A Renewed Vision

for Nuclear Risk Reduction
MICHAEL J. MAZARR

For half a century, the United States led global efforts to control nuclear risk in
the context of an accumulating set of international institutions. The leading postwar

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A HOOVER INSTITUTION ESSAY ON REDUCING NUCLEAR THREATS

institution of global governance, the United Nations, pledged signatories to cooperate
to resolve threats to peace, including the nuclear dangers inherent in the postwar
era. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970 created a framework for controlling
the spread of nuclear weapons and pledged the nuclear-weapons states to the goal of
disarmament. A host of bilateral agreements, including a series of accords between the
United States and the Soviet Union (and then Russia), laid the foundation for dramatic
nuclear reductions. Other agreements constrained nuclear testing or provided for
enforcement of nuclear sales and exports.
At the same time, and in ways that created tension with efforts to limit the role
of nuclear weapons, the United States developed national security doctrines and
deployed nuclear and conventional forces to deter nuclear war and discourage
proliferation through active military threats or reassurances. Every postwar
US administration has argued that the preservation of a secure, reliable nuclear
deterrent was essential to conveying the message that nuclear war cannot be
fought. US extended-deterrence pledges, and associated policies such as forward
deployment of forces and conventional military sales, reassured key allies against
the need to acquire nuclear weapons.1
The sum of these efforts, as well as the natural taboo attached to the use of nuclear
weapons,2 achieved what many thought impossible in 1945: no nuclear weapon was
used in anger after Nagasaki. Beyond that, a number of leading institutions of nuclear
security had achieved more in terms of global and bilateral US-Russian arms restraint
and reduction than seemed feasible even in the 1970s. With the end of the Cold War,
the goal of many (including the stated intention of multiple US presidents) was to
build on this record and further reduce nuclear dangers with a goal of the eventual

The author would like to thank the Hoover Institution for the support that made this analysis possible. The
author has benefited from the comments of a number of extraordinarily helpful readers: George Shultz,
Paul Bracken, Chris Twomey, and, especially, Jim Goodby, whose guidance throughout the process has
been essential. Finally, the Hoover Institution hosted a roundtable discussion in March 2015 where the
paper was discussed, and the author gained tremendous insight from the analysis of all the participants.

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elimination of nuclear weapons. Four senior statesmen—George Shultz, William Perry,
Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn—began a campaign in 2007 to encourage serious
study of what it would take to create the conditions for abolition.3
Now this aspiration for nuclear security is in jeopardy, imperiled by a number of
destabilizing trends in international politics. A new strategic era is emerging, one that
is more multipolar, more grassroots, populated by a wider array of empowered actors,
and characterized by greater degrees of identity-seeking rivalry and competition. The
world community is moving from a relatively stable bipolar standoff to a much more
complex and potentially dangerous multipolar rivalry based on almost continuous
competition and conflict among state and non-state actors alike. Indeed, the most
worrisome trend of the coming decade is a broad-based fraying of the very institutions
and norms that have helped to promote peace since World War II. As George Shultz
has put it, the global community is “awash in change” and facing the risk of serious
chaos as institutions of cooperative security weaken.4
The result is a daunting reality for nuclear risk reduction. The existing paradigm
of nuclear security—relying on nuclear deterrence as the guarantor of stability,
seeking to restrain the further spread of nuclear weapons through exhaustive treaties,
focusing largely on states as the key players—is increasingly mismatched to the
demands of the emerging era. Unless leading nations devote increasing attention
to the problem, the world is likely to witness renewed nuclear proliferation and a
burgeoning danger of nuclear conflict. In order to move forward on the important
goal of abolition—in order to keep nuclear weapons from being used for another halfcentury—the United States must commit itself to a new phase of nuclear risk reduction
that finds new ways to create the conditions necessary for disarmament.
This report lays out the case for a revised vision of nuclear risk reduction and offers a
number of specific potential strategies to achieve its objectives. It proposes a two-phase
initiative designed to meet the requirements of the emerging era—to be informal,
multilateral, focused on non-state threats as much as states, and, most importantly,
built around initiatives that most directly engage the shared interests of increasingly
competitive great powers. To meet these criteria, this study argues for a short-term
initiative of great-power nuclear confidence-building and risk reduction, building on
the long history of US-Russian efforts in this area, and a medium-term emphasis
on fissile material security designed to reduce the risks of nuclear material spread
and lay the groundwork for long-term abolition.
These specific initiatives are familiar enough and grounded in established practices.
But they are offered in the context of a revised paradigm for nuclear risk reduction
which uses them in slightly different ways and with a different concept of nuclear
security. The proposed approach has a number of distinct characteristics. It represents

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an alternative to the NPT as the central engine of global nuclear risk reduction efforts
(while reaffirming the basic pledges involved in that treaty). More broadly, it aims
to work through a gradual, informal series of agreements and initiatives rather than
through exhaustive and comprehensive treaties. It places its emphasis on multilateral
nuclear threat reduction rather than on the United States-Russia framework. It takes
seriously the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and attempts to take key
steps to lay the groundwork for that time even in a period of rising tensions. It seeks
to integrate regional and global cooperative security. It requires periodic summit
meetings and demands greater priority for nuclear security measures. And, ultimately,
it is not as much about arms control per se as it is about strengthening global regimes
of cooperative security in the nuclear realm—using nuclear risk reduction as a tool
for promoting global cooperative security.

Growing Nuclear Dangers
The urgency of a new agenda for nuclear security stems in part from the fact that
nuclear perils are rising across the board. These perils range from nuclear terrorism
to loss of fissile material or weapons control to regional nuclear proliferation. The
impressive gains in nuclear safety and security obtained in part through postwar
institutions are at risk. As The Economist magazine concluded in March 2015,
“Although there are far fewer nuclear weapons than at the height of the Cold War,
the possibility of some of them being used is higher and growing. That increasing
possibility feeds the likelihood of more countries choosing the nuclear option,
which in turn increases the sense of instability.”5
As a result of growing rivalries throughout the international system, more states
are investing a rising proportion of their defense budgets in expanding nuclear
capabilities, abandoning collective efforts at nuclear security in favor of accelerating
nuclear modernization.6 Nuclear arsenals are recapturing their seeming advantage as
guarantors of stability, and this perception will not be easily rooted out at a time of
rising geopolitical tensions.7 A driving force for this new reality is growing hostility
among the United States, Russia, and China, and, in particular, Russia’s growing
reliance on nuclear weapons at a time when Moscow feels under persistent threat.
Now that mutual recriminations over violence in Eastern Europe have pushed EastWest relations to their most hostile point since the end of the Cold War, Russia’s
affection for nuclear weapons seems to have reached a post-1989 peak.8
Meanwhile, US policy is placing more emphasis on nuclear readiness, as opposed to
disarmament. Recent investments in nuclear infrastructure and modernization have
been called a “wave of atomic revitalization” and an “extensive atomic rebuilding.”9
Specific investments include revamping the W76 submarine-launched warhead and
B61 tactical nuclear weapon as well as refurbishing nuclear research labs. Hoped-for

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cuts in US tactical nuclear weapons appear to have been indefinitely shelved.10 Both
former US officials and European governments have suggested in recent months that
the opportunity for tactical nuclear reductions has passed.
At the same time, due to a combination of political and technological developments,
the consensus on nonproliferation is breaking down amid a new drive for nuclear
capabilities by many states. Paul Bracken has written of a “second nuclear age”
characterized most fundamentally by a more multipolar—and ultimately more
dangerous—regime of regional nuclear contests.11 There are signals that such a process
is emerging. Pakistan is already off and running with an extensive modernization
program that is boosting the size and lethality of its nuclear arsenal.12 North Korea
has firmly established itself as a nuclear state, and Iran is a good way down the road
of doing so. Many nuclear-capable countries worry about their security under the
shadow of aggressive regional powers, and could turn to nuclear weapons.
At the same time, global levels of nuclear power are expected to as much as double
over the next fifteen years, adding substantially to the inspections burden on
international organizations and the amount of byproduct nuclear waste.13 This trend
has been partly stalled by the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant
disaster.14 But it is not yet clear if this interruption is temporary or permanent, or
how many nuclear aspirants it might ultimately affect. Henry Sokolski has written
powerfully on this subject,15 noting that as more states embrace nuclear power, as
centrifuge technology becomes more widespread and easier to conceal, and as the
stocks of spent fuel grow, many of the assumptions underlying the NPT and related
agreements will face powerful new challenges.
At the same time, the cardinal institution of multilateral nuclear control—the NPT—
appears to be in some danger. In a more multipolar environment characterized by
burgeoning rivalries and spreading nuclear technology, the operating assumptions
of the treaty are coming under new pressure.16 The NPT and related nuclear control
regimes have been largely based on a concept of controlling technological capabilities,
but the diffusion of technological know-how in areas such as centrifuges is
undermining the concept that proliferation can be forestalled through such means.17
As nonproliferation expert Joe Pilat has argued, “The NPT and the international
nuclear non-proliferation regime were created in a different time to deal with different
threats. All of the problems with, and stresses on, the regime pose real challenges and
have been seen in some quarters as portending the regime’s collapse or increasing
irrelevance.”18
The watchdogs of the nuclear security regime have also been repeatedly undermined.
There is now substantial evidence that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
cannot prevent major nuclear cheating on the part of states that are both careful and

