For some observers, nuclear arms control is either a relic of the cold war, or a utopian dream about a denuclearized planet decades in the future. But in fact, as Brookings scholars Steven Pifer and Michael O'Hanlon argue in a new book, it is of major relevance to some of the key and urgent security challenges of the day.
Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan dominate the nuclear headlines, and policymakers constantly try to find the right mix of sanctions, incentives, arms control options, and in some cases, even threats of military force to address the problems. Efforts led by the Obama administration to pressure Iran not to enrich uranium, North Korea not to test more devices, or Pakistan to slow its arms racing depend on international consensus about nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear testing, and nuclear weapons reductions.
Then there is Russia. It remains America's chief partner on nuclear arms negotiations, and also a rival in other ways. The Obama administration has had some success in improving U.S.-Russian relations by returning to classic arms control, including the New START Treaty. Those improved relations in turn made it easier to get Moscow to pressure Iran over its nuclear program (and to supply NATO forces in Afghanistan through the so-called Northern Distribution Network rather than just Pakistan). But U.S.-Russian relations remain complex, Moscow is opposed to American plans for missile defense in Europe, and it is not clear how eager Russia is for any further nuclear arms cuts given its reliance on weapons of mass destruction to protect its long borders.
What is the future of nuclear arms control for the next American president, be it a reelected Barack Obama or a newly elected Mitt Romney? Can there be another major U.S.-Russia arms treaty? Can all the tactical and surplus warheads that have so far escaped controls be brought into such a framework? Can a modus vivendi be reached between the two states on missile defense? And what of multilateral accords on nuclear testing and production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons? Pifer and O'Hanlon concisely frame the issues, the circumstances, and the choices for a future president and offer their own recommendations as well.
The United States continues to maintain a large nuclear arsenal guided by a deterrence strategy little changed since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Notwithstanding changes in the size and composition of nuclear forces brought about since 1991, the fundamental rationales and planning principles which informed U.S. nuclear policy for decades remain in place--despite the disappearance of a superpower nuclear enemy. In this work, Janne E. Nolan traces the effort to articulate a post-cold war nuclear doctrine through decisions taken in the Bush and Clinton administrations, focusing on the leadership styles of presidents, bureaucratic politics, and broader foreign policy objectives.Based on in-depth interviews with policy participants, this study illuminates in detail the dynamics by which the U.S. government has tried to reflect the dramatically altered international arena in its nuclear policies. In two major policy developments--the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review and the decision to sign the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty--U.S. policy makers sought to define the utility of nuclear weapons after the cold war and to gain broad-based consensus. For many reasons, these efforts were largely unsuccessful in developing coherent policies, with the absence of sustained presidential leadership proving most decisive.
For more than forty years, the United States has maintained a public commitment to nuclear disarmament, and every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama has gradually reduced the size of America's nuclear forces. Yet even now, over two decades after the end of the Cold War, the United States maintains a huge nuclear arsenal on high alert and ready for war. The Americans, like the Russians, the Chinese, and other major nuclear powers, continue to retain a deep faith in the political and military value of nuclear force, and this belief remains enshrined at the center of U.S. defense policy regardless of the radical changes that have taken place in international politics.
In No Use, national security scholar Thomas M. Nichols offers a lucid, accessible reexamination of the role of nuclear weapons and their prominence in U.S. security strategy. Nichols explains why strategies built for the Cold War have survived into the twenty-first century, and he illustrates how America's nearly unshakable belief in the utility of nuclear arms has hindered U.S. and international attempts to slow the nuclear programs of volatile regimes in North Korea and Iran. From a solid historical foundation, Nichols makes the compelling argument that to end the danger of worldwide nuclear holocaust, the United States must take the lead in abandoning unrealistic threats of nuclear force and then create a new and more stable approach to deterrence for the twenty-first century.
