Shameless Self-Promotion: Overkill Edition

Posts have been sparse as of late, but I thought I’d dust off the old blog to brag to the internets inform my loyal readers (hi dad!) about a couple of recent items stemming from the paper I co-authored for the Cato Institute with Chris Preble and Ben Friedman.

First up, Tuesday at noon I had the pleasure of speaking at a Cato policy forum on our paper, “The End of Overkill?: Reassessing U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy”. The panel was moderated by Chris Preble and included myself, Ben, Dr. Hans Christensen of the Federation of American Scientists, and Elbridge . . .
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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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The Ever-Shrinking Odds of Nuclear Terrorism

For over a decade now, one of the most oft-repeated threats raised by policymakers—the one that in many ways justified the invasion of Iraq—has been that of nuclear terrorism. Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations, including the presidents themselves, have raised the specter of the atomic terrorist. But beyond mere rhetoric, how likely is a nuclear terrorist attack really? function dnnInit(){var . . .
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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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Nuclear Disarmament and Argument from Authority Writ Large

Blogging has been slightly slower than my usual prolific pace lately due mostly to the soul crushing experience that is the first year of grad school the large amount of reading one encounters in their first year of graduate study. While I try to get caught up I thought I would indulge in some shameless self-promotion. In the latest edition of Cato Journal, a public policy journal published by the Cato Institute, I have a review* of Philip Taubman’s book The Partnership: Five Former Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb.

Taubman attempts to piggyback off the . . .
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Saddam, Iran, and the Stability-Instability Paradox: Can Israel's "Samson Option" Hold?

Following a post from a few months back, I was pointed in the direction of an intriguing study by Duke University’s Hal Brands and David Palkki of the National Defense University that is germane to the current debates over a potential Iranian nuclear weapons program and its implications for Israeli security (h/t Zach Novetsky).  “Saddam, Israel, and the Bomb: Nuclear Alarmism Justified?”, published last summer in International Security, is the result of countless hours pouring over documents captured after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The implications of Brands and Palkki’s findings for Israeli security are alarming but . . .
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Iranian Threat: Mortal or Deterrable?

Numerous essays have been written in recent months taking up positions on whether or not the United States should use military force against Iran in an attempt to forestall its nuclear program.  Foreign Affairs offers an excellent debate on the subject that iss highlighted by contending essays from Matthew Kroenig and Colin Kahl, taking the pro- and anti-bombing positions, respectively.  Perhaps the silliest offering in this ongoing discussion though was an op-ed in last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal by Mark Helprin that is filled with contradictions and paints an exceedingly cartoonish picture of Iran.

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Mr. Helprin, a . . .
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Some Thoughts on the New Defense Strategy

It’s hard to say a lot about the new strategic guidance released by the Pentagon on Thursday since the document (pdf), titled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” doesn’t say all that much.  A more detailed assessment may be possible when the defense budget is released in February.  It’s noteworthy that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted that the new defense plan did not factor in the $500 billion is cuts over the next decade mandated by the supercommittee’s failure to reach a deal late last year.  According to Panetta, if a compromise isn’t reached and . . .
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Nuclear Alarmism and China's New Great Wall

A recent foray in the Wall Street Journal by Bret Stephens touches on an interesting subject but is so needlessly alarmist it makes one long for the days of his ruminations on Lady Gaga and American’s standing in the Middle East.  The main idea of his most recent offering is that current estimates of China’s nuclear arsenal are far too low, and that it is quite possible that Beijing has far more nuclear weapons than anyone previously believed.  Unfortunately for Stephens, past history and basic nuclear strategy make it unlikely that the Chinese nuclear primacy he fears will come to fruition . . .
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John Bolton: Still Wrong About Nuclear Weapons

Everybody’s favorite former ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton, is back with his second op-ed on nuclear policy in as many weeks (h/t Greg Scoblete).  This time, writing in the Washington Times, Ambassador Bolton frets that the Obama administration’s commitment to New START and the negative security guarantees made in the administration's Nuclear Posture Review are going to make American allies uneasy—despite all available evidence suggesting that they are not. %%anc%% if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link140″).style.display=”none”;}

Apparently Ambassador Bolton is worried that reductions in America’s strategic nuclear arsenal and declarations in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review that forgo nuclear . . .
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