An explosive rethinking of the power and purpose of nuclear weapons—and a call for radical action Nuclear weapons have always been a serious but seemingly insoluble problem: while they’re obviously dangerous, they are also, apparently, necessary. This groundbreaking study shows why five central arguments promoting nuclear weapons are, in essence, myths. It is a myth: • that nuclear weapons necessarily shock and awe opponents, including Japan at the end of World War II • that nuclear deterrence is reliable in a crisis • that destruction wins wars • that the bomb has kept the peace for sixty-five years • and that we can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle Drawing on new information and the latest historical research, Wilson poses a fundamental challenge to the myths on which nuclear weapons policy is currently built. Using pragmatic arguments and an unemotional, clear-eyed insistence on the truth, he arrives at a surprising conclusion: nuclear weapons are enormously dangerous, but don’t appear to be terribly useful. In that case, he asks, why would we want to keep them? This book will be widely read and discussed by everyone who cares about war, peace, foreign policy, and security in the twenty-first century.
This volume brings together more than three decades of research and writings by Professor Ramesh Thakur on the challenges posed by nuclear weapons. Following an introduction to the current nuclear state of play, the book addresses the challenge of nuclear weapons in three parts. Part I describes the scholar-practitioner interface in trying to come to grips with this challenge, the main policy impact on security strategy, and the various future nuclear scenarios. Part II addresses regional nuclear challenges from the South Pacific to East, South and West Asia and thereby highlights serious deficiencies in the normative architecture of the nuclear arms control and disarmament regime. In the third and final part, the chapters discuss regional nuclear-weapon-free zones, NPT anomalies (and their implications for the future of the nuclear arms control regime) and, finally, assess the global governance architecture of nuclear security in light of the three Nuclear Security Summits between 2010 and 2014. The concluding chapter argues for moving towards a world of progressively reduced nuclear weapons in numbers, reduced salience of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines and deployments, and, ultimately, a denuclearized world. This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear proliferation, global governance, international organisations, diplomacy and security studies.
South Asia is often viewed as a potential nuclear flashpoint and a probable source of nuclear terrorism. But, how valid are such perceptions? This book seeks to address this question and assesses the region’s nuclear security from two principal standpoints. First, it evaluates the robustness of the Indo-Pakistani mutual deterrence by analysing the strength and weaknesses of the competing arguments regarding the issue. It also analyses the causes and consequences of nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, the nature of deterrence structure in the region and the challenges of confidence building and arms control between the two countries in order to assess the robustness of South Asia’s nuclear deterrence. Second, it assesses the safety and security of the nuclear assets and nuclear infrastructure of India and Pakistan. The author holds that the debate on South Asia’s nuclear security is largely misplaced because the optimists tend to overemphasise the stabilising effects of nuclear weapons and the pessimists are too alarmists. It is argued that while the risks of nuclear weapons are significant, it is unlikely that India and Pakistan will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future. Therefore, what needs to happen is that while nuclear elimination should be the long-term goal, in the interim years the two countries need to pursue minimum deterrence policies to reduce the likelihood of deterrence failure and the possibility of obtaining fissile materials by non-state actors.
The papers included in this volume comprise research from participants in the 2018 Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) Conference Series. PONI sponsors this research to provide a forum for facilitating new and innovative thinking and to provide a platform for emerging thought leaders across the nuclear enterprise.
When the first atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, it could hardly have been imagined that 60 years later more than 30,000 nuclear weapons would be in existence. The Cold War is long over, but half the world's population still lives under a government that brandishes nuclear weapons.
Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives. Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He 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 and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals. Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.
The sixth edition of this classic text adds 13 new selections that highlight emerging issues including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. New case studies from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Asia are also used to illustrate the general principles behind the use of force.