As proven by the recent discovery of ongoing research and tests in India and Pakistan, the nuclear age is not dead. Nuclear weapons, deployed in plentiful numbers during the Cold War by the Americans and Soviets, and, in lesser numbers, by others, were nevertheless controlled in their use by the essential equivalence, of U.S. and Soviet strategic power and by the ability of the U.S. and the Soviet Union to dominate the international security environment by means of their global military power. Now the setting within which nuclear weapons exist has been transformed.
Now that the Cold War has ended, and the Soviet Union has vanished, states seeking nuclear weapons operate under decision making rules that are sometimes opaque to Western observers. If the end of the Cold War leads to the unrestrained spread of nuclear weapons, Cimbala stresses that a combination of military hubris and arms control insolvency could lead to new nuclear crises or worse. The author provides a provocative analysis for policy makers and professional military staff as well as scholars and researchers involved with international relations, security studies, and arms control.
This edited collection considers the future of nuclear weapons in world politics in terms of security issues that are important for U.S. and other policy makers. The spread of nuclear weapons also is related to the equally dangerous proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons, and of ballistic missiles of medium and longer ranges.
Cold War studies of nuclear weapons emphasized the U.S.-Soviet relationship, deterrence, and bilateral arms control. A less structured post-Cold War world will require more nuanced appreciation of the diversity of roles that nuclear weapons might play in the hands of new nuclear states or non-state actors. As the essays suggest as well, the possibility of terrorism by means of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction introduces other uncertainties into military and policy planning. An important analysis for scholars, students, and researchers involved with defense, security, and foreign policy studies.
Beginning with the atomic discoveries of the 1930s, Joseph Cirincione unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons, pulling from this a solution to the world's proliferation problem that balances force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement to yield a steady decrease in deadly arsenals. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare not only offers a clear understanding of this issue but also provides the tools to prevent another nuclear attack.
Fully updated and revised since its initial publication, Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation, Second Edition explores all key issues related to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and efforts to curb them, from the U.S. atomic bomb project during World War II to current debates on nuclear terrorism, North Korea's nuclear test, and Iran's enrichment program.
Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation, Second Edition clarifies weapons-related policy debates from both U.S. and international perspectives, offering a detailed look at current technologies, arsenals, weapons tests, and nonproliferation efforts. Readers will find expert analysis of such crucial recent events as Libya's disarmament, the failed WMD search in Iraq, A.Q. Khan's nuclear technology black market, "dirty bombs," developments in North Korea and Iran, and the U.S. plan to aid India's nuclear program--plus recent progress (or lack thereof) on a range of treaties and initiatives.
Arms control, for decades at the core of the foreign policy consensus, today is among the more contentious issues in American politics. It is pilloried and considered out of mode in many conservative quarters, while being viewed as nearly sacrosanct in many liberal circles. In this new book, Michael Levi and Michael O'Hanlon argue that neither the left nor the right has a correct view of the proper utility of arms control in the age of terror. Arms control in the traditional sense--lengthy treaties to limit nuclear and other military competitions among the great powers--is no longer particularly useful. Nor should arms control be pursued as a means to the end of constraining the power of nations or of promoting global government. It is still a critical tool, though, for controlling dangerous technologies, particularly those that, in the hands of hostile states or terrorist organizations, could cause massive death and destruction. Arms control and coercive action, including military force, must be integrated into an overall strategy for preventing proliferation, now more than ever before. Arms control should be used to gain earlier warning of illicit activities inside dangerous states, allowing the international community to take coercive action in a timely way. The authors propose three new criteria to guide future arms control efforts, designed to respond to today's geopolitical realities. Arms control must focus on the dangers of catastrophic technology, not so much in the hands of major powers as of small states and terrorist groups.Their criteria lead to a natural focus on nuclear and biological technologies. Much tougher measures to prevent countries from gaining nuclear weapons technoloty while purportedly complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and procedures for controlling dangerous biological technologies will be most prominent in this framework, while lower priority is giben to efforts such as bilateral nuclear accords and most types of arms control for outer space. This book provides a framework for an effective arms control strategy in a new age of international security.