The deployment of the THAAD system has become a thorn in China’s ties with the United States and South Korea, with ample evidence suggesting that the three countries are divided on the understandings, purpose, and strategic motives of the THAAD system in South Korea.
Nuclear command, control, communication, and intelligence (C3I) systems are becoming increasingly vulnerable to nonnuclear attack, presenting significant escalation and entanglement challenges.
In the 55 years since unseen nuclear bullets were dodged in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States’ technical capabilities to gather intelligence have improved breathtakingly. Still, it is extremely difficult to know how foreign adversaries perceive their situation and calculate their moves.
Despite spending tens of billions of dollars on missile defense over the last 30 years, the United States remains unable to shoot down North Korean ICBMs.
Could a president’s overconfidence in U.S. defensive systems lead to deadly miscalculation and nuclear armageddon? Yes, it could.
Even though arms control cannot prevent deliberate escalation, at least confidence-and-security-building measures could diminish the risk of unintended escalation. But the political realities in Moscow and Washington are not promising for conventional arms control in Europe.
The Trump administration should take time to determine whether ICBMs fit into America’s nuclear deterrent strategy, and to consider options such as reducing or even eliminating them.
China and South Korea should delve deeper into the technical and operational aspects of THAAD to find a cooperative solution.
The 2015 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference brought together over 800 experts and officials from more than 45 countries and international organizations to discuss emerging trends in nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, deterrence, and nuclear energy.
The United States has accused Russia of violating a 1987 missile treaty.