Recent books by Arms Control Wonk Authors.
by Jeffrey Lewis
China’s nuclear arsenal has long been an enigma. The arsenal has historically been small, based almost exclusively on land-based ballistic missiles, maintained at a low level of alert, and married to a no-first-use doctrine – all choices that would seem to invite attack in a crisis. Chinese leaders, when they have spoken about nuclear weapons, have articulated ideas that sound odd to the Western ear. Mao Zedong’s oft-quoted remark that ‘nuclear weapons are a paper tiger’ seems to be bluster or madness.
by Jeffrey Lewis
In The Minimum Means of Reprisal, Jeffrey Lewis examines China’s nuclear and space capabilities and deployment strategies, as well as the Chinese government’s stance in arms control negotiations. Lewis finds that Chinese officials hold a “restrained view” about the role of nuclear weapons in national security and maintain a limited nuclear capacity sufficient to deter attack but not large enough for control of these weapons to be compromised.The future of cooperative security arrangements in space will depend largely on the U.S.-Chinese relationship, and Lewis warns that changes in U.S. defense strategy, including the weaponization of space, could signal to China that its capabilities are not sufficient to deter the United States from the use of force. Such a shift could cause China to reconsider its use of restraint in nuclear strategy, further damaging the already weakened arms control regime and increasing the nuclear threat to the United States and the world.
by Michael Krepon
In 2008, the iconic doomsday clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientistswas set at five minutes to midnight—two minutes closer to Armageddon than in 1962, when John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev went eyeball to eyeball over missiles in Cuba! We still live in an echo chamber of fear, after eight years in which the Bush administration and its harshest critics reinforced each other’s worst fears about the Bomb. And yet, there have been no mushroom clouds or acts of nuclear terrorism since the Soviet Union dissolved, let alone since 9/11.
by George Perkovich and James Acton
Nuclear disarmament is firmly back on the international agenda. But almost all current thinking on the subject is focused on the process of reducing the number of weapons from thousands to hundreds. This rigorous analysis examines the challenges that exist to abolishing nuclear weapons completely, and suggests what can be done now to start overcoming them. The paper argues that the difficulties of ‘getting to zero’ must not preclude many steps being taken in that direction. It thus begins by examining steps that nuclear-armed states could take in cooperation with others to move towards a world in which the task of prohibiting nuclear weapons could be realistically envisaged.
by Valery E. Yarynich
Author Col. (ret.) Valery Yarynich offers a comprehensive look at Russian and U.S. command, control and communications (C3) systems and doctrine, looking at the historic and technical rationales for the differing approaches of the two sides. He makes the case that the United States and Russia need to closely coordinate on C3 of their nuclear arsenals, not only to prevent mutual suspicion and spur further arms reductions, but also to protect against possible terrorist activities that could lead to accidental nuclear war.