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strongly motivated and that it is even less able to serve as a global institution for the
control of fissile material. As one expert has concluded, trends in nuclear diffusion
alongside the IAEA’s demonstrated weaknesses mean that “the system of preventing
the proliferation of illicit nuclear materials is at risk of collapse.” The numbers are
stark: between 1987 and 2010 the IAEA quintupled the nuclear material under its
purview, but the amount of inspection time remained constant.19 The reliability of
existing nuclear material control regimes is widely doubted outside the context of a
trusting relationship.
The political will to deepen the institutions of nuclear security is also waning. For
those who advocate an agenda of radical nuclear reductions, intensified nuclear
security measures, and eventual abolition, there can be no escaping the uncomfortable
fact that we are far away from an international mood or context supportive of such
goals—certainly as far as we have been since 1989 and, in some sense, as far as we
have been since 1945. More states fear for their security in ways that seem to demand
a nuclear deterrent than did twenty years ago; more cling tightly to nuclear weapons
and ambitions; more see nuclear weapons as sources of peace and stability rather than
danger and conflict. Within the United States, political attitudes have shifted away
from trust in, and support for, cooperative security instruments like arms control
and toward unilateral measures like nuclear modernization. It is not clear that any
significant arms control treaty could make it through the US Senate today.
Finally, the risk of the acquisition and use of nuclear weapons by non-state actors,
especially terrorists, is perhaps as great as it has ever been.20 Terrorist groups have
reportedly attempted to seek fissile material; the technology of a crude bomb is not
beyond the capability of a non-state group. Deterrence has little place in preventing
such attacks, which must be dealt with through denial of materials or technology
or the disruption of terrorist groups.
For all the helpful reductions in numbers of deployed nuclear weapons that have
taken place, therefore, the nuclear picture today is looking less stable and coherent
than it did twenty years ago. In the context of spreading nuclear capabilities, fraying
multilateral control regimes, and persistent or growing regional tensions and rivalries,
the potential for a new round of proliferation is very real. The risk of various routes to
nuclear use—from escalation out of lower-level conflicts to accidental or terrorist use—
is growing, not receding. To protect the security of all leading powers, a new agenda
for nuclear security is required, one led by the United States while engaging the efforts
of other major powers.21
Yet the uncomfortable truth is that existing approaches to nuclear risk reduction
have run aground. The current paradigm of nuclear security—built around the four

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key elements of second-strike deterrence, extended deterrence, bilateral arms control
treaties, and multilateral nonproliferation and nuclear security regimes—may be
ill-suited to achieve the necessary progress given trends in the international system.
As the world leader in the arms control arena, the United States must sustain and
build upon each of these four elements, but at the same time work toward a reformed
paradigm of nuclear security that can make measurable progress in setting the
conditions for disarmament.

The Origins of the Current Paradigm
During the Cold War, nuclear risk reduction was pursued in a context of bilateral
competition between two superpowers at a time when postwar institutionalization
was still deepening and the leading danger was major war between the two big
powers. Although it seems counterintuitive, Cold War nuclear security efforts reflected
a powerful mutual understanding of shared interests. The consensus took time to
emerge, was far from universal, and threatened to collapse at many points. Yet, by the
late 1960s, Washington and Moscow had clearly recognized the need to control nuclear
dangers and had built important institutions to act on this realization—arms control
departments and agencies, treaties, summits, Track 2 dialogues, research organizations
devoted to nuclear matters. The result, again notwithstanding many disputes and
challenges along the way, was to normalize the mutual support for nuclear security
through confidence-building measures, limits to potentially destabilizing missile
defenses, and reductions in the numbers and, eventually, alert levels of nuclear
arsenals.
This existing paradigm has been largely effective, but it emerged within, and was
designed to meet the conditions of, a very specific international order. As that order
gives way to new patterns in international politics, our understanding of nuclear
security must evolve.

The Institutions of Nuclear Security
The United States and Russia, as well as other nuclear powers, have taken several
specific avenues to enhancing nuclear security, reflecting both sides of a two-track
policy: nuclear limitation and restraint on the one hand and credible deterrence on
the other. These mechanisms have been based on a strong sense of shared fate and
collective security and have demonstrably helped to maintain peace. Together, this
combination of deterrent practices and arms control amounts to what can be called the
existing paradigm of nuclear security. Over time, it has grown to include four leading
components: providing strategic stability through deterrence; extending the deterrent
effect of nuclear weapons to the prevention of other forms of conflict; controlling
the numbers, structures, and alert rates of nuclear forces by means of detailed

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bilateral treaties; and constraining the spread of nuclear weapons and access to their
components through exhaustive multilateral agreements.
The bedrock institution of nuclear security has been the habit and practice of strategic
deterrence, primarily between the United States and the Soviet Union (and then
Russia).22 The most fundamental goal of the deterrent regime has been to establish the
incontestable fact that neither side could strike first and hope to prevail. In service of
this objective, each side has deployed a survivable triad of nuclear forces, modernized
those forces repeatedly over time, attempted (not always successfully) to erect secure
and survivable command and control systems, and more.
The practice of deterrence contributed to nuclear peace by maintaining nuclear
“strategic stability,” a vague and shifting objective whose meaning has been contested
but whose traditional reference has been to first-strike stability. At times of great
tension—because in no other period would states even contemplate nuclear war—
“unstable” nuclear forces vulnerable to a disarming first strike could confront each side
with a “use them or lose them” scenario. Preventing such a perception from emerging
was a major goal of Cold War nuclear doctrines, force structures, and modernization
programs.23 It led to intensely fine-tuned exchange calculations, exhaustive war plans,
and elaborate modernization programs to serve the perceived needs of second-strike
survivability.24
A second institution of nuclear-weapons-related security is a variant on the practice
of deterrence: the use of nuclear threats to preserve peace on issues beyond direct
prevention of nuclear use. In its most basic form, this reflected the ever-present
risk of nuclear escalation, which has helped to make major warfare seem infeasible
or pointless because it amounts to inviting an eventual nuclear exchange. In their
more explicit form, various types of “extended deterrence” threatened—or created
the practical inevitability of—nuclear use to deter conventional attacks, chemical
or biological use, or other aggressive actions. In these ways nuclear weapons came
to be woven into the very fabric of international security by posing the ever-present
risk of a calamitous escalation and arguably helped constrain leaders from thinking
actively of major war as a tool of statecraft.
A third institution underwriting nuclear risk reduction has been the bilateral process
of nuclear reductions and constraints between the United States and Russia. Most
recently, in the 2010 New START accord, the two governments agreed to limit their
deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,550 warheads on no more than 700 delivery
vehicles. In 2013 in Berlin, President Obama offered another round of mutual
reductions, but Russian attachment to nuclear deterrence and a general lack of trust
has obstructed further progress. These treaties have enhanced nuclear security in

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a number of ways, from preventing out-of-control arms races to limiting the most
destabilizing types of weapons. Perhaps the most significant effect of the treaty process
has been to send a clear signal that both sides were committed to avoiding unbridled
nuclear competition and viewed their interests as being served by collaborative
arms control. The mere process of dialogue and negotiations helped foster a norm of
cooperative security whose habits and processes of consultation prevailed even during
tense periods of Cold War hostility.
Confidence-building and crisis-management systems, techniques, and agreements have
served as an important part of this US-Russian effort. Examples of such confidencebuilding measures include agreements and commitments providing transparency,
requiring prior notification of exercises, and offering venues for regular or crisis
communications.25 These arrangements have reinforced the message that both
Washington and Moscow were interested in nuclear security and have helped to
build mutual trust and transparency. Similar goals were reflected in the post-Cold
War US-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction efforts, also known as the Nunn-Lugar
programs, a process which organized the dismantling or disablement of thousands of
nuclear weapons, secured hundreds of tons of fissile material, and helped produce a
much higher level of security around the Russian nuclear stockpile. These activities
included an elaborate agenda of nuclear security conferences, summits, and nuclear
safety exercises.26
Fourth and finally, the Non-Proliferation Treaty reflects arguably the paradigmatic
multilateral treaty-based institution of global nuclear security.27 The NPT reflected
“three pillars” of nonproliferation: stopping the spread of nuclear weapons to new
nations; offering the promise of eventual disarmament by existing nuclear powers;
and openly sharing the technology related to nuclear power and other peaceful uses.
It created a framework in which states can forgo nuclear armament in the context of
global norms and security guarantees and committed the nuclear-weapons states to
reduce their arsenals. A handful of states have ignored its spirit and requirements,
but the NPT’s success in restraining what was once expected to be a wave of global
proliferation must count as one of the more effective regimes in world politics.28
The world community has built on the NPT with a series of additional treaties,
agreements, and practices designed to control nuclear materials and restrict access to
nuclear weapons. These include the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Threat
Reduction Initiative, the recent series of Nuclear Security Summits, and more.
The arms control spirit of the NPT helped to constrain proliferation in part by
working hand-in-glove with another key element of the nuclear security paradigm: US
extended-nuclear-deterrence policies, which reassured many states against the need
for arsenals. In this, as in so many other ways, the overall nuclear security effort has
represented a two-track approach to nuclear risk reduction. One track involves security

