A rapidly changing world continues to challenge existing notions of nuclear deterrence. Newly exacerbated territorial disputes are increasing geopolitical tensions involving nuclear-armed powers and their allies, as well as sparking new debate about the role of nuclear weapons in preventing these tensions from spilling over into war. Many leaders, some newly minted, are increasingly assertive but have never experienced nuclear crises. Meanwhile, new technologies—nuclear and non-nuclear, kinetic and non-kinetic, manned and unmanned, deployed and under development—could have significant implications for nuclear operations. How best can these trends be managed to prevent crisis escalation, nuclear use, and large-scale war?
Elaine Bunn, Independent Consultant