Asia & the Pacific

297 Items

President Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine at the Pentagon on January 17, 2019 (Evan Vucci/Associated Press).

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Missile Defense Review Makes US Less Safe

| Jan. 25, 2019

The release of the Missile Defense Review is important but not because of what it tells us about the Trump administration’s priorities in the next few years. Its significance lies in the openness with which its authors in the Pentagon have chosen to discuss the purpose that the system is meant to serve.

A U.S. Trident II missile launches (Wikimedia Commons).

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - War on the Rocks

Can This New Approach to Nuclear Disarmament Work?

| Jan. 23, 2019

An estimated 14,485 nuclear weapons exist on earth today — most are far more powerful than those that twisted railway ties, leveled buildings, and crushed, poisoned, and burned human beings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The majority of these weapons belong to the United States and Russia. For some in the U.S. government, including Chris Ford, assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, this number represents significant disarmament progress since Cold War highs of over 70,000 nuclear weapons. They argue the current security environment means that further reductions are not possible at this time. In contrast, for many disarmament advocates and officials from non-nuclear weapons states, this number is still far too high. They are now clamoring to ban all nuclear weapons. Because of this divide, according to Ford, we currently face a “disarmament crisis.”

Visitors walk across the Yalu River Broken Bridge, right, next to the Friendship Bridge connecting China and North Korea in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province.

(AP Photo/Emily Wang)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Conflict and Chaos on the Korean Peninsula: Can China’s Military Help Secure North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?

    Author:
  • Oriana Skylar Mastro
| Fall 2018

China’s military could play a vital role in securing or destroying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons if the North Korean regime collapsed.

Image of China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force drill with a ballistic missile launcher

(China Military / 81.cn)

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Inadvertent Escalation and the Entanglement of Nuclear Command-and-Control Capabilities

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Oct. 29, 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation between the U.S. and China or Russia are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. What can be done to reduce this risk?

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. 

AP/Evan Vucci, Wong Maye-E

AP/Evan Vucci, Wong Maye-E

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A Roadmap for the Day After the Trump-Kim Summit

| Apr. 17, 2018

President Trump surprised almost everyone—probably not the least Kim Jong-un—when he agreed to meet the North Korean leader at the end of May (now maybe early June). By accepting Kim’s invitation, President Trump overturned decades of conventional wisdom on how to separate North Korea from its nuclear and other WMD programs. If Trump and Kim meet—as of now this is still a big “if,” although North Korea has now confirmed its willingness to meet directly—the summit could be an important ice breaker and open up a chance to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis and bring peace to the Korean peninsula. But success, however remote it may seem, will require new thinking and entail major risks. It will also require a plan.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis takes his seat for a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Axios

Trump's Nuclear Review Could Trigger a Chain Reaction in Asia

| Feb. 08, 2018

"Just as U.S. nuclear strategy and arsenal expansions affect those of China, China's nuclear shifts affect India's threat perceptions. Pakistan, in turn, pays close attention to any growth in Indian nuclear forces. To avoid a nuclear chain reaction in Asia, Congress should take a stand against proliferation and refuse to fund these new weapons programs."

Steve Erhart answers a question during a news conference on the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The World Doesn't Need Any More Nuclear Strategies

| Feb. 06, 2018

"In short, the Posture Review is recommending not just the prudent preservation of an effective deterrent; it also wants the American taxpayer to pay for a lot of expensive new ways to use a nuclear bomb. Not because its authors want to fight a nuclear war, mind you, but because they believe having this capability will make their country more secure."

President Donald Trump

AP/Richard Drew

Analysis & Opinions - USA Today

No joke: When Donald Trump hurls insults, North Korea thinks about war

| Sep. 26, 2017

America’s top priority must be to avoid a second Korean war. Yet such a war is closer than ever and appears almost inevitable unless America changes the approach President Trump has been using since he took office. The greatest risk of war with North Korea is not sudden action by Kim Jong Un, but Kim responding to a perceived attack by Trump. North Korea foreign minister Ri Yong-ho drove that home Monday when he called Trump’s threats against his country “a clear declaration of war.”

The United States has been in a technical state of war with North Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has had to navigate the risk of conflict with North Korea. What’s new is Trump’s bombastic approach to this long-standing challenge — his personal insults, crazy tweets and threat at the United Nations to "totally destroy North Korea."