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through the capability and reliability of nuclear arsenals and doctrines—programs to
enhance deterrence by keeping weapons secure and powerful. The other track consists
of efforts to reduce, constrain, or eliminate whole categories of such weapons—
arms control processes and agreements. The combination of these two somewhat
contradictory tracks amounted to a paradoxical agenda, refining and elaborating
nuclear capabilities even as both sides sought to limit and ultimately eliminate them.
But the two-sided approach reflected a key aspect of world politics: a balance between
rivalry and shared interests. Most important, broadly speaking, is that it worked.
But one risk of such an approach was always that the two tracks would eventually
collide in fundamental ways. Programs to reinforce deterrence could discredit arms
control measures, and poorly designed risk reduction measures could undermine
deterrence. An absolute no-first-use pledge, for example, would arguably have helped
isolate the role of nuclear weapons—but would also have complicated extended
deterrence and possibly contributed to proliferation. Most Cold War nuclear debates
were about this clash of imperatives, in one way or another, and the success of the
nuclear security paradigm reflected as much as anything else a willingness and
appreciation on both sides to engage in a recurrent, clever harmonizing of the two
halves of the approach. But such a tentative, ongoing equilibrium could only be
maintained because of a mutual appreciation of the dangers in Washington and
Moscow and a joint commitment to the success of the paradigm. Trends in world
politics today threaten to undermine the strategic and political basis for this
mutual understanding, thus creating conditions under which the high-wire act
of balancing active deterrence and arms reductions will become unsustainable.

The Value of Institutions
To appreciate their character and value, it is important to see the institutions of the
existing paradigm of nuclear security in the context of larger postwar developments.
In its reliance on collective security institutions to preserve peace, the nuclear
risk reduction agenda has reflected a trend of global institutionalization that has
attempted, where possible, to build communities of shared interests to promote
mutual security.
There is a tendency to think of international institutions as synonymous with
organizations. To be sure, many key elements of the postwar order have
taken organizational form, from the United Nations to the International Monetary
Fund to regional groups and alliances like the European Union and NATO. But in
the parlance of political science, the term “institutions” refers to a much broader
concept—a set of explicit or implicit “principles, norms, rules, and decision-making
procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given issue-area.”29 These
more abstract constructs reflect the day-to-day habits, understandings, and practices

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of states and leaders in international politics and help shape decisions and behavior.
Examples include the foundational principles of state sovereignty, the specific norm of
diplomatic immunity, various financial practices and trade regulations that underlie
the global banking and financial system, agreements on standards and practices in
technical fields, and the rising taboo against unprovoked invasions that has been
termed the territorial integrity norm.30
There is a massive literature on institutions and a lively debate about the degree to
which they have been or can be effective in constraining state behavior.31 The available
evidence, at least in the nuclear realm, points to a qualified but still important
hypothesis: that emerging institutions have been important in constraining state behavior
and providing mechanisms for coordinated action when states recognize shared interests.
Institutions can create expectations, forums, and long-term practices that persuade
states and non-state actors that their interests are best served through joint and
constrained action rather than unilateral and aggressive security-seeking. To the extent
that states internalize these lessons, they will turn to institutions for entirely selfish
reasons—to promote their own security—but do so in ways that admit the need to
organize for security in a cooperative fashion. Institutions provide opportunities
to coordinate interests, resolve conflicts when coordination fails, and inflict
punishments for actors who violate emerging norms in blatant and obvious ways.
There are many examples of this dynamic at work, and they add up to persuasive
evidence that postwar institutions have played a substantial role in constraining
and channeling behavior and providing the basis for collective action. Examples
range from international trade accords and financial and banking standards to
international standards in a dozen technical and scientific fields32 to a number of
powerful environmental regimes.33 Leading human rights agreements and statements
have provided some leverage to pressure autocratic states to improve their behavior
over time.34
Institutions cannot substitute for self-help in a system without a central authority, but
they can provide the basis for states and other agents to pursue shared and overlapping
interests.35 They can achieve this outcome in a number of specific ways. Institutions
can help to create or originate norms, practices, and behaviors. They can serve to
implement those norms, through regular processes and coordinated action, and they
can promote the acceptance of those norms. Institutions and regimes can modify
utility functions, educating and offering mechanisms for collective or cooperative
actions that help states to see their interests differently.36 They can promote cooperative
behavior by creating habits and offering the prospect of mutual commitment. They
can promote learning in ways that contribute to the solution of collective problems and
they can help generate domestic realignments of interests within participating states in
favor of action.37

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All of these functions are on display in the institutions of nuclear security,
including the maintenance of nuclear deterrence as well as the bilateral accords and
understandings that have arisen between Washington and Moscow and the subsequent
multilateral forms. Major war has been kept out of the realm of practical consideration
by the risk of nuclear escalation and the preservation of second-strike stability. This
reflects the sort of “utility function modification” referred to above: nuclear weapons
and their associated deterrent schemes have constrained the war-making options
available to states and leaders. At the same time, the norm of nuclear reduction and
eventual disarmament has been created and advanced through statements, treaties,
and practices. The United States and Russia, and increasingly other states, have been
drawn into collaborative processes to enhance nuclear security; some elements of
the existing paradigm have provided rallying points for domestic interests in various
countries determined to reduce nuclear dangers. And the institutions have promoted
“nuclear learning” that has helped to establish the dangers of nuclear material and
weapons and created a global norm of risk reduction.
In these and other ways, the existing roster of nuclear risk reduction endeavors has
altered the context of international politics and helped to preserve nuclear peace. In
so doing, institutions of nuclear security played an important secondary function
of contributing to the larger process of postwar institutionalization that has planted
the tentative seeds of a more complete and robust global society. The great danger
today is that powerful trends in world politics threaten to reverse this progress by
placing at risk the influence, credibility, and legitimacy of the institutions of the
current nuclear paradigm.

A System in Peril
Today, those who would promote nuclear security face a two-part challenge. The first
is that trends in the international system are working to undermine the institutions
of nuclear security so painstakingly erected over the last half-century. And the second
is that merely pushing back on this danger within the framework of the current
paradigm is not likely to work. Because of some of those same trends, the essential
tools in the toolbox of nuclear security will have to be reprioritized and, in some
cases, replaced outright.

Emerging Trends in World Politics
Various trends are working to fashion a new international order out of the postCold War period of US hegemony. Taken together they point to a single overriding
danger: that the incomplete but broadly agreed norms and institutions of the postwar
system could collapse into ruinous disorder and conflict.38 In a powerful recent essay,
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass has termed this trend “the

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unraveling.” Haass argues that “the balance between order and disorder is shifting
toward the latter.”39 The international system seems to have reached a tipping point,
with many factors threatening to undermine shared interests and norms and generate
a much more chaotic generalized rivalry.40
These dangers are emerging against a more hopeful long-term backdrop of deepening
interdependencies and shared interests courtesy of globalization and related trends.
Part of the force behind the growing institutionalization of world politics has been
the emergence of elements of a true international society as states and peoples are
linked more closely by trade, information, travel, and awareness. This network of
interdependence has changed the context for state calculation of interests and has
substantially modified the ways in which great powers could engage in rivalry.
Institutions of nuclear security have built on this broad reality—but the progress
of globalization and associated concepts of shared interests is now threatened by
a number of powerful destabilizing trends.
Arguably the most fundamental emerging reality is the burgeoning ambitions and
competitive instincts on the part of many leading states. Russia and China are the
most obvious, but many regional powers are demanding their rightful place in a posthegemonic order. Turkey, Brazil, Iran, even Japan and Germany are seeking more
influential regional roles, and in some cases—especially those of Russia and China—
ambitions are being expressed in aggressive, even adventuristic, ways. The result is an
era of deeply intensifying multilateral rivalry.41 This trend risks collisions both global
(the United States versus China) and regional (a period of renewed intense competition
between India and Pakistan).42 States engaged in intense rivalry will be less likely to
see their interests as being served by multilateral action that includes their primary
competitors for power.
A second trend is that, with rivalry growing but major war still perceived as an
infeasible tool of statecraft, states and non-state actors are increasingly turning to
various flavors of what can be called nontraditional or “gray-area” conflict to engage
in rivalry and promote their interests. These tools include cyber-attacks, terrorism
and organized crime, social disruption and insurgency, the use of political and social
proxies to destabilize rival states, the use of social media, and more. Recent Russian
operations against Latvia, Georgia, and Ukraine have this flavor, as do Chinese
cyber-campaigns.
Another powerful trend is the empowerment of a wider array of actors well below the
level of the state. Examples include cyber-militias, organized criminal syndicates, and
super-empowered individuals. This trend introduces what might be termed “strategic
free radicals” into the system—groups and individuals with extreme agendas, less to
lose from war or instability than governments, and less likely to see their interests

