Strategic culture and ballistic missile defense: Russia and the United States
Becker, Miriam D.
Yost, David Scott
Parker, Patrick J.
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This thesis examines U.S. and Russian history and current policy debates to advance understanding of: (1) the strategic cultures of these nations, particularly with respect to BMD policies in the recent past; and (2) whether and how their strategic cultures and approaches to BMD are changing and how that may affect future strategic BMD developments and the status of the ABM Treaty. The development of BMD strategies, including policies concerning the ABM Treaty, within the framework of the established American and Russian strategic cultures is studied, with due attention to the Soviet experience and legacy in the Russian case. U.S. strategic culture does not seem to have changed significantly with the end of the Cold War, but U.S. BMD priorities have been redefined to reflect a higher priority attached to regional and theater-level defenses. It is apparent that the Soviet experience did have a significant impact on Russian strategic culture. Faced with major changes in its international status, domestic political-military arrangements, and scope of national security concerns, Russian strategic culture is nonetheless moving beyond the old Soviet culture. Future Russian policies regarding the transfer of BMD technology, sharing early warning data, and participating in a global protective system are heavily dependent on domestic political developments.
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