Nuclear Issues

40 Items

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How the Next Nuclear Arms Race Will Be Different from the Last One

| 2019

All the world's nuclear-armed states (except for North Korea) have begun modernizing and upgrading their arsenals, leading many observers to predict that the world is entering a new nuclear arms race. While that outcome is not yet inevitable, it is likely, and if it happens, the new nuclear arms race will be different and more dangerous than the one we remember. More nuclear-armed countries in total, and three competing great powers rather than two, will make the competition more complex. Meanwhile, new non-nuclear weapon technologies — such as ballistic missile defense, anti-satellite weapons, and precision-strike missile technology — will make nuclear deterrence relationships that were once somewhat stable less so.

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Pennsylvania transits the Hood Canal in Washington.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Escalation through Entanglement: How the Vulnerability of Command-and-Control Systems Raises the Risks of an Inadvertent Nuclear War

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Summer 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. 

The Era Of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation

Siegfried Hecker

Magazine Article - Arms Control Today

The Era Of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation

| November 2016

Nickolas Roth reflects upon Doomed to Cooperate by Siegfried S. Hecker, which tells the story of how, after the Cold War ended, U.S. and Russian scientists worked together to strengthen Russian nuclear safety and security, reduce proliferation risks, and advance nuclear science. He identifies that the book provides important lessons for policymakers in each country who are, just as they were more than two decades ago, scrambling to cope with the rapidly changing relationship between the world’s two largest nuclear superpowers.

Doomed to Cooperate: How American And Russian Scientists Joined Forces To Avert Some Of The Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers

Siegfried Hecker

Magazine Article - Physics Today

Doomed to Cooperate: How American And Russian Scientists Joined Forces To Avert Some Of The Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers

| November 2016

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 created unprecedented dangers. The crumbling empire had thousands of nuclear weapons, enough material to make tens of thousands more, and tens of thousands of experts with sensitive nuclear expertise. To overstate only slightly, Doomed to Cooperate: How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers is a true story of scientists and engineers successfully working together to save the world.

Journal Article - World Affairs

Was Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament a Blunder?

| September 2016

"Ukraine's denuclearization had been a controversial issue even as it was negotiated, leaving bitter traces in the country's political and public discourse. As a student of political science in Kyiv in the mid-1990s, I remember being outraged by the sense of injustice: how could the states that rely on their own nuclear deterrents demand the nuclear disarmament of others? More so that one of these states, Russia, has never fully come to terms with Ukraine's independence. Since then, I came to research a doctoral dissertation on the denuclearization of post-Soviet successor states and, in the process, learned a great deal about Ukraine's nuclear disarmament that dispelled many of my preconceptions."

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) in Europe (Czech Republic and Poland)

DoD Image

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

Missile Defense Against Iran Without Threatening Russia

| November 2013

"Although the cancellation of the planned deployment of the SM-3 IIB interceptors has removed the possibility that interceptors deployed under the phased adaptive approach would pose a threat to Russian missiles, it has not diminished the missile defense system's primary mission of intercepting an array of current and potential future Iranian missiles. The restructured missile defense system would still theoretically be able to handle these Iranian missile threats, even if one factors in a comfortable amount of time for detecting and tracking them."