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being fortified by collective institutions. In many cases they refuse to be directed by
states and drive conflicts to higher levels of tension and violence. A leading example
today is the overlapping collection of radical groups based in Pakistan which have
begun to spin out of control of the state and which—in assaults like the gruesome
Mumbai operation of 2008—could provoke war with India without the explicit intent
of the Pakistani government.
The international system is also increasingly influenced by the destabilizing effect
of communications technologies, travel, and interdependence. Often considered
to be a benign and helpful component of globalization and a powerful spur to the
appreciation for shared interests, the depth and acceleration of global awareness have
had profoundly destabilizing effects as well. These range from underwriting the spread
of rebellion in North Africa during the Arab Spring to empowering radical movements
to spread their message and recruit well beyond their geographic homes. Perhaps more
than anything, the Internet-based communications revolution has sparked a profound
fragmentation of perspectives. People can now shop for information that bolsters their
established worldviews and affiliate themselves with like-minded groups. The result
has been to empower alienated pockets of belief less influenced by the burgeoning
evidence of collective interests.
Intensifying resource and environmental challenges constitute an additional
emerging trend. Climate change, water shortages, ultimately increasing pressure
on fissile fuel resources, and related issues both demand greater collaboration and
endanger it. An era of shrinking resources and intensifying environmental pressures
will test the perception of shared interests in new and dangerous ways, creating
incentives for self-help and distrust.
Finally—and perhaps most worrisome of all—the character of the emerging era is
increasingly shaped by intense, and sometimes punitive and violent, identity-seeking
in a world of rapid modernization. This trend generates profound levels of nationalism
and is also the basis for burgeoning global forms of radicalism. As Paul Bracken writes,
“The second nuclear age . . . will be driven by intense, emotional regional rivalries,
now set in a nuclear context.” The ideology of the emerging nuclear age will not be
democracy or communism, he suggests, but nationalism.43 Such an environment
undermines the potential for the sort of pragmatic consideration of interests, as well
as mutual trust and understanding, so critical to nuclear risk reduction efforts.
Taking these various trends as a set, the chief threat in coming years is of generalized
systemic instability. Great-power rivalry is already merging with super-empowered
sub-state groups to create conflict in areas such as cyber-harassment and terrorism.
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rising state-to-state tensions. Identity-seeking in places like Russia and China is
exacerbating their aggressive, grievance-fueled urge to challenge the US-led world
order. The sources of tension, fragmentation, and chaos in the international system are
becoming more potent and are intersecting in dangerous ways. As a result, “strategic
instability is endemic” to the emerging system, C. Dale Walton and Colin Gray argue
in a 2013 essay. They refer to the current collision of factors as a “perfect storm of
instability.”44 French statesman François Heisbourg agrees that the new era will “test
crisis management capabilities more severely than anything seen during the Cold War
with the partial exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis.”45 And again, the result is to
endanger the important institutions that have accumulated in the postwar world—the
broad range of organizations, treaties, informal accords, alliances, understandings,
habits, practices, and norms that have grown up in an international system maturing
into a partial security community.

Dangers to the Nuclear Paradigm
One implication of this emerging security environment is that many of the
mechanisms that have been used to enhance nuclear security—bilateral nuclear arms
control treaties, multilateral nonproliferation accords, and unilateral modernization
efforts to underwrite credible deterrence—are mismatched to the character of the
new era and not attuned to the leading forms of nuclear danger. The argument here
is not that the United States should discard its existing strategies for nuclear risk
reduction or that all the current avenues to this goal have become bankrupt. Even
efforts such as US-Russian bilateral nuclear reductions, which now seem indefinitely
stalled, are worth continued attention to help reduce tensions and keep alive the
hope of later progress. The Non-Proliferation Treaty should be updated, its calls for
nuclear-state arms reduction respected, and the norm it reflects reinforced. Most
broadly, nuclear risk reduction will continue to involve the collaboration of many
states working through diplomatic and technical means to help improve nuclear
safety. But changes are required in the form and content of such initiatives and in
the selection of priorities.
In order to understand why, it is important to recall the basic characteristics of the era
in which the current paradigm arose. As we have seen, it was marked by the rise of a
broad suite of postwar institutions and drew its influence and credibility in part from
the overall context of institutional growth. It emerged from, and was tailored to, an
era whose dominant risk was the threat of war between two leading powers. More
broadly, it was grounded in a bipolar distribution of power, and presumed the ability
of the two superpowers to largely dictate the terms of the nuclear security debate.
It defined nuclear security in terms of first-strike stability and its deterrent practices
presumed highly rationalistic exchange calculations between two sides which saw
the mathematics of the nuclear balance in largely the same ways.

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The emerging era threatens to undermine each of these characteristics in turn,
creating the need for a new agenda for nuclear security.
• Burgeoning rivalry undermines trust and any sense of shared interests and creates
growing security fears that promote rather than reduce the perceived values of nuclear
weapons. Whether in the context of US or allied relations with Russia or China,
India-Pakistan relations, or other relationships, the rivalry and competition
characteristic of the emerging era are undermining the potential for cooperative
security institutions. One basic theme of the current paradigm has been that,
notwithstanding efforts to keep arsenals modern and reliable, nuclear weapons
would be gradually devalued and their potential use seen as illegitimate under
almost any circumstance. This attitude seems to be losing hold of key states.
• Growing tensions complicate extended deterrence and increase the demands on US
credibility, thus exacerbating the tensions between nuclear preparedness and
nuclear build-down. The tacit bargain of the Cold War—nuclear modernization
alongside arms control—is unlikely to be accepted in the same way in an era
when mistrust and conspiracy theories dominate the perceptions of some key
states. Modernization efforts are likely to be seen as increasingly threatening,
risking a multipolar global arms race.
• Nationalistic identity-seeking undermines the context for nuclear stability. It can have
this effect in a number of ways: by leading states to grip nuclear weapons more
tightly; by reducing the willingness to agree to intrusive verification measures;
and by calling into question the rationalist assumptions of classical deterrence
theory.
• A multilateral context makes nuclear bargains much more complex. Nuclear risk
reduction has already arrived at a stage where future accords will have to engage
many states, and the wildly varying interests and sources of desire for nuclear
weapons will make for a more charged and challenging risk reduction process. As
an example, the nuclear rivalry between India and Pakistan is far less constrained
or subject to regular interaction and negotiations than was the US-Soviet nuclear
relationship. In the meantime, the core bargain at the heart of the NPT—a
division between nuclear haves and have-nots with the promise of nuclear power
to those who eschew weapons—may be untenable in a world of a dozen or more
states that consider themselves leading powers. More and more, the “three pillars”
of the NPT approach are seen to be mutually cancelling rather than reinforcing.46
• Nontraditional conflict is blurring the lines between peace and war and undermining
the escalatory firebreaks of the nuclear era. In creating a near-perpetual form of

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ongoing conflict, these techniques are altering the environment for nuclear
deterrence. The powerful deterrent capacity of nuclear weapons will not—as we
already see—prevent states from engaging in these gray-area conflicts, because
they believe the escalatory risks are under control. As Bracken reminds us,
moreover, nontraditional forms of aggression can employ ambiguous, limited
nuclear threats at the low end of the escalation spectrum—announcing a nuclear
alert, breaking an arms control treaty, selling dangerous nuclear technologies.47
The dividing line between strategic conflict and nonstrategic conflict is becoming
blurred, with great escalatory potential.
• The growing role of non-state actors is complicating the picture for deterrence and
risk reduction. The existing nuclear paradigm emerged during a period when
nation-states were by far the dominant actors on the international scene. Nonstate actors have long been catalysts of history, as with the Serbian nationalist
organizations that organized the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But
the relative balance in power, influence, and decisive authority to shape events
is shifting, with states losing more power all the time. This complicated new
landscape makes the role of nuclear deterrence much more chancy: non-state
actors generally do not see it as a credible threat.
The sum total of these effects is to call into question the ability of existing nuclear
security regimes to preserve nuclear security or even maintain the nuclear taboo,
arguably the most precious accomplishment of the postwar era. US-Russian arms
control, for example, is stalled, and likely to remain so for the indefinite future.
The “official” arms control system, Bracken points out, “is now so complex that it is
difficult to accomplish new goals, or to take arms control to the next level.”48 For a
variety of reasons—most fundamentally Russia’s close attachment to the deterrent
value of its nuclear arsenal and the generally miserable state of US-Russian relations—
hopes for additional formal or informal mutual reductions have been dashed and
existing treaties are in jeopardy.
At the same time, trends in the US domestic context potentially exacerbate these
barriers to nuclear risk reduction. Support for multilateral institutions has arguably hit
a post-Cold War low. Suspicions of other major powers, especially China and Russia,
are growing rapidly and support for arms control measures of any kind has waned.
The post-Cold War honeymoon of cooperative security has given way to a perception
of a much more competitive and hostile era, and any president will have a much more
difficult time pushing through new collaborative measures. The emphasis is on nuclear
modernization as the route to enhanced security, and more states are referring casually
to lowered thresholds for nuclear use.

