Differing approaches by key stakeholders to the North Korean nuclear issue is a manifestation of the security competition among some of them, especially the two Koreas, the United States, and China. These major players have competing visions of national security objectives and priorities, including regional peace, regime stability, alliance relationship, security assurance, and denuclearization. Some objectives are overlapping, while others might be conflicting. For some countries, the pursuit of some objectives might be contradictory to the pursuit of other objectives.
This article analyzes nuclear weapons related scholarship as a subset of security studies particularly prone to self-censorship, even in the post-Cold War era. It argues that self-censorship effects come from the joint use of the notions of deterrence and non-proliferation and the invocation of an expected veto player. The effects of the words 'proliferation' and 'deterrence' and the assumption that a supposedly important player in nuclear policy will veto proposals for change, create avenues for self-censorship and delegitimize transformative thinking.
Arms control treaties deal with sensitive issue of national security. States that come to an agreement through a compromise balancing their interests want to make sure that the other party is fulfilling its obligations and that fulfilling your own obligations does not put you at a relative disadvantage. That is why arms control agreements are rarely self-executing. Even though it is generally believed that states enter international treaties in good faith and are expected to abide by their commitments, contracting parties usually verify that the obligations are observed.
When the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in August 1945, it launched a grand contest between two forces: nations determined to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and those determined to acquire their own. Early hopes of a long-lasting American atomic monopoly were dashed by the Soviet Union’s first atomic test in 1949, followed by Great Britain in 1952, France in 1960, and China in 1964. Three more nations (Israel, India, and South Africa) successfully crossed the nuclear threshold by 1980, and by 1990 Pakistan had joined the nuclear club as well.
The last few years have revealed an increasing trend of ‘vertical proliferation’ in the South Asian region. Recent revelations about quantitative and qualitative developments in the nuclear and missile inventories of India and Pakistan indicate a higher likelihood of an impending nuclear arms competition in the region. If the disintegration of the Soviet Union set any precedent, it suggests that an arms race would be to the detriment of Pakistan’s national security.
The North Korean Nuclear Crisis is a manifestation of the security competition among the key stakeholders, especially the two Koreas, the United States and China. In this paper, I argue that the competing vision of national security interests/objectives and the existence of “security competition” by major players in Northeast Asia under the particular international structure provide both constraints and opportunities for the formation of this re-emerged stalemate and the potential resolution of the nuclear crisis.
The importance of arms control and of the goal of strategic stability in the US nuclear weapons policy toolkit since the 1970s suggest that it is a fundamentally conservative realm of policymaking and that this conservative aspect might be good news as, in the nuclear realm maybe more than anywhere else. However, in nuclear weapons policy as in other areas, decision-making cannot be oriented towards pure stasis. This is why the study of the conditions of possibility of progressive nuclear weapons policy is crucial.
Ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East have given Russia an opportunity to test the employment of electronic warfare (EW) capabilities that Moscow has developed over the last decade in order to deter and counter military threats from the West. To be sure, Western analysts have foreseen the emergence of Russia’s anti-access/area denial capabilities, including advanced electronic counter measures (ECM), for over a decade. What arguably came as a surprise is the demonstrative nature of Russia’s use of these capabilities.
Ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East have given Russia an opportunity to test the employment of electronic warfare (EW) capabilities that it has developed over the last decade in order to deter and counter military threats from the West. News reports suggest that pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have utilized Russian systems and concepts for electronic warfare in their operations against Ukrainian government forces. In that conflict, jamming technologies have hindered the operations of monitoring drones flown by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.