October 08, 2014

Douglas Barrie: US arms control policy in the face of a resurgent Russia

Featuring Elbridge Colby

Source: IISS Voices

Russia's behaviour over Ukraine has called into question the assumptions underpinning the US's approach to strategic deterrence that have been in place since the end of the Cold War, according to Elbridge Colby, the Robert M. Gates Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Speaking at the IISS on 6 October, on the subject of ‘US Arms Control Policy and Strategic Posture in the Face of a Resurgent Russia’, Colby argued that Washington's model of post-Soviet deterrence, and its associated approach to nuclear weapons control, now needs to be revisited.

Russia has shown, he suggested, that it is prepared to use force or the threat of force in the European neighbourhood. This means that the US – and its allies – must be prepared to meet this challenge across a spectrum of military strategies, from the ‘little green men’ who have proved so effective in Crimea, to a full range of conventional and nuclear capabilities. In the strategic weapons sphere Colby contested that the United States' ‘nuclear weapons posture is not suited to countering Russia’.

Listen to the full speech below or on IISS' website.


  • Elbridge Colby