Nuclear Security Matters

260 Items

Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty gather in Geneva for NPT Prepcom 2018.

JWB/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Contemporary Security Policy

Durable Institution Under Fire? The NPT Confronts Emerging Multipolarity

| Nov. 07, 2021

The regime built around the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has helped curtail the spread of nuclear arms for fifty years. In hindsight, it is remarkable only nine states possess the world’s most powerful weapon. The NPT achieved much success during Cold War bipolarity and U.S. unipolarity in its aftermath. But today, China’s rise and Russia’s resurgence have ushered in a new era of emerging multipolarity. Can the treaty withstand the potential challenges of this dynamic environment? There is a real risk that multipolarity may shake the scaffolding of the nonproliferation regime, presenting a significant test to the NPT’s durability. This article identifies four essential elements of the nonproliferation regime: widespread membership, adaptability, enforcement, and fairness. History suggests bipolarity and unipolarity in the international system largely sustained and promoted these NPT features. When international regimes lack such elements, it sharply curtails their long-term efficacy.

FORT GORDON NELSON HALL, Augusta, Georgia, June 10, 2014 – The U.S. Army’s ‘Cyber Center of Excellence’, Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, hosted a multi-service ‘NetWar’ to show, and build, cyber Warrior capabilities Tuesday, June 10.

Georgia Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tracy J. Smith

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Subversive Trilemma: Why Cyber Operations Fall Short of Expectations

    Author:
  • Lennart Maschmeyer
| Fall 2021

Although cyber conflict has existed for thirty years, the strategic utility of cyber operations remains unclear. The subversive trilemma explains why cyber operations tend to fall short of their promise in both warfare and low-intensity competition.

Signing of the SALT treaty between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. is observed by officials as U.S. President Richard Nixon, left and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, right, sign document in Moscow, May 26, 1972. (AP Photo)

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Arms Control as Wedge Strategy: How Arms Limitation Deals Divide Alliances

| Fall 2021

Wedge strategy theory explains how states use strategic arms control to divide adversaries by affecting their trust, threat perceptions, and beliefs about a commitment’s trade-offs. Examining three landmark arms control negotiations shows how the wedge motive was a key component to these negotiations.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Are Belligerent Reprisals against Civilians Legal?

    Authors:
  • Christopher A. Ford
  • John R. Harvey
  • Franklin C. Miller
  • Dr. Keith B. Payne
  • Bradley H. Roberts
  • Allen S. Weiner
| Fall 2021

Christopher Ford, John Harvey, Franklin Miller, Keith Payne, and Bradley Roberts respond to Scott Sagan and Allen Weiner’s spring 2021 article, “The Rule of Law and the Role of Strategy in U.S. Nuclear Doctrine.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event Monday, March 8, 2021, in the East Room of the White House in Washington

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

The Illegality of Targeting Civilians by Way of Belligerent Reprisal: Implications for U.S. Nuclear Doctrine

| May 10, 2021

To date, the U.S. government has not declared that it no longer reserves a purported right to target civilians by way of reprisal, in response to an unlawful attack against U.S. or allied civilians. As we have argued elsewhere, and as Adil Haque recently called on the Biden administration to do, it is time for the United States to acknowledge that customary international law today prohibits targeting civilians in reprisal for an adversary’s violations of the law of war.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds a Q&A session during a visit to the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Neb., Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Rule of Law and the Role of Strategy in U.S. Nuclear Doctrine

| Spring 2021

When properly applied, the key principles of the law of armed conflict have a profound impact on U.S. nuclear doctrine. Specifically, it would be unlawful for the United States to intentionally target civilians, even in reprisal for a strike against U.S. or allied civilians.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Biden Avoids Mistake of Insufficient Fiscal Stimulus

| Mar. 29, 2021

It has been a year since the US and the world went into recession.  Because of its origins in the sudden pandemic, it was possible to reliably discern the advent of the recession before it was reflected in any of the standard economic statistics, which is rare.  (I hope it shocks no one to learn that economists can’t normally predict recessions.)

By the end of the second quarter of 2020, US GDP had fallen 11 %. This record plunge took the US economy from a level that is estimated to have been 1.0% above potential output at the end of 2019, to a level 10 % below potential in mid-2020.  Potential output is the level of GDP that is produced when unemployment is at its so-called natural rate, the capital stock is operating at the capacity for which it was designed, buildings have their normal occupancy rates, etc.