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Perhaps the single most important insight in the construction of a new agenda to
control nuclear risks is that the answer to these emerging dangers does not simply
lie in pouring more fuel into existing mechanisms for nuclear security.49 Bilateral
treaties are a political non-starter, and Russia is uninterested in agreements that
would constrain its nuclear deterrent. Merely reaffirming the value of the essential
bargain resident in the NPT will not persuade a growing chorus of voices skeptical
of the treaty’s claim that nuclear restraint remains the best option. But at the same
time, boosting investments in modernized deterrent forces, if undertaken outside
the context of strong institutions for collective approaches to nuclear security, will
be more likely to provoke new tensions than to reinforce deterrence; and bolstering
extended deterrence will not have the desired effect in an era of nationalist passion
and crisis-provoking by non-state actors.
Trends in the international system are undermining each of the four basic elements
of the current paradigm of nuclear security: strategic stability through effective
deterrence; extended deterrence; bilateral treaties and constraints; and formal
multilateral agreements. None appears to offer a feasible, politically promising route
forward to reduce nuclear dangers. Calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons,
or even their drastic reduction in numbers or alert levels, must confront this
uncomfortable fact: the traditional routes to these goals are largely blocked off, and
likely to remain so for some time to come. The question now is what revised agenda
for nuclear security could open up new avenues to progress in the medium term
even given the constraints of the emerging international environment.

A New Agenda for Nuclear Security
The task before us is therefore clear, if strewn with dilemmas. Given the potential for
rising dangers in the field of nuclear security, the United States must develop and lead
a new effort to reduce nuclear risks, but one that substantially modifies the existing
paradigm. The new program must seek both to control short-term nuclear dangers
that appear to be growing substantially and to lay the long-term foundations for deep
reductions and eventual abolition. And it must do this in a political climate that is
more hostile to nuclear arms control than at any time since the end of the Cold War—
and, indeed, since the mid-1980s.
In order to remain feasible and relevant to the security challenges of the era described
above, a new approach would appear to require several characteristics. It must focus
on non-state threats as much as state arsenals, in order to deal with the leading
perceived threats of material control and terrorist use. It must be capable of persuading
increasingly combative rivals to cooperate on clearly shared interests rather than
being based on a sense of trust and joint creation of an agreed future. It must also
rest outside the framework of exhaustive bilateral or multilateral treaties, which are

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unlikely to be in the cards for some time. And finally, any new initiative should aim at
a broad concept of strategic stability, a more holistic notion than second-strike stability
that encompasses all the ways in which states could come to war—a vision that takes
nuclear weapons as symptomatic of, not responsible for, underlying tensions.50 The
United States today proposes to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to revalidate what
is essentially a very limited definition of second-strike stability.51 But it is not clear that
any states still have an interest in that form of nuclear stability, or that the full scope
of these investments is needed to revalidate it.
To meet these criteria and reduce nuclear dangers, this report advocates a twopronged nuclear initiative for the next five years that builds on existing agreements
and processes. The strategy has a short-term and a medium-term component. In the
short term, recognizing the especially significant dangers of geopolitical hostility
and renewed nuclear competition arising between the United States and Russia but
also cognizant that the bilateral channel is somewhat stalled, it aims to mitigate
potential nuclear miscalculation with an informal series of dialogues among all
established nuclear powers to reduce launch-on-warning risks as well as to solidify
confidence-building and crisis-response procedures. In the medium term, it proposes
a renewed and modified effort to control dangers of nuclear spread and non-state
use through the transparency and control of fissile materials.

The Short Term: Building Confidence and Avoiding Miscalculation
Some of the most significant risks in the current strategic context relate to potential
escalation and conflict through miscalculation at a time of rising tensions and
competition. (This is not the same as the risk of purely accidental or unauthorized
launch, which remains relatively low even given rising tensions.) As we have seen, the
incentives to avoid war remain very high; large-scale conflict coming about through
conscious calculation remains very unlikely. But through a combination of generalized
rivalry, the exacerbating influence of nationalism, and the escalatory effect of gray-area
conflict, the danger of an unintentional escalation into nuclear use is perhaps greater
today than at any time since the mid-1980s. According to a variety of open source
accounts, US and Russian nuclear arsenals remain at high levels of launch readiness,
and the potential for war through escalation or misperception remains real.52 Steps to
contain this danger, both to preserve peace and to make possible future nuclear risk
reduction efforts, are urgently required.
The United States, Russia, and the other established nuclear powers have over the
years established a wide range of confidence-building and crisis-response agreements,
techniques, and technologies. Washington and Moscow have created extensive
data-exchange processes designed to promote transparency on nuclear stockpiles,
practices, and programs. They have exchanged thousands of notifications relevant

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to various nuclear issues. They conduct extensive verification processes attendant to
the strategic arms reduction treaties in force. The Cooperative Threat Reduction
program provided the basis for dialogues, notifications of missile launches, information
exchange, and inspections on nuclear issues. Over the years, various hotlines, joint risk
reduction centers, military-to-military exchanges, and other efforts have encouraged
understanding and offered mechanisms to avoid unwanted escalation.
The first component of a new nuclear agenda, then, could be to build on these
agreements with a series of initiatives designed to enhance mutual trust, transparency,
and confidence in deterrence. The initiative would amount to a rejuvenation of
the process to build confidence-building measures that reduce the risk of nuclear
launch by miscalculation or unintended escalation. They would not be built from
scratch, in part because the purpose of this first phase is to sustain as much trust and
transparency as possible in an increasingly tense context. The goal is rapid progress
building on established mechanisms, not drawn-out talks on new ideas, but with a
more multilateral, gradual, informal, and public/private character than most such
initiatives to date provide.
This effort would involve a wide-ranging and determined effort, led by parallel
coalitions inside and outside government, to convey shared interests in high-level
nuclear security and stability, and to approach the problem with a multilateral spirit
and outside the context of exhaustive agreements. Participating states would be asked
to commit themselves to a continuation or rejuvenation of a number of well-proven
confidence-building measures: strategic arms inspections, exchanges of information
on nuclear programs and policies, notifications of nuclear exercises or alerts. The
dialogue would be designed to grow into a broader discussion for ideas to offer mutual
reassurance, both in general and during any potential crisis. These could include
proposals that apply to the stationing of military forces, the deployment of missile
defenses, rules of engagement conduct for forces in proximity, and more. Relatively
quickly, the process could be expanded to include other nuclear powers willing to
commit themselves to the same risk reduction mechanisms. The steps would be
unilateral or multilateral, but would be generally informal or codified only in very
brief and simple accords.
This phase of the new nuclear agenda could include a number of specific initiatives.
Some of these would be primarily related to the alert and safety levels of US and
Russian forces, but all would be couched in a broader process applying to the nuclear
powers more generally. Examples could include: 53
• Unilateral, partial de-alerting moves by the United States or other actors to start
a slow process of gradual movement away from launch-ready alert status.

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• Full funding for nuclear security initiatives and expanded confidence-building
processes among all nuclear powers, including missile launch notifications.
• Measures to reduce mutual fear of surprise attack, including enhanced
transparency such as early warning sensors on or near missile fields and
demonstrated withdrawal of ballistic missile submarines from close-in positions.
Such a set of initiatives could be couched in the language of a series of “conventions”
among the nuclear powers, as suggested by Bracken, to work toward a “great
power arms control system,” which together would comprise a sort of informal
institutionalization of the next phase of arms control. Bracken points out that
great powers have already converged on a number of basic principles of nuclear risk
reduction—nuclear restraint as opposed to launch on warning, negotiations on
regional security, barriers to accidental launch, some variant of no-first-use. A new
dialogue could strengthen these and build toward new conventions, not formalized
in treaties but reflecting public commitments.54
To be clear, by “great powers” this proposal refers to all the current nuclear powers
as well as other leading and rising states in the international system. The initiative
could perhaps begin with a bilateral engagement of Russia on the basic elements of
the initiative, but would quickly expand to more general participation by any leading
states that wished to join one or more initiatives. In this sense the initiative would be
informal and multilateral rather than treaty-bound and bilateral. It would be open to
ideas and concepts from all participating states, and the United States would have to be
prepared to endorse ideas from other parties which demand significant compromise in
US policies and doctrines. It would not ask participating nuclear powers to surrender
their nuclear arsenals quickly, but would be built on the shared interest of maintaining
the stability and security of nuclear arsenals.
Part of the goal, in fact, would be to see if some of the confidence-building measures
could be extended to other regional contexts, such as the India-Pakistan relationship
and Northeast Asia. The idea would be to develop concepts and practices with a high
degree of complementarity between US-Russian and regional nuclear contexts and to
create momentum behind global norms of nuclear safety and security. In this way,
even this relatively narrow short-term initiative could help address the problem of
fraying institutions in the nuclear realm, generating habits, expectations, informal
rules, and perhaps modest organizations designed to enhance nuclear security.
In order to create the basis for enhanced cooperation and build renewed concepts of
stability, the effort should include a prominent nongovernmental effort to develop
and hone concepts for nuclear stability and confidence-building, and to build support
for these processes in various countries. To bring energy and leadership to the effort,

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this could include a so-called Track 2 process of coordination, research, and planning
among a network of nongovernmental organizations. The network could include
experts in nuclear arms control, scientists, engineers, and advocacy groups concerned
with nuclear dangers. The coalition could work to develop new processes and
technologies to support the endeavor, ranging from advanced sensors and detection
systems to social media-based notification processes to the use of open-source satellite
imagery.55 It would sponsor an ongoing, wide-ranging dialogue at both the expert and
popular level on steps to enhance nuclear stability in the short run. Funders in the
nuclear realm could join forces to concentrate nuclear risk reduction funding in part
on this network and achieve effects greater than the sum of their individual resources.
Within the US government, in order to provide the effort with sufficient priority
in the bureaucracy, the president should appoint a special envoy for nuclear risk
reduction, someone with significant stature and experience who reports directly to
the president—ideally a person with significant diplomatic experience and established
relationships in key foreign governments. This person’s job would initially be to
conduct a series of talks with the officials of participating states and later to expand
the dialogue to a wider range of great powers. The job would come with temporary but
direct authority over key positions in the bureaucracy dealing with arms control.
In both its public and private aspects, this first step would hopefully re-energize
established nuclear risk reduction measures as well as spark a renewed and ongoing
dialogue—and help build personal relationships among key senior officials—that
would contribute to stability. And it would help to establish simple but important
nuclear confidence-building measures as a global expectation and, through sharing of
best practices and active negotiations, attempt to spread the practices to other nuclear
powers.

