North Korea launched a series of missile tests in recent weeks, including one yesterday that landed 250 km off the coast of Japan. Here’s a summary of the North’s various missile systems and my understanding of where they stand, based in part on computer modeling of their capabilities. Read more >
August 3, 2016 3:19 PM EDT
There are US defense and foreign policy experts who assert that history proves the United States should retain the option to use nuclear weapons to prevent non-nuclear attacks against the United States and its allies. The evidence supporting that assertion is questionable.
The historical record in Europe is ambiguous. Although there was no Soviet attack against Western Europe during the Cold War it is difficult to prove US threats to use nuclear weapons were responsible for preventing it. There is convincing evidence, however, that the fear of US nuclear weapons failed to deter the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from attacking US forces in Korea. Read more >
July 31, 2016 6:07 PM EDT
Most Japanese security professionals currently prefer the United States maintain the option to use nuclear weapons first. But should President Obama declare that the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter and, if necessary, respond to the use of nuclear weapons by another country, extensive interviews with those same Japanese security professionals indicate they would accept the change. Read more >
July 14, 2016 1:42 PM EDT
July 5, 2016 3:04 PM EDT