[ Authors note:This is a very condensed backgrounder to how the two major nuclear powers came to a balanced peace through the threat of mutual annihilation. Emerging dangerous global problems mean it is time to move beyond mutual threats and focus on mutual security.
In january 2022 the leaders of 5 nuclear weapons States made a joint affirmation that "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." They committed to progress nuclear disarmament, and, rather curiously, the ambiguous phrase "and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
We, the people, put our leaders in place to ensure our security. They must not fail. But any one leader cannot guarantee security for all.These leaders must work together for the common good. Nothing less is acceptable to us.]
The main defense is deterrence. That is, don't attack Russia or its allies with nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, cyberattacks on crucial nuclear defense infrastructure, or with a large conventional force that destroys State control of the country..12. The main military risks that might evolve into military threats (threats of aggression) to the Russian Federation due to changes in the military-political and strategic situation, and that are to be neutralized by implementation of nuclear deterrence, are as follows:
a) build-up by a potential adversary of the general purpose forces groupings that possess nuclear weapons delivery means in the territories of the states contiguous with the Russian Federation and its allies, as well as in adjacent waters;
b) deployment by states which consider the Russian Federation as a potential adversary, of missile defence systems and means, medium- and shorter-range cruise and ballistic missiles, non-nuclear high-precision and hypersonic weapons, strike unmanned aerial vehicles, and directed energy weapons;
c) development and deployment of missile defence assets and strike systems in outer space;
d) possession by states of nuclear weapons and (or) other types of weapons of mass destruction that can be used against the Russian Federation and/or its allies, as well as means of delivery of such weapons;
e) uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, their delivery means, technology and equipment for their manufacture;
f) deployment of nuclear weapons and their delivery means in the territories of non-nuclear weapon states.
13. The Russian Federation implements its nuclear deterrence with regard to individual states and military coalitions (blocs, alliances) that consider the Russian Federation as a potential adversary and that possess nuclear weapons and/or other types of weapons of mass destruction, or significant combat potential of general purpose forces.
14. While implementing nuclear deterrence, the Russian Federation takes into account the deployment by a potential adversary, in the territories of other countries, of offensive weapons (cruise and ballistic missiles, hypersonic aerial vehicles, strike unmanned aerial vehicles), directed energy weapons, missile defence assets, early warning systems, nuclear weapons and/or other weapons of mass destruction that may be used against the Russian Federation and/or its allies.
15. The principles of nuclear deterrence are as follows:
a) compliance with international arms control commitments;
b) continuity of activities ensuring nuclear deterrence;
c) adaptability of nuclear deterrence to military threats;
d) unpredictability for a potential adversary in terms of scale, time and place for possible employment of forces and means of nuclear deterrence;
e) centralization of governmental control over the activities of federal executive bodies and organizations involved in ensuring nuclear deterrence;
f) rationality of structure and composition of nuclear deterrence forces and means and their maintaining at the minimal level sufficient for implementing the tasks assigned;
g) maintaining permanent readiness of a designated fraction of nuclear deterrence forces and means for combat use.
16. The nuclear deterrence forces of the Russian Federation include land-, sea- and air-based nuclear forces.
III. Conditions for the transition of the Russian Federation to the use
of nuclear weapons
17. The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.
18. The decision to use nuclear weapons is taken by the President of the Russian Federation.
19. The conditions specifying the possibility of nuclear weapons use by the Russian Federation are as follows:
a) arrival of reliable data on a launch of ballistic missiles attacking the territory of the Russian Federation and/or its allies;
b) use of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction by an adversary against the Russian Federation and/or its allies;
c) attack by adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions;
d) aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.
20. The President of the Russian Federation might, if necessary, inform the military-political leadership of other states and/or international organizations about the Russian Federation’s readiness to use nuclear weapons or about the decision taken to use nuclear weapons, as well as about the fact that nuclear weapons have been used.