For decades, the reigning scholarly wisdom about nuclear weapons policy has been that the United States only needs the ability to absorb an enemy nuclear attack and still be able to respond with a devastating counterattack. So long as the US, or any other nation, retains such an assured retaliation capability, no sane leader would intentionally launch a nuclear attack against it, and nuclear deterrence will hold. According to this theory, possessing more weapons than necessary for a second-strike capability is illogical. This argument is reasonable, but, when compared to the empirical record, it raises an important puzzle. Empirically, we see that the United States has always maintained a nuclear posture that is much more robust than a mere second-strike capability. In The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy, Matthew Kroenig challenges the conventional wisdom and explains why a robust nuclear posture, above and beyond a mere second-strike capability, contributes to a state's national security goals. In fact, when a state has a robust nuclear weapons force, such a capability reduces its expected costs in a war, provides it with bargaining leverage, and ultimately enhances nuclear deterrence. This book provides a novel theoretical explanation for why military nuclear advantages translate into geopolitical advantages. In so doing, it helps resolve one of the most-intractable puzzles in international security studies. Buoyed by an innovative thesis and a vast array of historical and quantitative evidence, The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy will force scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about the logic of nuclear deterrence.
The book explains how and why nuclear weapons cooperation between the US and its allies has evolved since the 1950s. By bringing institutional perspectives to the study of how alliances operate, it focuses on the objectives and sources of influence of US allies in Europe and Asia as they cooperate with the US on the world's most powerful weapons.
The United States of America has been the most powerful country in the world for over seventy years, but recently the U.S. National Security Strategy declared that the return of great power competition with Russia and China is the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Further, many analysts predict that America's autocratic rivals will have at least some success in disrupting-and, in the longer term, possibly even displacing-U.S. global leadership. Brilliant and engagingly written, The Return of Great Power Rivalry argues that this conventional wisdom is wrong. Drawing on an extraordinary range of historical evidence and the works of figures like Herodotus, Machiavelli, and Montesquieu and combining it with cutting-edge social science research, Matthew Kroenig advances the riveting argument that democracies tend to excel in great power rivalries. He contends that democracies actually have unique economic, diplomatic, and military advantages in long-run geopolitical competitions. He considers autocratic advantages as well, but shows that these are more than outweighed by their vulnerabilities.Kroenig then shows these arguments through the seven most important cases of democratic-versus-autocratic rivalries throughout history, from the ancient world to the Cold War. Finally, he analyzes the new era of great power rivalry among the United States, Russia, and China through the lens of the democratic advantage argument. By advancing a "hard-power" argument for democracy, Kroenig demonstrates that despite its many problems, the U.S. is better positioned to maintain a global leadership role than either Russia or China. A vitally important book for anyone concerned about the future of global geopolitics, The Return of Great Power Rivalry provides both an innovative way of thinking about power in international politics and an optimistic assessment of the future of American global leadership.
Originally published in 1987, The Logic of Nuclear Terror presented a much-needed critical review of the premises, concepts, and policy prescriptions of deterrence theories and doctrines at the time. In particular, authors address: the historical validity, theoretical vitality, and policy-relevance of nuclear deterrence theories and doctrines; the ways in which technological and political change have affected the original concepts of nuclear war and deterrence strategies, and the ways in which such changes have affected policy and doctrine; and realistic alternative ways of thinking about strategy in the changing context of new military technologies and international politics. The outstanding group of international contributors to this volume include both proponents and critics of current doctrine. The result is an unusually well-balanced and unique contribution to our understanding of nuclear deterrence theory and practice. As such, it will be of interest to students, policymakers, and teachers of international relations, defense and foreign policy, US-Soviet relations, and arms control and disarmament.
The world is in a second nuclear age in which regional powers play an increasingly prominent role. These states have small nuclear arsenals, often face multiple active conflicts, and sometimes have weak institutions. How do these nuclear states—and potential future ones—manage their nuclear forces and influence international conflict? Examining the reasoning and deterrence consequences of regional power nuclear strategies, this book demonstrates that these strategies matter greatly to international stability and it provides new insights into conflict dynamics across important areas of the world such as the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia. Vipin Narang identifies the diversity of regional power nuclear strategies and describes in detail the posture each regional power has adopted over time. Developing a theory for the sources of regional power nuclear strategies, he offers the first systematic explanation of why states choose the postures they do and under what conditions they might shift strategies. Narang then analyzes the effects of these choices on a state's ability to deter conflict. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, he shows that, contrary to a bedrock article of faith in the canon of nuclear deterrence, the acquisition of nuclear weapons does not produce a uniform deterrent effect against opponents. Rather, some postures deter conflict more successfully than others. Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era considers the range of nuclear choices made by regional powers and the critical challenges they pose to modern international security.
