Asia & the Pacific

25 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. 

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.

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.

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.

Journal Article - Nuclear Power Engineering

The Status of Advanced Small Pressurized Water Reactors

| Oct 1, 2012

In order to expand nuclear power energy in desalination and increase competitiveness in the global nuclear power market, many developed countries with strong nuclear technology have realized the importance of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) and initiated heavy research and development in SMR.The Advanced Small Pressurized Water Reactor (ASPWR) is characterized by great advantages, both in safety and economic mattters. It can be used in remote power grids and replace mid/small size fossil plants economically.This paper reviews the history and current status of SMR and ASPWR,and also discusses the design concepts, safety features and other advantages thereof.

Four nuclear policy veterans — Joseph S. Nye Jr. (from left), Ashton B. Carter, Albert Carnesale, and Graham Allison — gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war.

Photo by Sharon Wilke

Magazine Article - Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs Harvard Gazette

Nuclear Threats, Then and Now

| May 19, 2011

In 1985, researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School published a book called “Hawks, Doves, and Owls,” and gave it an ambitious subtitle: “An Agenda for Avoiding Nuclear War.” Those scholars gathered again at the School on Monday (May 16) for a seminar on the current challenges in avoiding nuclear war — and to marvel at just how drastically the nuclear threat has morphed in the two decades since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.