Eric Gomez argues that U.S. nuclear strategy is due for a reconsideration. As the U.S. stockpile of nuclear weapons undergoes modernization—a process that will take more than a decade—the time is right for rethinking what we should be doing with them. Gomez argues against relying too heavily on nuclear deterrence, which increases the risk that nuclear weapons will be used and makes them more attractive to countries that lack them.
Oriana Skylar Mastro argues that the United States government must achieve two significant goals in its nuclear weapons policy: First, it must prevent strategic competition with China from devolving into a nuclear arms race; and second, it must pave the way for nuclear arms control, ideally in conjunction with a reluctant Russia.
Beatrice Fihn calls attention to another aspect of current nuclear weapons policy debate—the growing movement to prohibit nuclear weapons entirely. Some 45 countries have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, just five short of the number required for ratification, and those party to the treaty will exert increasing pressure on the rest of the world to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely.
Michael Kofman argues for the continuing importance of Russia to U.S. nuclear strategy. Rather than a return to the Cold War, or a buy-all-you-can spending spree, Kofman argues for paying close attention to Russia’s own strategic planning, which requires much more attention than Russia’s headline-grabbing new weapons systems.
Discussion through the end of the month.