All nuclear-armed states, apart from China, explicitly reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to various nonnuclear threats, yet they are often vague about which ones. What specific nonnuclear threats do nuclear-armed states seek to counter with nuclear weapons? Are there means, other than nuclear weapons, for deterring or otherwise managing these threats? And, given the scale of the damage that nuclear weapons could cause—including to states not involved in the conflict—could their use in response to nonnuclear threats be proportionate and morally justifiable, and create more strategic benefits than risks?
Matthew Harries, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee
Austin Long, Joint Staff J5
Lu Yin, PLA National Defense University