The Nuclear Calculus
Was the current strategic nuclear threat matrix avoidable?
How did this happen? Twice the Kremlin gently probed the possibility of NATO membership for Russia—first under Gorbachev as the Warsaw Pact unraveled, then under Putin—only to be softly snubbed. What if NATO expansion had unfolded according to a phased-in all-or-nothing proposition that had included Russia? What if we hadn’t abrogated the ABM Treaty? Or placed a missile defense system so brashly in Eastern Europe. Or included Russia as a partner in its development to assuage the Kremlin’s repeated concerns over its impact on their security—whether those concerns were legitimate or not.
Perhaps if our leaders had long ago anticipated the possibility of a Post-Soviet nuclear war as a plausible threat by simply tracking obvious geopolitical trends rather than drinking their own neoliberal/neocon Kool-Aid, we might have been able to avert that threat.
Might we have at least been more bilateral in our approach?
Is it too late now?