Nuclear Issues

23 Items

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb

| Winter 2016/17

Understanding which nuclear proliferation strategies are available to states and how to thwart them is crucial for global security. Analysis of the strategies chosen by potential proliferators, and particularly the history of India’s nuclear program, shows how states choose among four possible proliferation strategies: hedging, sprinting, hiding, and sheltered pursuit. Each strategy has vulnerabilities that can be exploited to prevent proliferation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, January 14, 2015, during a bilateral meeting ahead of nuclear negotiations.

Martial Trezzini/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Strategies of Inhibition: U.S. Grand Strategy, the Nuclear Revolution, and Nonproliferation

| Summer 2015

Most histories of post-1945 U.S. grand strategy focus on containment of the Soviet Union and U.S. efforts to promote political and economic liberalization. A closer look reveals that "strategies of inhibition"—attempts to control nuclear proliferation—have been a third central pillar of U.S. grand strategy for several decades.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Keeping the Bombs in the Basement: U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan

| Summer 2015

Many accounts suggest that the United States did little to prevent Israel, Pakistan, and South Africa from developing nuclear weapons. These accounts are flawed, however. The United States did attempt to stop all three countries from acquiring the bomb and, when those efforts failed, to halt additional proliferation measures such as further testing and weaponization.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Beyond Emboldenment: How Acquiring Nuclear Weapons Can Change Foreign Policy

| Summer 2015

How does the acquisition of nuclear weapons affect states' foreign policy? A new typology of six potential post-acquisition state behaviors—aggression, expansion, independence, bolstering, steadfastness, and compromise—offers a more nuanced answer to this question than previous studies have provided. The United Kingdom's foreign policy after it developed the bomb reveals how nuclear weapons can make a country more assertive.

President John F. Kennedy arrived on June 23, 1963 at the airport in Cologne-Wahn for a four day visit to Germany. In front, chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Alliance Coercion and Nuclear Restraint: How the United States Thwarted West Germany's Nuclear Ambitions

| Spring 2015

A prominent model of nuclear proliferation posits that a powerful patron state can prevent a weaker ally from proliferating by providing it with security guarantees. The history of West Germany's pursuit of the bomb from 1954 to 1969 suggests that a patron may also need to threaten the client state with military abandonment to convince it not to acquire nuclear weapons.

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.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Secrecy, Civil-Military Relations, and India's Nuclear Weapons Program

    Authors:
  • Anit Mukherjee
  • George Perkovich
  • Gaurav Kampani
| Winter 2014/15

Anit Mukherjee and George Perkovich respond to Gaurav Kampani's spring 2014 International Security article, "New Delhi's Long Nuclear Journey: How Secrecy and International Roadblocks Delayed India's Weaponization."

Kargil War Memorial by the Indian Army at Drass, India, 26 June 2013. The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that occurred May–July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control.

Mail2arunjith Photo CC

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Questioning the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict

| February, 2015

The authors examine the effect of nuclear weapons on interstate conflict. Using more appropriate methodologies than have previously been used, they find that dyads in which both states possess nuclear weapons are not significantly less likely to fight wars, nor are they significantly more or less belligerent at low levels of conflict.