The Medium Term: Incremental Agenda for Fissile Material Control
Beyond that short-term effort, a new nuclear agenda could set the stage for more
significant nuclear risk reduction with a medium-term initiative to verify, control, and
partly eliminate the stocks of fissile material held by nuclear powers. Since the end of
the Cold War, the United States has led significant efforts to control and, in some cases,
eliminate weapons-grade fissile material—high-grade uranium as well as plutonium
that could be used for bomb purposes. The revitalization and deepening of such efforts
could provide the centerpiece of a new multilateral nuclear initiative designed to
achieve the objectives outlined above.
This recommendation, too, builds on an established process—the Nuclear Security
Summits which have provided a forum for discussing the control of fissile material.
The United States has been pushing the idea of a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT)

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for years. In 2006, the Bush administration offered a draft FMCT at the Conference on
Disarmament, and discussions have continued since that time, though they are now
stalled. In 2009, President Obama reaffirmed US support for an FMCT.
The next Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled for 2016, though it is unclear if Russia
will attend (at the moment it has notified the United States that it will not), and the
fate of the summit process past 2016 is in doubt. At the moment the forthcoming
summit is scheduled to be the last. This recommendation would create a revised
agenda for fissile material security out of the discussions and recommendations of the
summits to date.56 In keeping with the criteria above, this strategy would not place its
hopes in an ambitious new treaty (such as a fissile material cutoff treaty), at least not
at first. Rather, it would employ a range of less formal actions to accelerate progress
and shape the strategic context—an active strategy, but one not focused on a complex
treaty.57 New, renewed, or revitalized steps could include a variety of actions.58
• Improved accounting measures for transparency about the size and character of
national stockpiles of fissile material would address the substantial uncertainties
in these levels.
• On-site inspections at nuclear production facilities, current and former, would
be needed to verify voluntary declarations. Unilateral US concessions on such
inspections would jump-start the process.
• Additional funding for the International Atomic Energy Agency would enable
it to effectively serve its verification roles.
• Development of informal protocols out of the Nuclear Security Summit process
could extend to mutual non-treaty pledges on limits to civilian reprocessing.
• Investments should be made in innovative new technologies of inspection,
verification, and material control and destruction, including electronic tags for
tracking nuclear components, remote monitoring systems, and techniques
for the denaturing of highly enriched uranium and the destruction or conversion
of plutonium.
• Intensified discussions and planning in the direction of a ban on fissile material
production for weapons purposes can include provisions for a number of
interested states to adopt such an agreement even if individual nuclear states
are unwilling to join. This process could build on the existing commitments
to end such production on the part of a number of nuclear-weapons states and
add monitoring and verification elements.

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Institutionally, the United States could lead in the development of an informal alliance
or concert of states willing to contribute to such a goal. The United States could
propose an ongoing nuclear security dialogue, with meetings every quarter of any
interested parties, as the successor to the Nuclear Security Summits. It could recruit
a handful of states willing to co-lead the process (and be willing to grant them the
power to shape its form and agenda)—states such as Brazil, South Korea, South Africa,
and even China. Within the United States, the initiative should have a formal home
at the National Security Council staff in order to indicate its level of priority—maybe
a senior assistant to the president for nuclear security (a person who would report to
the special envoy for nuclear risk reduction).
The process would not aim at a comprehensive treaty, at least not any time soon. Given
the character of the international environment, effort should not be wasted on the
painful details of a formal accord. Nor should the process be held up waiting for global
consensus. Instead, any and all agreeable parties should work together on a constant
series of multilateral and bilateral agreements and initiatives to make incremental
progress.
Like the short-term initiative on confidence-building and nuclear stability, this
medium-term program should include a substantial nongovernmental aspect, one
built around a global network of NGOs. Similarly structured and resourced to provide
coherent international leadership to the effort, this network could provide a number
of critical elements to the campaign: research and analysis on breakthrough means of
detecting, verifying, and eliminating fissile materials; creation of a widely used
open-source database of nuclear materials; help for developing and advocating for
new designs for nuclear reactors that ease the byproduct challenge of nuclear power;
potential informal concerts or agreements that could underpin nuclear materials
security; public dialogues and advocacy for progress in the area; and more. The
network’s efforts could be closely coordinated with government offices, in the United
States and elsewhere, responsible for the fissile material security initiative.
The role of transparency and information-sharing measures would be especially critical
to sustaining a degree of cooperative dialogue among the nuclear powers. In so doing,
such a program would meet the criteria outlined above for useful and relevant nuclear
initiatives: it would have the potential advantage of focusing clearly on areas of shared
interests, one of the leading criteria for a revised approach. Most leading powers
see their own national security wrapped up in the control and security of nuclear
materials. If the United States and the Soviet Union could develop and implement
a bilateral arms control regime during the Cold War out of a perception of shared
interests, there is every reason to expect the leading nuclear powers to be able to do the
same today, with the right leadership. The program would be best targeted to constrain

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the risk of nuclear terrorism, arguably the most urgent of the various nuclear risks
that are growing today. Finally, it would offer the possible advantages of gradualism: it
would build incrementally from existing agreements rather than requiring new ones.

New Nuclear Initiatives and Global Institutions
Part of the purpose of new steps to reduce nuclear risks would be to help resuscitate
elements of the international order and invite more states into lead roles to shape its
norms.59 George Shultz and James Goodby have written eloquently on these themes,
pointing out that, through interdependence, the security of states and peoples is now
interlinked and dependent on the solution of a shared set of challenges, even if the
self-interested security doctrines of those states remain reluctant to admit this fact.60
“This age calls for a renewed effort to understand these developments,” Shultz has
written, “and to recreate a global economic and security commons that will benefit us
as well as the rest of the world.”61 Indeed, part of the thinking behind these initiatives
is that confidence-building and nuclear safety initiatives should be reconceived
as critical investments in the global commons, powerful evidence that even rivals
and competitors continue to appreciate shared interests and retain faith in a world
ultimately devoid of nuclear weapons.
A new nuclear agenda could become a centerpiece of such a campaign to re-energize
progress toward a global commons. As Goodby has argued,
One example of how to and how not to operate in the global security commons is the
nuclear threat, where years of experience have provided many lessons. Perhaps the chief
among them is that nuclear reductions and more cooperative international relationships
go hand in hand. It is now clear, also, that the circle of nations actively engaged in major
nuclear negotiations must be enlarged beyond Russia and the United States.
. . .
How could a joint nuclear enterprise open doors to the management of other existential
global security challenges and so enlarge the scope of the global security commons?
This model would have shown that it is a viable means of addressing global security
challenges: order-building diplomacy is key to managing all the existential challenges
that are part of the global security commons. Cooperation would have been shown to
be superior to competition as a way of building the global security commons.62

Goodby, Shultz, and others have argued for a new “joint enterprise” to gather the
efforts of leading states for gradual but powerful movement toward nuclear abolition.63
Such an enterprise would be an international institution designed to create the
conditions necessary for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It would reflect, among

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other things, a “vantage point of nuclear disarmament,” meaning a defined timeframe
to achieve dramatic further reductions in nuclear arsenals.64 The joint enterprise could
still allow significant leeway for a gradual approach to progress; it could reflect more
of a general commitment to certain goals than a formal treaty. Such a strategy would
demand decisive US leadership designed to pull regional and global groups of nations
together in support of elements of a global commons.65
The concept of the two initiatives outlined above is in part that they could grow into
a more elaborate joint enterprise over time—that a more comprehensive process of
nuclear risk reduction could be built from the ground up, through the accumulation
of dozens of discrete commitments, conventions, and agreements, rather than
from the top down in the form of one over-arching treaty. Nuclear confidencebuilding measures and a fissile-material initiative would be two of the most plausible
nuclear programs to energize global norms and institutions in this way and could
be the initial focus of a joint enterprise. They are multilateral by nature and invite
the participation of many states. They reflect shared interests in avoiding war by
miscalculation and enhancing the security of nuclear material, and in that respect
would be at least theoretically capable of reinforcing norms of nuclear safety. While
the recommendation here is not for a formal treaty, the United States could gather
dozens of states into a draft communique committing them to general support for
these two goals.

