Articles

42 Items

Chinese military vehicles in parade.

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Dangerous Confidence? Chinese Views on Nuclear Escalation

    Authors:
  • Fiona S. Cunningham
  • M. Taylor Fravel
| Fall 2019

China and the United States hold opposing beliefs about whether nuclear war can be avoided in a potential crisis or armed conflict. Taken together, these opposing beliefs increase the risk of nuclear escalation and can lead to greater crisis instability.

Soldiers stand on guard next to a Chinese navy nuclear submarine at the Qingdao base in east China's Shandong province on August 19, 2013.

Yin Haiyang/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Should the United States Reject MAD? Damage Limitation and U.S. Nuclear Strategy toward China

| Summer 2016

China's growing nuclear arsenal threatens to erode the United States' damage-limitation capability—its ability to destroy Chinese forces and thereby significantly reduce the damage that an all-out Chinese nuclear attack would inflict on the United States. Nevertheless, the United States should not attempt to preserve this capability. Doing so is technologically infeasible, would not add to the U.S. nuclear deterrent, would heighten tensions with China, and would increase the risk of nuclear escalation in a crisis.

Military vehicles carrying DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) march past the Tiananmen Rostrum during a military parade, September 3, 2015.

Wei Yao/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Assuring Assured Retaliation: China’s Nuclear Posture and U.S.-China Strategic Stability

    Authors:
  • Fiona Cunningham
  • M. Taylor Fravel
| Fall 2015

Many analysts worry that recent advances in U.S. military capabilities could cause China to abandon its nuclear strategy of assured retaliation and its no-first-use doctrine. The writings and statements of Chinese nuclear experts, however, suggest that such fears are misplaced.

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.

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.

A Hatf-8 (Ra'ad) missile (precursor to the Nasr missile), capable of carrying nuclear war heads, loaded on a trailer during the Pakistan National Day parade in Islamabad, Pakistan on Sunday, March 23, 2008.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Pakistan's Battlefield Nuclear Policy: A Risky Solution to an Exaggerated Threat

| Winter 2014/15

Pakistan has developed tactical nuclear weapons to deter India from executing its Cold Start war doctrine. India, however, has disavowed that doctrine. Further, the use of such weapons against Indian troops inside Pakistan would kill and injure countless civilians, while risking massive nuclear retaliation by India. In this International Security article, Jaganath Sankaran argues Pakistan should reconsider the role of tactical nuclear weapons in its military strategy.

Magazine Article - Harvard Gazette

Kissinger, On Diplomacy

Nov. 19, 2014

Considered one of the most important American diplomats of the 20th century, onetime Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited the Harvard Law School (HLS) campus last week to share some of the lessons learned as adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Debating American Engagement: The Future of U.S. Grand Strategy

| Fall 2013

Campbell Craig and Benjamin H. Friedman, Brendan Rittenhouse Green, and Justin Logan respond to Stephen G. Brooks, G. John Ikenberry, and William C. Wohlforth's Winter 2012/2013 International Security article, "Don't Come Home, America: The Case against Retrenchment."