Nuclear Issues

3884 Items

A screen shows U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken addresses the 2022 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, in the United Nations General Assembly

AP/Yuki Iwamura

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Is Nuclear War Inevitable?

| Sep. 05, 2022

Joseph Nye writes that Russian aggression and nuclear saber rattling have reminded us that the likelihood of nuclear war is a matter of both independent and interdependent probabilities. Paradoxically, reducing the probability of an all-out catastrophe requires that we learn to accept a certain degree of risk and uncertainty.

The China Questions 2 book cover

Harvard University Press

Book Chapter - Harvard University Press

Where Do Divergent US and Chinese Approaches to Dealing with North Korea Lead?

| August 2022

For the United States, the dominant approach has been economic coercion. Despite applying stringent sanctions, the United States has been ineffective in convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal in return for a brighter economic and diplomatic future. The myriad U.S. sanctions have also failed to halt major progress in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. However, these setbacks have not caused the United States to change its strategy of economic coercion. On the contrary, the United States has considerably increased its use of this economic statecraft tool. In contrast, China has deepened its economic engagement with the North Korean regime since the late 2000s. Through the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and its counterpart the Workers’ Party of Korea, China has cultivated and monetized political ties. Doing so has provided a powerful mechanism through which the Kim family regime—leaders of North Korea’s ruling and prosperous 1 percent—has shored up stability and thrived.

A type 094A Jin-class nuclear submarine Long March 10 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province, April 23, 2019.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Then What? Assessing the Military Implications of Chinese Control of Taiwan

| Summer 2022

An analysis of Taiwan’s military value concludes that its reunification with China would improve Chinese submarine warfare and ocean surveillance capabilities, tipping the military balance in China’s favor. These findings have important implications for U.S. operational planning, policy, and grand strategy.

HE Mr. Benno Laggner, Resident Representative of Switzerland to the IAEA, deposits Switzerland’s Instrument of Ratification to Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General, during his official visit at the Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria in January 2022.

Dean Calma/ IAEA via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Swissinfo

Switzerland’s wait-and-see approach to nuclear ban treaty is sensible

| July 21, 2022

From June 21-23, dozens of countries gathered in Vienna to discuss how to implement the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)External link. They were joined by nuclear disarmament activists from around the world, including hibakusha – atomic bombing survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Swiss diplomats were also present, but only to observe rather than directly participate. This may seem surprising, but it’s consistent with Switzerland’s pragmatism on questions of nuclear abolition.

Switzerland’s decision was based on careful study. Following a report by an interdepartmental working groupExternal link, the government opted not to become a TPNW member in 2018 and 2019. Instead, the country wants to work on nuclear disarmament with states inside and outside the treaty. Practically speaking, this means sending Swiss experts to observe TPNW proceedings. And that engagement is a good thing because the nuclear ban treaty is here to stay and cannot be ignored.

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Presentation

Dynamics of Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism Threats to Post-Soviet Russia

    Editor:
  • Angelina Flood
| June 21, 2022

Simon Saradzhyan was invited to publicly brief the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee addressing the adequacy of strategies to prevent, counter, and respond to nuclear terrorism, and identify technical, policy, and resource gaps. The consensus study is a congressionally mandated analysis included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (Section 1299I) sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy).  Nearly 60 stakeholders concerned about this topic from the Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, State Department, National Security Council, US Congress, the National Labs, and many non-governmental organizations were in attendance. The briefings are available at the NAS event website. Video of the presentation can be found here.

Navy Adm. Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, meets with Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo, before a trilateral meeting between the U.S., Republic of Korea, and Japan at PACOM headquarters.

Department of Defense, Dominique A. Pineiro via Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Under the Umbrella: Nuclear Crises, Extended Deterrence, and Public Opinion

| May 26, 2022

How robust is public support for extended nuclear deterrence in patron and client states? Recent studies have improved scholarly understanding of US public opinion about nuclear weapon use against non-nuclear adversaries. Yet, there is limited knowledge of public attitudes regarding retaliation for nuclear strikes against US allies. We develop a theoretical typology of nuclear crises and investigate this phenomenon with a novel survey experiment (n = 6,623). Americans, Japanese, and South Koreans viewed realistic emergency alert messages about a most-likely case for nuclear retaliation: a North Korean missile attack on a US ally protected by the nuclear umbrella. Support for nuclear retaliation is low in all three countries, with important cross-national differences. Favorability increases with North Korean nuclear first-use, but it remains limited nonetheless. Surprisingly, US “tripwire” troop casualties do not increase Americans’ demands for nuclear retaliation. These findings have important implications for the study of nuclear crises and practice of extended deterrence.

President Vladimir Putin gives a speech to the members of the Russian Olympic team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo

The Presidential Press and Information Office via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

What We Got Wrong about Nuclear Risk Reduction

| May 23, 2022

Existing risk reduction tools are designed to prevent risks associated with misperception or inadvertent escalation. They are not tailored to the type of intentional escalation and risk-taking that Russian President Vladimir Putin has demonstrated with regards to Ukraine. Preventing further escalation and nuclear use will require strengthening deterrence and developing new risk reduction tools.

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Analysis & Opinions

Former Moscow chief of station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen on the state of play in Ukraine - "Intelligence Matters"

| May 18, 2022

In this episode of "Intelligence Matters," host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA operations officer and Moscow station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen about the likely trajectory of the war in Ukraine, including the possibility of a negotiated peace — or dangerous escalation. Mowatt-Larssen offers insights on Putin's options, potential rifts among his intelligence agencies, and persistent rumors about the Russian leader's health. Morell and Mowatt-Larssen also discuss Western involvement in the conflict and the lingering potential for the Kremlin to use weapons of mass destruction.