Shameless Self-Promotion: Cato Edition

[Updated Below]

As I made note of previously, blogging will be somewhat more sporadic than usual (if that’s possible) as I slog through my final year of coursework and prepare for comps next fall. That said, I always manage to find a few minutes for my all-time favorite activity: shameless self-promotion!

Today marks the release of a paper I co-authored with Christopher Preble and Benjamin Friedman of the Cato Institute on American nuclear strategy. In the paper, we argue that a smaller nuclear arsenal will not hurt U.S. security and by shifting to a submarine-based monad, instead of the . . .
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Shameless Self-Promotion: Nuclear Edition

Seeing as I’ve survived completed my first year of grad school, I thought it was a good time to resurrect this long-dormant blog and engage in one of my all-time favorite activities: shameless self-promotion.

In the spring edition of Strategic Visions—the biannual newsletter of Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD)—I have an extended review of two new books on nuclear weapons and international politics. The two books, Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age by Frank Gavin* and Paul Bracken’s The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics, both . . .
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A MAD, MAED World?

A recent report from the RAND Corporation seeks to elucidate several scenarios by which the United States and China could become embroiled in armed conflict.  While much will be made of a single sentence at the beginning of the report that predicts the possibility of a China stronger than Soviet Russia during the Cold War or Nazi Germany during World War II—and despite providing excellent summaries of potential East Asian flashpoints—the authors actually judge the probability of great power conflict in the Asia-Pacific to be relatively low.  More interesting are the recommendations offered for decreasing conflict—particularly, the section on . . .
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Intermediate Nuclear Forces and Second Strike Capability

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, along with Paula De Sutter, has authored a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for the abrogation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.  The INF Treaty—signed in 1987 and ratified by the Senate in 1988—eliminated U.S. Pershing II and Soviet SS-20 ballistic missiles, as well as ground-launched cruise missiles and several other Soviet short-range missiles, from both superpowers’ nuclear arsenals.  The agreement was universally lauded at the time as a crowning achievement for the Reagan administration, but some in the neoconservative camp of Reagan’s coalition were not pleased and, . . .
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Less Defense Spending, More Nuclear Weapons?

Adam Lowther’s recent piece over at The National Interest discussing how lower defense budgets brought on by America’s current fiscal crisis demand an increase in the number of strategic nuclear weapons is, unfortunately, something of a mess.  To make his case Lowther, a political scientist at Arkansas Tech, cites the “New Look” policy adopted by President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration at a time when budget constraints were being imposed on the Pentagon.  The New Look called for an emphasis on building strategic nuclear weapons and a doctrine of massive retaliation to deter potential Soviet aggression, therefore making conventional war less likely . . .
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The Korean Peninsula: Are More Nuclear Weapons the Answer?

Recently at 38 North, a blog providing analysis of North Korea, Ralph Cossa had an interesting post discussing two possibilities for providing South Korea with nuclear protection beyond the U.S. strategic nuclear umbrella.  First, South Korea could pursue its own nuclear weapons program.  Seoul had looked into an indigenous nuclear arsenal prior to signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1975, but gave it up in light of strengthened U.S. security guarantees. Given its robust economy, it could easily restart the effort if it was seen as desirable.  The second option deals with the possible redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons—removed . . .
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