The Window of Vulnerability That Wasn't: New Data on Soviet Strategic Capabilities

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Reuben W. Hills Conference Room

During the strategic modernization program that the Soviet Union undertook in the 1970s, it deployed a large number of multiple-warhead ballistic missiles. This deployment raised concerns in the United States about vulnerability of its land-based missile force and was one of the factors that contributed to the military buildup that the United States undertook in the late 1970s-early 1980s. The newly available documents that contain evidence of the Soviet missile programs demonstrate that the "window of vulnerability" did not exist and provide some insight into the Soviet modernization program.

Pavel Podvig joined CISAC as a research associate in 2004. Before that he was a researcher at the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). He worked as a visiting researcher with the Security Studies Program at MIT and with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, and he taught physics in MIPT's General Physics Department for more than ten years.

Podvig graduated with honors from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1988, with a degree in physics. In 2004 he received a PhD in political science from the Moscow Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

His research has focused on technical and political issues of missile defense, space security, U.S.-Russian relations, structure and capabilities of the Russian strategic forces, and nuclear nonproliferation. He was the head of the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces research project and the editor of a book of the same title, which is considered a definitive source of information on Russian strategic forces.