New arms race taking shape amid a pandemic and economic crisis. What could go wrong?

New arms race taking shape amid a pandemic and economic crisis. What could go wrong? Three decades after the Cold War ended without a long-feared nuclear cataclysm, arms control experts are starting to .

Think the sigh of relief heard around the world then might have been premature. In recent weeks Russian fighter aircraft intercepted U.S. strategic bombers and surveillance planes over the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean,

At the same time, Moscow tested a new missile capable of destroying U.S. satellites. China recently closed its authoritarian grip around Hong Kong, threatened to “smash” any formal independence move on the part of Taiwan and announced an unprecedented show of military force with an amphibious .

The South China Sea this summer that neighbors worry could foreshadow a military incursion. For its part, the Pentagon recently test-fired a new “hypersonic” missile and reportedly increased strategic bomber flights on Russia’s periphery.

The Trump administration knocked down another arms control pillar by rejecting the Open Skies Treaty and raised the idea of resuming nuclear weapons testing for the first time in nearly three decades. During much of the Cold War, tensions between nuclear-armed superpowers were kept in check by an architecture of military de-confliction agreements,

Open communication channels and nuclear arms control and verification treaties erected over decades. But today’s world bears an unsettling resemblance to the early years of the Cold War, when missteps like the Korean War,

Berlin Blockade and Cuban Missile Crisis pushed the major powers to the brink. “I think we have forgotten some lessons of the Cold War, one of which was that the more tensions you have in international relations, and the greater the level of crisis, the more likely it is that a mistake or miscalculation on either side will lead to a catastrophic error,”

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