The Importance of a New Vision
This report has made two fundamental arguments: nuclear risks are growing; and
the existing nuclear paradigm is ill-suited to making measurable progress under the
pressure of emerging trends in world politics. It has laid out a number of potential
strategies and defined two broad conceptual visions that might link together elements
of various strategies into a revised paradigm for nuclear reduction.
The critical thing now is for the US government to commit itself to some strategic
concept that recognizes the growing nuclear dangers, lays out a vision of a safer
and more secure world, and commits the United States to taking the practical
steps necessary to move in that direction. At a minimum, the United States should
redouble efforts toward a version of global confidence-building, with the idea that
progress would flow naturally into the broader vision. If we hope to both control
nuclear dangers in the short term and lay the foundation for the eventual abolition
of nuclear weapons, arguably the single most important priority is to ensure that the
sinews of the nuclear era—the stocks of fissile material that can be used for bombs—
are catalogued, controlled, and, to the extent possible, eliminated. This process is well
underway and the next phase of nuclear risk reduction should deepen and redouble
those efforts in ways most appropriate to the emerging security environment.

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The ultimate vision remains, and must remain, abolition. This has been the official US
goal since 1945 and is at the core of the bargain reflected in the NPT. The dilemma,
of course, is that not only do current trends in the global context make near-term
abolition impossible, they have also seriously complicated the sort of arms control
initiatives that have brought the world closer to that goal since 1989. What is needed
now is a powerful but pragmatic agenda, reflecting the character of the current
moment, to keep alive the sense of progress in nuclear risk reduction and to lay
important elements of the groundwork for ultimate abolition.

NOTES
1  See, for example, the argument on the role of nuclear weapons in Samuel Bodman and Robert
Gates, “National Security and Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century,” US Department of Defense report,
September 2008.
2  Nina Tannenwald, The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
3  The articles of the four, and related statements and resources on their campaign, can be found at
http://www.nuclearsecurityproject.org/.
4  See, for example, “A Conversation with George P. Shultz,” Council on Foreign Relations, January 29, 2013,
http://www.cfr.org/united-states/conversation-george-p-shultz/p29905.
5  “Nuclear Weapons: The Unkicked Addiction,” The Economist, March 11, 2015.
6  A short but comprehensive review of the modernization programs underway can be found in Hans
M. Kristensen, “Nuclear Weapons Modernization: A Threat to the NPT?” Arms Control Today, May 2014.
7  Scott Miller and Scott Sagan pointed to this danger—the revitalization of nuclear weapons’ political
role—as a major potential roadblock to further reductions; see Steven E. Miller and Scott D. Sagan,
“Nuclear Power without Nuclear Proliferation?” special issue on the global nuclear future, Daedalus 1,
no. 13 (2009).
8  See, for example, James Carden, “Welcome to Cold War 2.0: Russia’s New and Improved Military
Doctrine,” The National Interest, January 5, 2015; and Adrian Croft, “Russia’s Nuclear Strategy Raises
Concerns in NATO,” Reuters, February 4, 2015.
9  William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, “U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms,” New York Times,
September 21, 2014.
10  See, for example, Ralph Vartabedian and W. J. Hennigan, “NATO Nuclear Drawdown Now Seems
Unlikely,” Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2014.
11  Paul Bracken, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics (New York:
St. Martin’s, 2013).
12  See, for example, Peter Crail, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Buildup Vexes FMCT Talks,” Arms Control Today,
March 2011; and Alexander Pearson, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Buildup: The End of U.S. ‘Strategic Silence’?”
Nukes of Hazard (blog), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, November 13, 2013,
http://nukesofhazardblog.com/story/2013/11/14/163517/14.

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13  For recent surveys of the future of nuclear power and its relationship to nuclear security, see the special
2009 issue of Daedalus on the global nuclear future, especially the essays by Richard Lester and Robert
Rosner, Paul Joskow and John Parsons, and Anne Lauvergeon.
14  Ivana Kottasova, “How Fukushima Changed the World’s Attitudes to Nuclear Power,” CNN.com,
March 12, 2014.
15  See, for example, Henry Sokolski, “Introduction: Nuclear Energy’s Security Story,” in Moving Beyond
Pretense: Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation, ed. Henry Sokolski (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College Press,
June 2014), esp. 1–9.
16  For an argument about the technical and political challenges to the future of the NPT, see Ramesh
Thakur, Jane Bolden, and Thomas G. Weiss, “Can the NPT Regime Be Fixed or Should It Be Abandoned?”
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue on Globalization Papers No. 40, October 2008. See also Rebecca Johnson,
“Rethinking the NPT’s Role in Security: 2010 and Beyond,” International Affairs 82, no. 2 (2010).
17  R. Scott Kemp, “The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes,” International Security 38, no. 4
(Spring 2014): 39–78.
18  Joe Pilat, “The End of the NPT Regime?” International Affairs 83, no. 3 (May 2007): 473–474.
19  Patrick S. Roberts, “How Well Will the International Atomic Energy Agency Be Able to Safeguard More
Nuclear Materials in More States?” in Moving Beyond Pretense, ed. Sokolski, 266–267, 271.
20  See Matthew Bunn, “The Risk of Nuclear Terrorism—and Next Steps to Reduce the Danger,” testimony
before the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, April 2, 2008, http://belfercenter
.ksg.harvard.edu/files/bunn-nuclear-terror-risk-test-08.pdf; and Graham T. Allison, Nuclear Terrorism: The
Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe (New York: Times Books, 2004).
21  This has been the essential argument of George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn
in the studies and op-eds produced under their Nuclear Security Project, and the message is more valid,
and urgent, than ever. As recently as 2013, for example, the four argued for additional urgency in nuclear
risk reduction to match the seriousness of the threat. See Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn, “Next Steps
in Reducing Nuclear Risks: The Pace of Nonproliferation Work Today Doesn’t Match the Urgency of the
Threat,” Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2013.
22  See, for example, Joseph S. Nye, “Nuclear Learning and U.S.-Soviet Security Regimes,” International
Security 41, no. 3 (Summer 1987).
23  For a discussion, see James M. Acton, “Reclaiming Strategic Stability,” in Strategic Stability: Contending
Interpretations, ed. Elbridge A. Colby and Michael S. Gerson (Strategic Studies Institute and US Army War
College Press, February 2013), 117–122.
24  From the beginning, though, many Soviet thinkers saw strategic stability in broader terms,
encompassing many elements of peace in world politics. They saw stability “not only as a balance of
the capabilities of military forces,” Pavel Podvig has argued, “but rather as a status of relationships
that guarantees that neither side could gain a decisive advantage over its adversary in a long term.”
See Pavel Podvig, “Russia, Strategic Stability, and Nuclear Weapons,” in The War That Must Never Be
Fought: Dilemmas of Nuclear Deterrence, ed. George P. Shultz and James E. Goodby (Stanford, CA: Hoover
Institution Press, 2015).
25  A good summary of such measures can be found in Katarzyna Kubiak, “NATO and Russia Experiences
with Nuclear Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures,” background paper for the workshop on
Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Practice,

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Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin, March 27–28, 2014, http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin
/contents/products/arbeitspapiere/wp_kubiak_April2014.pdf.
26  The Cooperative Threat Reduction program has been gradually winding down; by 2012 Russia was
informing the United States that it would refuse to renew the program, and the US Congress has been
shaving funding for years. This was partly as planned from the beginning—the idea was always for the
Russian government to assume more direct control of the security and risk reduction efforts on its own
soil—but the program is ending in an atmosphere of mistrust and enmity that does not bode well for
the future of similar endeavors; Richard Weitz, “Russian-U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Beyond
Nunn-Lugar and Ukraine,” Arms Control Today 44, no. 6 (July–August 2014). In terms of Nuclear Security
Summits, the latest session took place in The Hague in 2014 with a focus on prompting global cooperation
to control nuclear materials to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism and proliferation. That summit produced
a security implementation accord, a series of commitments to enhance nuclear security in various ways.
See Deepti Choubey, “From Sprint to Marathon: The 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and the Path Ahead,”
Arms Control Today, May 2014.
27  Zachary S. Davis, “The Realist Nuclear Regime,” Security Studies 2, no. 3–4 (1993).
28  See, for example, the argument in Joseph S. Nye, “Maintaining a Nonproliferation Regime,” International
Security 35, no. 1 (Winter 1981).
29  Stephen Krasner’s definition has appeared in various forms; see Stephen Krasner, “Structural Causes
and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables,” in International Regimes, ed. Stephen
Krasner (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983).
30  Mark W. Zacher, “The Territorial Integrity Norm: International Boundaries and the Use of Force,”
International Organization 55, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 215–250.
31  See, for example, Stephan Haggard and Beth Simmons, “Theories of International Regimes,”
International Organization 41, no. 3 (Summer 1987); Susan Strange, “Cave! Hic Dragones: A Critique of
Regime Analysis,” in International Regimes, ed. Krasner; Oran Young, “International Regimes: Toward
A New Theory of Institutions,” World Politics 39 (October 1986); Stephen D. Krasner, “Regimes and the
Limits of Realism: Regimes as Autonomous Variables,” International Organization 36, no. 2 (Spring 1982);
and Andreas Hasenclever, Peter Mayer, and Volker Rittberger, Theories of International Regimes (New
York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
32  See, for example, Marcus F. Franda, Governing the Internet: The Emergence of an International Regime
(Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001).
33  A leading example is the agreement to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to preserve global ozone levels.
Respect for the regime has been very strong and concrete progress was made on the basis of clearly shared
interests and a requirement for a collective response. In other cases, however, such as fisheries protections,
progress has been slow. And on the central front—climate change—the story is at best mixed. Important
research and declaratory work have occurred and a number of states have struck out with bold action, but
a true global consensus has been elusive.
34  For an extensive survey of the elements of that regime, see Jack Donnelly, “International Human Rights:
A Regime Analysis,” International Organization 40, no. 3 (Summer 1986): 605–613. The human rights regime
actually has more problems of implementation than many others, in part because it is not founded on truly
shared interests but rather a normative goal which demands state compliance without any clear benefit to
state interests. It is, perhaps, unsurprising that evidence for the instrumental success of treaties is mixed;
see, for example, Oona A. Hathaway, “Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference?,” Faculty Scholarship
Series, Yale Law School, Paper 839, http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/839. For a critique
of her study and an argument that human rights regimes have been relatively more effective than she
suggests, see Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks, “Measuring the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties,”

