The End of MAD? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy

  title={The End of MAD? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy},
  author={Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press},
  journal={International Security},
For nearly half a century, the world's most powerful nuclear-armed states have been locked in a condition of mutual assured destruction. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the nuclear balance has shifted dramatically. The U.S. nuclear arsenal has steadily improved; the Russian force has sharply eroded; and Chinese nuclear modernization has progressed at a glacial pace. As a result, the United States now stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy, meaning that it could conceivably… 
U.S. Nuclear Primacy and the Future of the Chinese Deterrent
Since the end of the Cold War, and particularly since the September 11 attacks, public discussions about nuclear weapons have focused on the dangers of terrorism, “loose nukes,” and the consequences
The Fallacy of Nuclear Primacy
In their disturbing analysis of the growing strength of U.S. nuclear forces, professors Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press predict a deterioration of the global security environment in spite of this
To What Extent is Nuclear Deterrence Important in the Post-Cold War World?
The end of the Cold War led to a sudden change in the security agenda of Western policymakers. In this context, the debate over the function of nuclear weapons in the new security scenario played a
No First Use: The Next Step for U.S. Nuclear Policy
The release of the Barack Obama administration's much-anticipated Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) concluded an intense, yearlong effort to revamp U.S. nuclear weapons policy to better address modern
The Short Shadow of U.S. Primacy?
Keir Lieber and Daryl Press’s recent article presents a compelling case for the rise of U.S. nuclear primacy in the twenty-arst century. The authors, however, fail to address what they maintain is a
First Things First: The Pressing Danger of Crisis Instability in U.S.-China Relations
Since the mid-1990s, much has been written about the potentially disruptive impact of China if it emerges as a peer competitor challenging the United States. Not enough attention has been paid,
Confronting Emergent Nuclear-Armed Regional Adversaries: Prospects for Neutralization, Strategies for Escalation Management
Abstract : Over the course of the 21st century, the international environment is likely to evolve in ways that present unprecedented challenges to the national security of the United States. One of
Geopolitics of Nuclear Hypertrophy. America, the Bomb and the Temptation of Nuclear Primacy
Abstract The United States’ grand strategy has consistently been marked by a distinct tendency toward nuclear hypertrophy. Especially the inherent difficulties in extending deterrence to its allies
Nuclear balance and the initiation of nuclear crises: Does superiority matter?
The nuclear competition school, an emerging theoretical perspective on the political effect of nuclear weapons, argues that a favorable nuclear balance can significantly reduce one’s expected costs
Stigmatizing the Bomb: Origins of the Nuclear Taboo
Gavin, a principal promoter in the U.S. military of the development of tactical nuclear weapons, wrote, “Nuclear weapons will become conventional for several reasons, among them cost, effectiveness


The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy
FOR ALMOST half a century, the world's most powerful nuclear states have been locked in a military stalemate known as mutual assured destruction (MAD). By the early 196os, the nuclear arsenals ofthe
The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960
The history of American milita y policy in the early years of the nuclear age is beginning to be rewritten. The increasing availability of documentary evidence from the 2940s and 2950s enables us to
U.S. nuclear forces, 2006
U.S. nuclear forces, 2006 F IFfEEN YEARS AFI'ER THE END of the Cold War, the United States continues to spend billions of dollars annually to maintain and upgrade its nuclear forces. It is deploying
The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Normative Basis of Nuclear Non-Use
We have recently witnessed the fiftieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare. The non-use of nuclear weapons since then remains the single
A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War
In the United States the Cold War shaped our political culture, our institutions, and our national priorities. Abroad, it influenced the destinies of people everywhere. It divided Europe, split
Stigmatizing the Bomb: Origins of the Nuclear Taboo
Gavin, a principal promoter in the U.S. military of the development of tactical nuclear weapons, wrote, “Nuclear weapons will become conventional for several reasons, among them cost, effectiveness
India's Nuclear Forces, 2005
I NDIA IS IN 1HE PROCESS OF BECOMING a full-fledged nuclear power with a wide variety of weapon systems deployed within three branches of the armed services. India's emerging triad of nuclear forces
U.S. nuclear forces, 2005
WE ESTIMATE THAT AS OF JANUARY 2005 there are approximately 5,300 operational nuclear warheads in the U.S. stockpile, including 4,530 strategic warheads and 780 nonstrategic warheads. Almost 5,000
Dismantling U.S. nuclear warheads
SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR, the main activity at the Pantex Plant in Texas has been dismantling warheads removed from the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Over the next decade, the plant's primary workload
Strategic Vulnerability: The Balance Between Prudence and Paranoia
IXmong its many consequences, the basic agreement on strategic arms limitations announced at the Vladivostok summit in November 1974 seems destined to energize a long simmering debate over the