As NATO debates its future nuclear policy, it should focus on concrete measures to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent in the medium term and avoid abstract debates over complete disarmament or the need to keep nuclear weapons indefinitely.
The 2011 conference focused on new actors and new agendas, reflecting the need to develop cooperative responses to challenges being posed by changing technology, distributions of political power, interest in nuclear energy, and security conditions in key regions.
As U.S. policy seeks to create the conditions that would allow for deep reductions in nuclear arsenals, the United States and Russia can undertake a practical approach to their stockpiles to 500 nuclear warheads each and those of other nuclear-armed states to no more than about half that number.
Although Russia, the United States, and American allies have been loath to downsize their nuclear arsenals, deep reductions would not undermine a nation’s security since arsenal size has little bearing on effectiveness of deterrence.
The Russian Duma’s likely ratification of New START Agreement this month will open a new debate over the strategic arms threats and emergent arms control opportunities that might be usefully added to the President's current arms control agenda.
The Lisbon NATO summit is a critical event for making the Alliance between Europe and North America fit the security challenges of the twenty-first century.
As NATO grapples with the future of its deterrence posture, it faces the contentious question of whether reducing or withdrawing forward-based U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe would unacceptably reduce the security of its member states.
U.S. nuclear strategy would have to change in order to enable deep reductions in nuclear weapon numbers and U.S. allies have a role in facilitating such a change.
Sasha Polakow-Suransky and Avner Cohen discuss the history of Israeli-South African nuclear cooperation and the future of Israel's nuclear posture.
The U.S. Nuclear Posture Review defines China as a partner for international cooperation, but also expresses concerns about the modernization of China's nuclear arsenal, the lack of transparency, and its future intentions.