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European Journal of International Law 14, no. 1 (2003). The regimes do appear to have helped set global
expectations, grounded values of human rights into the domestic political context of many states, and,
in some limited cases, offered specific leverage.
35  These specific categories are drawn from Donnelly, “International Human Rights,” 604.
36  Oran R. Young and Marc A. Levy, “The Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes,” in
The Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes: Causal Connections and Behavioral Mechanisms,
ed. Oran R. Young (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999), 19–29.
37  Andrew P. Cortell and James A. Davis Jr., “How Do International Institutions Matter? The Domestic
Impact of International Rules and Norms,” International Studies Quarterly 40 (1996).
38  Realists such as Robert Kagan and Walter Russell Mead have long worried about a return to intense and
destabilizing great-power rivalry. See Robert Kagan, The Return of History and the End of Dreams (New York:
Vintage, 2009); and Walter Russell Mead, “The Return of Geopolitics,” Foreign Affairs, May–June 2014. For
an argument about a constrained version of rivalry see Michael J. Mazarr, “Rivalry’s New Face,” Survival 54,
no. 4 (August 2012).
39  Richard N. Haass, “The Unraveling: How to Respond to a Disordered World,” Foreign Affairs 93, no. 6
(November–December 2014): 70.
40  On these trends, see also Chester A. Crocker, “The Strategic Dilemma of a World Adrift,” Survival 57,
no. 1 (January 2015).
41  This is the fundamental theme of Bracken’s notion of a second nuclear age—that it is a “multi-player
game” consisting of highly competitive nuclear aspirants. See The Second Nuclear Age, 106–114.
42  See Bruce Riedel, “India, Pakistan Head for Nuke War,” The Daily Beast, October 19, 2014. On the
likelihood that China’s ambitions will create accelerating tensions, see Jonathan Holslag, “The Smart
Revisionist,” Survival 56, no. 5 (September 2014).
43 Bracken, The Second Nuclear Age, 115.
44  C. Dale Walton and Colin S. Gray, “The Geopolitics of Strategic Stability,” in Strategic Stability, ed. Colby
and Gerson, 106–107.
45  François Heisbourg, “Nuclear Proliferation—Looking Back, Thinking Ahead,” Nonproliferation Policy
Education Center, 35.
46  Sokolski, “Introduction,” 9.
47 Bracken, The Second Nuclear Age, 232–234.
48  Ibid., 268.
49  This challenge goes to the heart of the current US arms control agenda, which is focused on bilateral
US-Russian steps and expansive treaties. See, for example, Frank A. Rose, “Next Steps in U.S. Arms Control
Policy,” speech in Stockholm, Sweden, January 17, 2014, http://www.state.gov/t/avc/rls/2014/220687.htm.
50  As Walton and Gray put it, this way of thinking about stability “encompasses all the major factors
shaping the relationship between two security communities”; see Walton and Gray, “The Geopolitics of
Strategic Stability,” 102.
51  For a detailed analysis of the costs of the proposed modernization program, see Jon B. Wolfsthal,
Jeffrey Lewis, and Marc Quint, “The Trillion Dollar Nuclear Triad: U.S. Strategic Nuclear Modernization Over
the Next Thirty Years,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, January 2014.

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52  See, for example, Global Zero Commission on Nuclear Risk Reduction, “De-Alerting and Stabilizing the
World’s Nuclear Force Postures,” April 2015.
53  These examples are drawn from Global Zero Commission, “De-Alerting and Stabilizing,” 37–55; and
David E. Mosher, Lowell H. Schwartz, David R. Howell, and Lynn E. Davis, Beyond the Nuclear Shadow: A
Phased Approach for Improving Nuclear Safety and U.S.-Russian Relations (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND
Corporation, 2003), 136.
54 Bracken, The Second Nuclear Age, 253–254 and 267–270.
55  A number of these ideas are discussed in the MacArthur Foundation series on “Reinventing Nuclear
Security”; see the videos at http://reinventors.net/series/reinvent-nuclear.
56  See Christopher Twomey, “After the Summit: Investing in Nuclear Materials Security,” National Bureau
of Asian Research, analysis brief, April 3, 2012.
57  For a detailed analysis of the possible elements of such an initiative, see Richard Burt and Jan Lodal,
“The Next Step for Arms Control: A Nuclear Control Regime,” Survival 53, no. 6 (December 2011).
58  Many of these are drawn from Harold A. Feiveson, Alexander Glaser, Zia Mian, and Frank N. von Hippel,
Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation (Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2014). Other concepts come from Twomey, “After the Summit”; Klaus Korhonen, “Towards a
New Phase in Nuclear Security Cooperation,” Nuclear Security Matters (blog), March 6, 2015; and Kenneth
Luongo, “Nuclear Security Governance for the 21st Century: An Action Plan for Progress,” Nuclear Security
Governance Experts Group workshop, Seoul, July 18–19, 2012.
59  Christopher Chivvis has written of the importance of “leadership that articulates a constructive,
practical vision for international cooperation” to make the case for governance structures. See Christopher
Chivvis, “America, the Ambivalent Leader,” Current History 109, no. 730 (November 2010): 340.
60  See, for example, George Shultz, “Remarks at the Economic Club of New York, September 19, 2011,”
http://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/transcript_georgepshultz_sep192011.pdf; and James Goodby,
“A Global Commons: A Vision Whose Time Has Come,” chapter 11 in Andrei Sakharov: The Conscience of
Humanity, ed. Sidney Drell, Jim Hoagland, and George Shultz (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press,
forthcoming).
61  George P. Shultz, Issues on My Mind: Strategies for the Future (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution
Press, 2013).
62  Goodby, “A Global Commons.” Used by permission.
63  See, for example, James Goodby, “A World Without Nuclear Weapons is a Joint Enterprise,” Arms Control
Today, 2011, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_05/Goodby. For an analysis, see Steve Andreasen,
“A Joint Enterprise: Diplomacy to Achieve a World Without Nuclear Weapons,” Arms Control Today, 2009,
https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_04/Andreasen.
64  Heisbourg, “Nuclear Proliferation—Looking Back, Thinking Ahead.”
65  See James Goodby and Kenneth Weisbrode, “Redirecting U.S. Diplomacy,” Parameters 43, no 4
(2013): 31–32.

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The publisher has made this work available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license 3.0. To view a copy
of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0.
Hoover Institution Press assumes no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party
Internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will
remain, accurate or appropriate.
Copyright © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

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Hoover Institution Essay Series
on Reducing Nuclear Threats

About the Author

MICHAEL J. MAZARR
Michael Mazarr is a senior
political scientist at the
RAND Corporation, which
he joined in October 2014.
Before working for RAND,
he served as professor of
national security strategy
and associate dean at the US
National War College. He has
served as special assistant to
the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, president
of the Henry L. Stimson
Center, senior vice president
for strategic planning at the
Electronic Industries Alliance,
legislative assistant in the
US House of Representatives,
and senior fellow and
editor of The Washington
Quarterly at the Center for
Strategic and International
Studies. He holds bachelor’s
and master’s degrees from
Georgetown University and a
doctorate from the University
of Maryland School of
Public Affairs. The opinions
expressed here are his own.

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The Hoover Institution Press has published several booklength analyses of nuclear weapons issues, many of which
deal with the changing nature of deterrence in the current
international environment. Fellows of the Hoover Institution,
particularly George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, and Sidney
Drell, also have written highly acclaimed analyses for the
national press. This essay, by Michael Mazarr, is the first of a
series of occasional papers that will fill the gap between books
and newspaper articles. Like those to follow, this essay is a
detailed examination of an important issue affecting nuclear
weapons and offers ideas relevant to contemporary public
policy. It is for the reader who wants an explanation of the
facts and background underlying nuclear issues and would
like to be engaged in solving problems the nation faces today.
This wide-ranging series of papers will have two common
themes. What are the nuclear issues today that deserve higher
priority? How can the United States, acting alone or with
others, reduce the threat they pose?
For information about the Hoover Institution, please visit us online
at www.hoover.org.

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