Asia & the Pacific

56 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 New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence

AP/Wong Maye-E

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence

    Authors:
  • Keir A. Lieber
  • Daryl Press
| Spring 2017

For decades, nuclear deterrence has depended on the impossibility of a first strike destroying a country’s nuclear arsenal. Technological advances, however, are undermining states’ abilities to hide and protect their nuclear arsenals. These developments help explain why nuclear-armed states have continued to engage in security competition: nuclear deterrence is neither automatic nor permanent. Thus, the United States should enhance its counterforce capabilities and avoid reducing its nuclear arsenal.

Would China Go Nuclear? Assessing the Risk of Chinese Nuclear Escalation in a Conventional War with the United States

AP/Andy Wong

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Would China Go Nuclear? Assessing the Risk of Chinese Nuclear Escalation in a Conventional War with the United States

    Author:
  • Caitlin Talmadge
| Spring 2017

Would China escalate to nuclear use in a conventional war with the United States? If China believed that U.S. conventional attacks on missiles, submarines, air defenses, and command and control systems threatened the survivability of its nuclear forces or that the United States was preparing a counterforce attack, it might engage in limited nuclear escalation to gain military advantage or coerce the United States. The United States will face difficult trade-offs in deciding how best to manage the risk of nuclear escalation.

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.

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.

Journal Article

The Evolution of US Extended Deterrence and South Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions

| April 18, 2016

Extended deterrence has been a main pillar of the security alliance between the United States and South Korea (Republic of Korea [ROK]) since the end of the Korean War. The changing dynamics of US extended deterrence in Korea, however, affected Seoul’s strategic choices within its bilateral alliance relationship with Washington. Examining the evolution of US extended deterrence in the Korean Peninsula until the Nixon administration, this article explains why South Korea began its nuclear weapons programme in a historical context of the US–ROK alliance relationship. This article argues that President Park Chung-hee’s increasing uncertainty about the US security commitment to South Korea in the 1960s led to his decision to develop nuclear weapons in the early 1970s despite the fact that US tactical nuclear weapons were still stationed in South Korea.