Jeffrey LewisIGCC Nuclear Posture Event

On Friday, January 21 at 2:00 pm, I will serve as a discussant on a panel in Washington hosted by the University of California-San Diego’s Institute for Global Conflict an Cooperation. Come join us.

Details after the jump …

The three papers are very interesting, especially the one by Anne Harrington de Santana.

Of the contemporary enthusiasm for a world free of nuclear weapons, Harrington de Santana makes the very insightful observation about the  that “what at first glance appears to be an endorsement of disarmament is actually an implicit argument about the dynamics of nonproliferation.”

I think that’s right, though the implications of that statement are perhaps more profound than anyone realizes.  Anyway, it should be a good discussion.  Here are the details.

U.S. Nuclear Posture: Credibility, Deterrence and Disarmament

IGCC Nuclear Security Policy Series

Introduction by: PPNT Program Director Robert L. Brown, PhD


Anne Harrington de Santana, “The Strategy of Nonproliferation: Maintaining the Credibility of an Incredible Pledge to Disarm.” Harrington de Santana has a PhD from the University of Chicago and is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Stanford University’s CISAC.

Matt Kroenig and Michael Weintraub, “Nuclear Superiority or Minimum Deterrence? Nuclear Force Posture, Deterrence, and Militarized Interstate Disputes.” Kroenig has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. Weintraub is a PhD student at Georgetown University.

David Palkki, “The US Nuclear Deterrent and Saddam’s Non-use of WMD during the Gulf War: New Insights from Captured Iraqi Records.”  Palkki is the Deputy Director of the National Defense University’s Conflict Records Research Center, and a PhD Candidate in political science at UCLA.

Senior Policy Discussant: Jeffrey Lewis, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute for International Studies

Where:            Auditorium, University of California, Washington Center (UCDC), 1608 Rhode Island Ave. NW
When:             Friday, January 21st, 2:00 – 4:30 PM
Who:               Free and open to the public

We would welcome your attendance at the program, and we hope you will encourage interested colleagues to attend as well.
For questions or to RSVP, contact Laura Martin at lauramartin [at]  If you have already RSVP’d, there is no need to do so again.
For information on the 2011 Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Workshop visit:


  1. bradley laing (History)

    By DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press Desmond Butler, Associated Press – Wed Jan 19, 6:03 am ET
    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to announce a deal to step up cooperation with China on nuclear security, U.S. officials say.

    The agreement, which is to be signed by U.S. and Chinese energy officials during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, would establish a jointly financed nuclear security center in China, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record before Obama’s announcement.

    The announcement comes as the Obama administration is looking for ways to ease tensions between the two world powers over economic, trade and security issues

  2. archjr (History)

    Kudos to you and everyone else talking about minimum deterrence. I don’t remember a time when the idea was under such intense discussion. All to the good!

  3. nuc free korea (History)

    Where can I find the papers and will there be a transcript of the event?

  4. nuc free korea (History)

    I read the Kroenig and Weintraub paper with great interest and found the results and recommendations useful. I look forward to continued work on this topic. I would be highly interested in how the results may or may not change if North Korea is given credit for a nuclear arsenal (at a level commensurate with fissile material production as was done for other actors). This will probably not change the overall results, but I would like to see the correlations for NK specifically as NK has, at least on the surface, acted as if they have a deterrent and sometimes (as public statements sometimes give the appearance of) other actors act like they give NK credit for having a deterrent–existential arsenals are left out of the analysis, as is analysis of the relative value of the issues in dispute though that possibility is mentioned in the paper.