George Perkovich

Vice President for Studies tel +1 202 939 2305 fax +1 202 483 4462
Perkovich works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues, and on South Asian security.


PhD, University of Virginia
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of California at Santa Cruz 


English; French; Russian


George Perkovich is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues, and on South Asian security.

Perkovich is the author of the prize-winning book, India’s Nuclear Bomb (University of California Press, 1999), which Foreign Affairs called “an extraordinary and perhaps definitive account of 50 years of Indian nuclear policymaking.”

Perkovich is co-author with James Acton of the 2008 Adelphi Paper, Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, and co-editor of the subsequent book, Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic Monthly, the Weekly Standard, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. His essay in Foreign Affairs, “Giving Justice Its Due,” reflects ongoing work on the challenge of justice in international relations.

On Iran and South Asian security affairs, he has advised many agencies of the U.S. government, and testified before both houses of Congress. Perkovich served as a speechwriter and foreign policy adviser to Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) from 1989-90.

He has been a member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Arms Control and International Security, the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Nuclear Policy, and was a principal adviser to the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, a joint initiative of the governments of Japan and Australia.

  • Paper May 19, 2016
    India’s Nuclear Options and Escalation Dominance

    The growing prominence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s national security strategy casts a shadow of nuclear use over any potential military strategy India might consider to strike this balance. However, augmenting its nuclear options with tactical nuclear weapons is unlikely to bolster Indian deterrence in convincing ways.

  • Testimony House Committee on Foreign Affairs December 8, 2015
    Civil Nuclear Cooperation With Pakistan: Prospects and Consequences

    Although the governments of the United States and Pakistan are unlikely to agree on conditions to complete a nuclear cooperation agreement, the national, regional, and global interests that would be involved in pursuing such a deal are important enough to make even a hypothetical discussion worthwhile.

  • The Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley September 28, 2015
    The Iran Deal: No Better Alternative, Now Make The Most Of It

    The domestic debate over the Iran deal demonstrates politicians’ increasing aversion to compromise.

  • August 6, 2015
    Parsing the Iran Deal

    An analysis of the Iran deal from a nonproliferation perspective.

  • Washington Quarterly May 22, 2015
    Modi’s Strategic Choice: How to Respond to Terrorism from Pakistan

    There are many ways to make Pakistani military leaders conclude that the cohesion, security, and progress of their own country will be further jeopardized if they fail to act vigorously to prevent terrorism against India.

  • Article April 28, 2015
    Why the Iran Nuclear Deal Is Not the North Korea Deal

    Unlike North Korea, Iran may well be motivated to live up to the terms of its nuclear deal, while the United States may find it even more difficult to deliver.

  • Nuclear
    Op-Ed Project Syndicate April 10, 2015 Русский
    Why Turkey Won’t Go Nuclear

    Economic interests, combined with national security considerations, give Turkey an incentive not to seek nuclear weapons.

  • Op-Ed POLITICO Magazine April 2, 2015
    The Benefits of Mutual Distrust

    If the proposed deal can be completed as now planned, at the end of its duration, near 2030, a major threat to international peace and security and the global nuclear order will have been abated.

  • Down to the Wire With Iran
    Q&A March 5, 2015 中文
    Down to the Wire With Iran

    It’s easy to forget just how remarkable the nuclear talks with Iran are and that there is no better alternative to the current approach.

  • Testimony Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Senate Armed Services Committee February 25, 2015
    Regional Nuclear Dynamics

    The most immediately pressing objective of U.S. policy should be to apply vigorous, creative diplomatic and political energy to prevent another crisis between India and Pakistan, and if one cannot be prevented, to manage it with minimal escalation.

  • March 24, 2015
    Turkey’s Nuclear Future

    Turkey is a rising economic and political force with the ability to affect dynamics in the greater Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. To meet its rising energy needs, the country—already an important actor in the international nuclear order—plans to establish nuclear power plants on its territory.

  • April 1, 2013
    Do Unto Others: Toward a Defensible Nuclear Doctrine

    President Barack Obama should articulate a narrowed framework for the legitimate use of nuclear weapons that the United States believes would be defensible for others to follow as long as nuclear weapons remain.

  • Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace February 13, 2009
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate

    A distinguished group of experts from thirteen countries explore how to overcome obstacles to nuclear disarmament and pose questions that require further official and nongovernmental deliberation.

  • Adelphi Paper September 16, 2008
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

    In this new Adelphi Paper published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), George Perkovich and James M. Acton examine the challenges that exist to abolishing nuclear weapons completely, and suggest what can be done now to start overcoming them.

  • Strategic Studies Institute October 1, 2005
    Iran Gets the Bomb—Then What?

    The acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists or any additional states would shake the international system. The more strategically important the state, the greater the potential threat to global security.

  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    University of California Press, Oxford University Press in South Asia November 5, 2001
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation


  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    Berkeley, University of California Press December 2, 1999
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation

    Why did India bid for nuclear weapon status at a time when 149 nations had signed a ban on nuclear testing? What drove India's new Hindu nationalist government to depart from decades of nuclear restraint, a control that no other nation with similar capacities had displayed? How has U.S. nonproliferation policy affected India's decision making?

  • April 26, 2016 Washington, DC
    After the Summit: U.S. Efforts to Strengthen Nuclear Security

    As focus shifts toward implementing the commitments undertaken in the Nuclear Security Summit, how will the National Nuclear Security Administration prioritize the challenges and opportunities it confronts?

  • March 28, 2016 Washington, DC 中文
    From Pyongyang to Tehran: U.S. and Japanese Perspectives on Nuclear Deals

    Verification and maintaining incentives for compliance will be important factors in the continued implementation of the Iran deal, and Japan’s membership on the UN Security Council and business relationships with Iran are potential assets for addressing these issues.

  • October 19, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    The U.S.-South Korea Summit Scorecard and Future Alliance

    What were the accomplishments, shortcomings, and policy implications of the U.S.-South Korea summit?

  • October 7, 2015 Washington, DC
    India and Pakistan: From Talks to Crisis and Back Again

    The last few months have witnessed nascent efforts to restart high-level bilateral talks between Delhi and Islamabad dashed again by political maneuvering in both capitals. Are the two states doomed to a perpetual state of “not war, not peace,” or is there hope for a way forward?

  • September 8, 2015 Washington, DC
    U.S. Senator Harry Reid on the Iran Nuclear Deal

    U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will offer his thoughts on the nuclear agreement as well as America’s role in a changing Middle East.

  • July 8, 2015 Washington, D.C.
    India’s Evolving Nuclear Force and Doctrine

    India’s nuclear force is evolving rapidly, but its nuclear doctrine has not been updated since 2003. What is the future direction of India’s nuclear force and doctrine?

  • Q&A on Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations
    June 30, 2015
    Q&A on Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations

    George Perkovich participated in a Reddit AMA to discuss the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.

  • April 20, 2015 Washington, DC
    Turkey’s Role in a Turbulent Middle East

    Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu addressed the country’s evolving policy toward the Middle East, including its role in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

  • April 16, 2015 Washington, DC
    Finance Minister Dar on the Revival of Pakistan’s Economy

    While Pakistan’s economy has made strides in recent years, the government continues to deal with very real setbacks, including energy challenges that have hindered fast-paced recovery.

  • April 13, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Future of the Deal

    In this panel, the participants discussed the technical aspects of the framework deal that was signed in the beginning of April.


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