supplier.

Celebrating ISKRAN's 50th Anniversary

Congratulations to the Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN) on half a century of helping your government try to understand and interact constructively with the United States – a sometimes difficult, if not impossible task!

When I first got interested in arms control as a terrified college student living in Europe during the early 1980s, I knew little about what ISKRAN Director Georgy Arbatov and other experts were doing to keep Soviet leaders from over-reacting to...

The prevalence of “U.S.-centric” approaches to addressing international security

Spending the last several months as a visiting scholar at CISSM and the School of Public Policy (SPP) has been a valuable experience for me. By interacting with CISSM experts, participating in CISSM events, attending SPP classes, and engaging other experts in the area, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of how Americans in particular view problems of international security. 

Academic approaches to international security share many common features across borders. But scholars from different countries always bring somewhat different knowledge...

What does Russia mean by “strategic deterrence”?

Since the mid-2000s, Russian security analysts and military officials have worked to outline a vision for Russia’s own “strategic deterrence” (стратегическое сдерживание). In a 2008 speech, president of the Academy of Military Sciences Makhmut Gareev highlighted the importance of a new “strategic deterrence strategy” that included military and non-military approaches as a response to threats posed to Russia’s security by globalization, trends in geopolitics, and uses of military force.  The term “strategic deterrence” has since made appearances in...

Embracing "grace" In international security cooperation

It is easy to get disheartened working in the security field, particularly in light of the current state of U.S.-Russian relations. We are up against grave challenges rooted in long-term grievances with no immediate policy resolution in sight. Will our contributions to security cooperation make a difference in the long term when running up against larger geopolitical forces?

Can Russia play a constructive role in the North Korea problem?

Experts are divided over whether Russia can play a constructive role in de-escalating tensions over the North Korean nuclear problem. As someone who looks at North Korea, I think Moscow can and should play a role in reducing tensions.  Here is why.