Report on Discouraging a Cascade of Nuclear Weapons States

  • Dr. Gordon Oehler
  • Dr. Michael R. Anastasio
  • VADM Robert Monroe (USN Ret)
  • Dr. Keith B. Payne
  • Dr. Robert Pfaltzgraff
  • Dr. William Schneider
  • Dr. William Van Cleave
| October 19, 2007

This report of the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) responds to former U/S Robert Joseph's request that the ISAB undertake such a study. The report was drafted by a Task Force chaired by Dr. Gordon Oehler. It was reviewed by all ISAB members and unanimously approved at a plenary meeting on October 19, 2007.

The ISAB's research and discussions with experts, both foreign and domestic, has concluded that a nuclear weapons cascade is not inevitable. While the probability of a cascade is modest, neither can it be dismissed.

The ISAB has identified nineteen recommendations designed to reduce the chances of a cascade both now and in the future. All nineteen recommendations should be given serious attention, but the following are some of the priority recommendations:

  1. Strengthen the NPT.
  2. Shorten the time between detection of an NPT infraction and reporting to the UN Security Council.
  3. Develop targeted strategies to drive U.S. nonproliferation policy development and actions.
  4. Convene regional nonproliferation conferences.
  5. Ensure that the U.S. nuclear umbrella remains strong.

The full text of the report (including all nineteen recommendations) can be accessed through the attached document and link below.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Oehler, Gordon, Ashton B. Carter, Michael R. Anastasio, Robert Monroe, Keith B. Payne, Robert Pfaltzgraff, William Schneider, and William Van Cleave. “Report on Discouraging a Cascade of Nuclear Weapons States.” Edited by International Security Advisory Board (ISAB). , October 19, 2007.

The Authors

Ash Carter