2010 Strategic Deterrence Symposium - Perspectives on Deterrence

By Kontra-Admiral Mikhail Chekmasov Mikhail Victoravic Chekmasov, Deputy Commander, General Staff, Main Operations Department | Omaha, Neb. | Aug. 12, 2010

Contra Admiral Chekmasov: [Through Interpreter]. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the beginning of my remarks I'd like to thank Strategic Command and General Chilton for inviting me to this symposium and giving me the opportunity to speak.

The policy of the Russian Federation in the area of deterrence is based on the Russian constitution, military doctrine, the strategy of national security of the Russian Federation until 2020, and is implemented in accordance with international laws and international agreements.

Based on the deterrence factor, Russia was able to overcome the consequences of the systematic political and socioeconomic crisis of the end of the 20th Century. It stopped the fall of the standard of living of the Russian citizens, resisted the calls for nationalism, separatism, and international terrorism, prevented the discreditation of the constitutional state, preserved the sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reinstated its abilities to gain competitiveness and assert national interests as a key subject of the forming multipolar international relations. The policy in the area of national defense, state and public security, stable development of the society adequate to the internal and external conditions is being implemented.

When we are talking about the national defense as a military means of deterrence, it is necessary to point out that the current changes in the image of the armed forces of the Russian Federation based on its goals, scale, and the timing, have no precedent, not just in the Russian history.

They are based on a number of factors, well known not just to the military experts, and are aimed at the implementation of measures as nuclear and non-nuclear in its nature.

It is necessary to note that Russia is situated in very difficult geostrategic and geopolitical conditions. Very close to the Russian borders there are the so-called hot spots of the Northern Caucasus, and also the zone of the Afghano-Pakistani crisis, complicated by the problems of Islamic extremism. It has been noted here that the situation around the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea is unpredictably explosive. In other words, Russia is at constant risk of being pulled into a military conflict which could take on an anti-Russian direction based on the fact that the neighboring countries have territorial claims towards Russia.

Under these conditions without the nuclear deterrent, Russia is incapable of providing its security and guard against the potential threats of conventional aggressors. At the same time, we're noting that the Northern Atlantic Treaty continues to expand, and coming closer to the Russian borders.

Also it has been noted here, NATO has a significant advantage in conventional forces, among other things, and the precision guidance weapons of high range, added the cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, with non-nuclear weaponizing which were taken out of the START agreement, the strategic bombers.

That is why the United States and their allies in NATO can provide non-nuclear deterrence with their conventional forces. Russia, such non-nuclear deterrence in the foreseeable future cannot provide, and that's why it will continue to depend on its nuclear potential until such equality is attained.

Speaking of the aspects of deterrence and the framework of national defense, I note that strategic goals of the improvement and perfection of the national defense of the Russian Federation consists of the prevention of global and regional wars and conflicts, and also in the implementation of strategic deterrence in the interest of providing military security of the country.

I would like to take this time and address Mr. Schlesinger.

We did not conduct exercises with the use of nuclear weapons against separatists on our territory.

We're also considering such aspects threats of military security that influence the issues of deterrence as policy of some countries aimed at the attainment of superiority in the military area. First of all, the strategic nuclear forces through the development of precision, informational, and other high tech means of carrying out armed conflicts.

Strategic weapons in their non-nuclear form forming in the unilateral initiative a global system of the MDS and in the militarization of space on the earth which can lead to new arms race and the spread of nuclear, chemical, biological technologies and the production of weapons of mass destruction or their components or means of delivery.

Negative influence on the aspects of deterrence is worsened by the departure from the international agreements in the area of arms control. And also actions aimed at the violation of the balance of the systems of state and military control, the prevention of the information of missile attack, control of space of functioning of the strategic nuclear forces, and nuclear munitions, nuclear energy objects, installations, nuclear and chemical industries and other potentially dangerous installations.

The main steps to control nuclear and non-nuclear and prevent military conflicts we suggest to consider. Evaluation and prognosis of the development, military and political situation on global and regional levels, and also the state of relations between countries in the political and military spheres. To neutralize possible military threats and military dangers by political, diplomatic and other non-military means. Maintenance of strategic stability and nuclear potential at the acceptable level.

The strengthening of the system of collective security within the framework of the organization of the agreement on collective security and the strengthening of its potential and increase of this potential, the improved interoperability in the area of international security within the framework of the SIS, OSCE, and the Shanghai Organization. The development of the relations in this area with other international organizations, European and NATO.

The expanding of the circle of countries, partners and the development of cooperation with them based on common interests in this sphere of strengthening international security in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and other international laws and agreements. Compliance with international agreements in the area of strategic arms control. Development and implementation of agreements in the area of conventional arms control and also the implementation of measures to strengthen mutual assurances and trust.

The creation of mechanisms to regulate bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the area of MDS. The development of an international treaty to prevent the placement of any type of weapons in space. The participation in the international peacekeeping activities under the auspices of the United Nations and within the framework of other international and regional organizations. Participation in the fight against terrorism.

The policy of the Russian Federation in respect to deterrence is not aimed at any specific country or their allies. Strategic stability and equal strategic partnership with the Russian participation in the development of the multipolar model of the world and also by means of step by step movement towards a world free from nuclear weapons is one of the priorities of our foreign policy.

Thank you.


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