Over the past decade, the question of how to prevent nuclear proliferation in both the Middle East and East Asia has gained significant urgency. Apparently in part due to Iran’s progress towards acquiring a nuclear weapons breakout capability and North Korea’s acquisition of rudimentary nuclear weapons, several U.S. allies and friendly states appear to be at least opening the door to potential future pursuit of nuclear weapons.
On February 5, 2013 at the Emory University China Speaker Series, Major General Zhu Chenhu of the Chinese National Defense University gave this response to my question about Chinese attitudes towards signing arms control treaties. See below 4 minute video clip from the talk. It raises a number of questions:
What makes a treaty an "unfair" treaty in Chinese eyes?
This article distills insights for the scholarship of deterrence by examining the 1983 nuclear crisis – the moment of maximum danger of the late Cold War. Important contributions notwithstanding, our understanding of this episode still has caveats, and a significant pool of theoretical lessons for strategic studies remain to be learned. Utilizing newly available sources, this article suggests an alternative interpretation of Soviet and US conduct.
This article elaborates the notion of ‘nuclear idiosyncrasy’ as a specific understanding of what nuclear weapons and energy are, what they stand for and what they can do. It then assesses the persistence of nuclear idiosyncrasy over time and its effects on French nuclear policies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran. Based on interviews in France, Geneva and the UAE, this article contributes to three debates within foreign policy analysis and nuclear history. Is a regional approach necessary to understand the framing of foreign policies in the twenty-first century?
The supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on debt reduction will probably result in unexpected reductions of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That possibility concerns the defense establishment, but it also presents an opportunity: It might finally be possible to have an honest debate about the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy and the prospect for further arms reductions.
Before moving ahead with this conversation, though, it is critical to review and debunk three misguided ideas about nuclear weapons.
This paper, written for a September 2011 seminar hosted by the Geneva Center for Security Policy, analyzes developments since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan was adopted by concensus at the 2010 NPT Review conference. The seminar included participants from the Permanent Missions to the Conference on Disarmament, academia, and non-governmental organizations.
By examining via a case study the political authority of US proliferation experts since the 1960s, this article contributes to nuclear weapons proliferation studies and to the growing literature on the role of expertise in democracies. First, it argues that policy choices are determined by an understanding of history and that approaching nuclear history as a history of nuclear weapons proliferation is a presumption shared by both US experts and policy makers.