Washington, October 31, 2023 — Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, Assessing the Evolving Russian Nuclear Threat, by authors Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Michael Kofman, Nicholas Lokker, and Heli Hautala.
The report examines the evolution of Russia’s approach to nuclear weapons in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine. The report suggests that Russia is likely to adopt a more assertive nuclear force posture in order to signal that will no longer be a status quo power. The authors also raise concerns about the potential early use of nuclear weapons in a conflict with NATO and the risk of unintended escalation. Moreover, the report highlights the shifts in Russian public perceptions of acceptable nuclear use and the diminishing prospects for nuclear arms control. The report concludes by forecasting Russia’s potential actions in the nuclear domains and assessing the implications for the U.S. and NATO.
The authors assess that “The significant degradation of Russia’s conventional forces in Ukraine combined with sanctions and export controls that will hinder the reconstitution of Russia’s forces will likely mean that the Kremlin will rely more heavily on non-conventional instruments, including nuclear weapons.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with report authors, please contact Alexa Whaley at email@example.com.