Impact of Missile Defense Systems on Strategic Stability and Prospects for Nuclear Disarmament

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-8-5-12

V. Dvorkin (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation (project 18-18-00463).

Abstract. For many decades, in terms of strategic stability, ballistic missile defense systems developed and deployed by the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States have been seen as potentially destabilizing. However, although significant technological progress has been achieved in creating ballistic missile interception systems and global information network, over 60 years of experience in the development and flight testing have confirmed the impossibility of protecting the countries’ territory from massive nuclear strikes. It is possible to intercept only a single missile or an extremely small number of them. An objective analysis of the state and effectiveness of existing and potential future characteristics of missile defense systems suggests that their impact on the nuclear deterrence capability of Russia and the United States is virtually absent and does not hinder the negotiation processes aimed at limiting strategic offensive arms. That being said, missile defense systems have a potential to significantly affect regional stability and, depending on the situation, have both stabilizing and destabilizing effect on the military and political landscape. It is therefore incumbent upon the UN Security Council and other international organizations to continuously monitor regional stability in order to be able to react promptly and prevent negative development of the situation.

Keywords: ballistic missile defense systems, ballistic missiles intercept systems, strategic and regional stability, effectiveness of ballistic missile defenses, START negotiations


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For citation:
Dvorkin V. Impact of Missile Defense Systems on Strategic Stability and Prospects for Nuclear Disarmament. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 8, pp. 5-12.

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