Proliferation News
» March 24, 2011
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Deterrence During Disarmament: Deep Nuclear Reductions and International Security

James Acton | Adelphi Paper


After two decades of stagnation, Russia and the United States have pledged their support for reductions in nuclear warheads. But the vision of mutual disarmament remains plagued by doubts on all sides. Russia, the United States, and American allies struggle as ever with the notion that downsizing would be a step into the unknown, and hold on to the belief that, when it comes to deterrence, size matters.

Carnegie's James Acton examines long-held concerns about the effectiveness of deterrence (including extended deterrence) at low numbers, the possible incentives to use nuclear weapons first in a crisis, the potential for rearmament, and risks surrounding nuclear multipolarity. Full Article  

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More from Proliferation News

Mark Hibbs | Kyodo News
In the first severe accident at a Western-designed nuclear power plant since Three Mile Island, Japan last week was confronted by the specter of three reactors simultaneously running amok and melting down.     Full Article

For more analysis, see Carnegie's continuing coverage of the Fukushima reactor crisis.

Global Security Newswire
The U.S. Defense Department has received an Obama administration directive to consider if it is possible to make even deeper cuts to the nation's nuclear deterrent than those mandated by a new strategic arms control treaty with Russia.     Full Article

Louis Charbonneau | Reuters

Iran is under investigation for new attempts to import items from North Korea and China that are banned under U.N. sanctions against Tehran's nuclear and missile programs, U.N. diplomats said on Tuesday.     Full Article

Ria Novosti
Russia and the United States have started talks on setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium, the head of the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said on Thursday.     Full Article

Alexander H. Rothman and Lawrence J. Korb | The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Over the past two weeks, the monitoring system put in place under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has proved useful in helping the international community weather the effects of Japan's massive 9.0 earthquake.     Full Article

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Produced twice weekly, Proliferation News provides a free summary of news and analysis on efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Visit the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program website for further information and resources. Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor at

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