v16_2005j - 182 Amy M. Seward 9 COMBATING PROLIFERATION:...

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182 Amy M. Seward 7 9 Amy M. Seward is a Master of Arts candidate in International Studies and Marine Affairs at the University of Washington (sewarda@u.washington.edu). C OMBATING P ROLIFERATION : A DDRESSING THE R USSIAN N UCLEAR T HREAT Amy M. Seward Fifteen years after the initiation of U.S. threat reduction pro- grams in the former Soviet Union and some four years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, more than half of Russia’s vast stockpile of weapons-usable ±ssile materials remains to be secured, and is thus vulnerable to diversion by terrorists for use in a nuclear device. This paper assesses the state of ±s- sile material security in Russia today, taking as a case study the security of nuclear materials involved in the operations of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet. Recommendations are made drawing on the successes and shortcomings of the U.S. Depart- ment of Energy’s Material Protection Control and Accounting Program at the Fleet’s naval facilities. This analysis leads into a broader examination of the effectiveness and adequacy of U.S. nonproliferation efforts in keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. 1 I NTRODUCTION The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked an unprecedented change in the global security structure and environment. From 1945 until 1991, the Soviet Union and the United States were embroiled in a superpower rivalry that polarized Europe and much of the Third World. In this contest for global superiority, an arms race transpired in which each side acquired vast conventional and nuclear arsenals. With the dismantlement of the Soviet Union into ±fteen successor states, the threat of Soviet power which had characterized U.S.–Soviet relations for the duration of the cold war
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183 Combating Proliferation: Addressing the Russian Nuclear Threat was suddenly replaced by a very different sort of threat—that stemming from Russian weakness. Amidst political, economic, and social upheaval, a vast legacy of nuclear weapons and material was left spread across the former Soviet territories. This paper will focus on the state of Fssile material control and security in Russia today, taking as a case study the Russian Navy’s Northern ±leet. The nuclear dilemma in Russia is multifaceted. An effective assessment of the situation requires a broad understanding of the many existing eco- nomic, political, and social inter-linkages that contribute to the concern of Fssile material diversion. This paper will assess the successes and failures of U.S. nonproliferation programs in averting Fssile material diversion, in the context of both the Northern ±leet and the entire Russian arsenal of nuclear materials. Drawing on the analysis of the Northern ±leet, the factors that impede greater progress in securing Russia’s nuclear materials will be considered and a set of policy recommendations will be offered, based both on the successes and the shortcomings of the naval programs. The conclusion discusses the greater framework of current U.S. initiatives
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v16_2005j - 182 Amy M. Seward 9 COMBATING PROLIFERATION:...

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