Office of Sponsored Programs


Historical Forms of Strategic Risk Management

  • Published
  • AF/A10

Topic Sponsor: AF/A10

As strategic concerns continue to complicate Washington's relations with Moscow and Beijing, many security experts doubt the near-term viability of formal arms control treaties as a tool for managing risk and maintaining strategic stability with these two peer/near-peer competitors. Recognizing that formal treaties may not be achievable in the present or near-term, some experts have proposed taking steps back to earlier approaches to risk mitigation as a means to bring Russia and/or China back to the agreement negotiating table.  Instead of legally binding treaties, should U.S. negotiators focus on developing politically binding agreements to increase confidence building and/or transparency measures, similar to those nascent arms control agreements between the US and USSR in the early days of the Cold War?  Is there value in reverting to politically-binding confidence building and transparency measures with the erosion or demise of formal treaties such as New START, Open Skies, INF, and CFE?  If so, how would such a reversion to more basic confidence-building and transparency measures might directly impact the DAF in terms of its treaty and agreement compliance and implementation mission as well as the Department's development of strategic capabilities and posture of its strategic forces?