This open access volume surveys the state of the field to examine whether a fifth wave of deterrence theory is emerging. Bringing together insights from world-leading experts from three continents, the volume identifies the most pressing strategic challenges, frames theoretical concepts, and describes new strategies. The use and utility of deterrence in today’s strategic environment is a topic of paramount concern to scholars, strategists and policymakers. Ours is a period of considerable strategic turbulence, which in recent years has featured a renewed emphasis on nuclear weapons used in defence postures across different theatres; a dramatic growth in the scale of military cyber capabilities and the frequency with which these are used; and rapid technological progress including the proliferation of long-range strike and unmanned systems. These military-strategic developments occur in a polarized international system, where cooperation between leading powers on arms control regimes is breaking down, states widely make use of hybrid conflict strategies, and the number of internationalized intrastate proxy conflicts has quintupled over the past two decades. Contemporary conflict actors exploit a wider gamut of coercive instruments, which they apply across a wider range of domains. The prevalence of multi-domain coercion across but also beyond traditional dimensions of armed conflict raises an important question: what does effective deterrence look like in the 21st century? Answering that question requires a re-appraisal of key theoretical concepts and dominant strategies of Western and non-Western actors in order to assess how they hold up in today’s world. Air Commodore Professor Dr. Frans Osinga is the Chair of the War Studies Department of the Netherlands Defence Academy and the Special Chair in War Studies at the University Leiden. Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Military Sciences of the Netherlands Defence Academy in Breda.
Steiner analyzes how and why Brodie's understanding of weapons of unparalleled explosive force led him to posit the need for revolutionary strategic thinking in broadminded analytic method and in the focus upon cities as nuclear targets. He shows the tremendous effect Brodie's work had on the intellectual climate in which policy is determined, particularly in his frequent combatting of conventional wisdom.
With this volume Dr. Gray provides an excellent summary and elucidation of the major schools of thought engaged in the current debate over present and future United States nuclear policy. The core of the work lies in the presentation of five different options for nuclear strategy. The author carefully takes into consideration each position and offers an objective exploration of its important aspects. Dr. Gray focuses on what he believes to be the most valid points within each argument. In doing so, he constructs a logical framework for understanding and further examining the many strategic alternatives. Finally, Dr. Gray draws on elements of each of the five options to synthesize and present his own preferred strategy. Originally published in 1984 by and distributed for the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
This volume addresses 10 issues pertaining to war and conflict, such as ethics of war, national security, and refugees, and examines how countries around the world are facing these issues. • Provides readers with an understanding of the complexities of war and conflict, which will result in a comprehensive view of the reasons for and the instruments of war • Illustrates the importance of international institutions and alliances by which countries can hold one another accountable and confront those countries that choose not to comply with international norms • Clearly expresses the humanistic aspects of war and conflict, while illustrating the evolving instruments of war of the 21st century • Allows readers to make cross-cultural comparisons about how countries are dealing with issues related to war and conflict
The discipline of international relations offers much insight into why violent power transitions occur, yet there have been few substantive examinations of why and how peaceful changes happen in world politics. This work is the first comprehensive treatment of that subject. The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations provides a thorough examination of research on the problem of change in the international arena and the reasons why change happens peacefully at times, and at others, violently. It contains over forty chapters, which examine the historical, theoretical, global, regional, and national foreign-policy dimensions of peaceful change. As the world enters a new round of power transition conflict, involving a rapidly rising China and a relatively declining United States, this Handbook provides a necessary resource for decisionmakers and scholars engaged in this vital area of research.
Author Colin Gray maintains that there are distinctive U.S. and Soviet national styles which come into play in each power's nuclear strategic planning. And the U.S.'s lack of understanding of the fundamental historical and anthropological factors that make up the Soviet national style has led to poor U.S. policy. Perhaps no issue is more critical for the U.S. as nuclear strategy planning; this book is a statement to be reckoned with in the surrounding debate. Co-published with Abt Books.