The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with the new report "Strategic (In)Security: Perspectives from the US"


MOSCOW, JUNE 29, 2020. PIR PRESS. The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with a new report "Strategic (In)Security: Perspectives from the US".

PIR Center continues to publish policy papers, which were prepared for a joint seminar on reducing nuclear risks during great power competition, which is co-organized together with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). As it appears that such competition is already underway, we decided to release two policy memos originally prepared for the seminar under one cover “Strategic (In)Stability: Perspectives from the U.S.”. As discussed by the authors, there is some overlooked potential for constructive engagement between Russian and the United States with regards to arms control and emerging technologies.

Peter Zwack. "Reducing Nuclear Risk During Great Power Competition"

Key findings

  • First, any solution must start with the joint leadership of the Russian Federation and the United States. The world is watching what we do and how we work together or against one another. It’s our joint responsibility to set the tone and supply a model of cooperation – no one else will.
  • With the treaties already renounced disappeared critical US-Russian personal “contact points,” where near daily eye-to-eye discussion occurred among numerous diplomats, scientists, engineers and military staff from both countries. Those multi-level dialogues demystified and dedemonized one another, built trust even with disagreement and led to major breakthroughs.
  • Presidential statements alone in this difficult, distracting political climate will not do it. The US Secretary of Defense should meet with the Russian Minister of Defense to help frame these critical issues from a national defense and security perspective. It has been a long time since they have specifically met in sustained dialogue.

Read the paper on PIR Center website


Margaret Kosal. "AI & Global Security Environment"

Key findings

  • In the post-Cold War environment, the most technologically advanced military power no longer guarantees national security. As nations and the international community look to the future – whether dominated by extremist groups co-opting advanced weapons in the world of globalized non-state actors or states engaged in persistent regional conflicts in areas of strategic interest – new adversaries and new science and technology will emerge.
  • Currently all US operational systems require “human in the loop” and are restricted in scope and nature, i.e., fixed anti-missile capabilities on ships, rather than general lethality. As systems are developed and deployed with higher levels of autonomy, broader scope, and the ability to move independently, the calculus will change.
  • If human biases can impact machine learning outcomes for designing inorganic reactions, it’s something to be cognizant of for other – potentially more consequential – decision-making assisted by AI.
  • To be clear, there is much to learn from and leverage in existing arms control and nonproliferation institutions. These starting points and history are valuable; they are not necessarily predictive, however. Regardless, the challenges in this arena are primarily political rather than technical.

Read the paper on PIR Center website