A sixteen-party, multi-issue negotiation of the next strategic arms control treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation.


The year is 2025. The past ten years have been challenging both for arms control and broader U.S.-Russia relations. With regards to arms control, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019, and, over the objections of Congress, withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty in early 2021. Despite widespread concern that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) would be allowed to lapse as well, the Trump administration acquiesced to strong bipartisan pressure from Congress to extend the treaty in late 2020. At the time, President Trump voiced his intention to re-negotiate New START on better terms in the coming years, but the United States and Russia have thus far made no progress on either a replacement or forward-looking arms control treaty. The United States and Russia have also continued their nuclear modernization programs, investing trillions of dollars into developing and deploying replacements for Cold War-era systems.

The stakes of this negotiation are higher than ever. The 2025 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will take place in early May, and it is important that the United States and Russia are able to demonstrate that they are making progress on nuclear disarmament at this event. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into force in early 2023 after acquiring its 50th signatory, and its momentum is a clear sign of the continuous frustration amongst non-nuclear weapons states with the slow pace of nuclear disarmament. Positive news about U.S.-Russian progress on nuclear disarmament will go a long way towards the ensuring success of the 2025 review conference and shoring up the global nonproliferation regime.

Teaching Points

  • Increase participants’ substantive knowledge of issues relevant to the future of bilateral U.S-Russian arms control
  • Enhance participants’ technical understanding of strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense, conventional precision strike technology, and novel nuclear delivery systems
  • Understand the American and Russian perceptions of arms control
  • Improve crucial negotiation skills, including managing internal coalition dynamics and domestic pressures,
  • Practice sequencing informal discussions with formal negotiation for an optimal and successful result

Teaching Materials


  • Role Matrix: Overview of all participants and role assignments 
  • Meeting Schedule: Details the locations and meetings within the scenario
  • General Information: Scenario Background
  • Character Sheets: Confidential background information for each role


  • Teaching Guide: Provides the instructor with an overview of the scenario, exercise logistics, teaching points, and debriefing notes
  • Soft copy of suggested introductory and debrief powerpoint slides
  • All Participant documents except the Character Sheets


  • One spare copy of all Participant and Instructor documents (not including soft copy of Powerpoint slides)

Exercise Specifications

Format: In person or Online
Time Required for Exercise: 8
Number of participants: 16
Negotiating parties (teams): 2
Scorable: No
Prior Knowledge of Topic: Not Required
Language: English