Assessing the impact of low nuclear numbers on strategic stability: a regional analysis
Moltz, James Clay
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President Barack Obama has outlined a course toward lower numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons. Much attention has been paid to the U.S.-Russian context, where deterrence is believed to be basically stable and conditions ripe for gradually reducing arsenals on both sides. But considerably less attention has been paid to the possible implications of lower nuclear numbers on other regions of the world and the reactions of both aadversaries and U.S. allies. If nuclear weapons are to be stabilizing and beneficial to security, reassurance and strengthenes nonproliferation efforts in various regions need to accompany nuclear cuts. But the specific problems and remedies across regions vary. This report summarizes the result of a multi-author study conducted with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It concludes that regions with U.S. allies and formal extended deterrence pledges may pose more vexing problems than those areas of the world without such close allies or commitments. It suggests that specific efforts to engage these allies, particularly in terms of planning for operational and decision-making coordination in advance of any crisis, should be a priority for U.S. policy.
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