Russia's Nuclear Doctrine For the Post-Cold War Era

Date of Graduation

Fall 1999


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Russian leaders continue to declare that Russia will once again become a great power and that the twenty-first century will be the "Russian Century." To fulfill its goal of regaining a superpower status in the world, Russia understands that it must continue to construct and maintain a military force that is unrivaled in Eurasia. Leaders in Moscow believe that a strong military force, backed by a credible nuclear warfighting capability, provides the essential means for exercising political and military power throughout the world. The Russians have devised a military doctrine that broadly outlines a blueprint of Russia's goals and objectives. Nuclear weapons were central to military power in Soviet military doctrine and they remain so in what is known of Russian military doctrine and policy. Clearly, Russia is seeking to maintain and modernize its nuclear weapons in such a way that will sustain a first-rate nuclear warfighting capability. This thesis examines the basic tenets set forth in Russian nuclear doctrine. It concludes that there is continuity, rather than change, between Soviet and Russian nuclear doctrine.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© David Frederick McCallum