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The End of Strategic Stability?: Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries

The End of Strategic Stability?: Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries


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During the Cold War, the superpowers shared a conception of strategic stability. It was for coexistence and a status quo frozen in place by the calculus of mutually assured destruction from nuclear weapons. In short, nuclear weapons promoted great-power peace. The United States made and continues to make its decisions about changes to force posture, risk of escalation, and prospects for arms control with strategic stability in mind. But today's international system is complicated by regional rivalries, rising states, more nuclear powers, asymmetric warfare, and non-state actors. The purpose of this book is to unpack and examine how different states view strategic stability, the use or non-use of nuclear weapons, and whether or not strategic stability is still a useful concept. The contributors to this book examine current and potential nuclear powers including the United States, Russia, China, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. This book makes an important contribution toward understanding how nuclear weapons will impact the international system in the twenty-first century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626166035
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 09/03/2018
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 549,947
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lawrence Rubin is an associate professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author and editor of three books, including Islam in the Balance: Ideational Threats in Arab Politics.

Adam N. Stulberg is Neal Family Chair and CoDirector of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy at the Sam Nunn School, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author and editor of five books including, the co-edited volume The Nuclear Energy Renaissance and International Security.

Table of Contents



IntroductionAdam N. Stulberg and Lawrence Rubin

Part I: General Approaches to Regional Stability 1. Sources of Instability in the Second Nuclear Age: An American PerspectiveEvan Braden Montgomery

2. The Russian Approach to Strategic Stability: Preserving a Classical Formula in a Turbulent World Andrey Pavlov and Anastasia Malygina

3. Pakistan’s View of Strategic Stability: A Struggle between Theory and Practice Sadia Tasleem

4. Strategic Stability in the Middle East: Through the Transparency Lens Emily B. Landau

5. Beyond Strategic Stability: Deterrence, Regional Balance, and Iranian National Security Annie Tracy Samuel

Conclusion to Part I: Regional Approaches to Strategic StabilityRajesh Basrur

Part II: Cross-Domain Deterrence and Strategic Stability6. Strategic Stability and Cross-Domain Coercion: The Russian Approach to Information (Cyber) WarfareDmitry "Dima" Adamsky

7. Conventional Challenges to Strategic Stability: Chinese Perceptions of Hypersonic Technology and the Security Dilemma Tong Zhao

8. The India-Pakistan Nuclear Dyad: Strategic Stability and Cross-Domain Deterrence Happymon Jacob

9. The Road Not Taken: Defining Israel’s Approach to Strategic Stability Ilai Saltzman

10. Maintaining Sovereignty and Preserving the Regime: How Saudi Arabia Views Strategic Stability Ala’ Alrababa’h

Conclusion to Part II: Regional Variations on Deterrence and StabilityJeffrey W. Knopf

Part III: Findings and Implications 11. Foreign Views of Strategic Stability and U.S. Nuclear Posture Matthew Kroenig

12. Implications for U.S. Policy: Defending a Stable International System Adam Mount

ConclusionLawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg

List of ContributorsIndex

What People are Saying About This

Philip Breedlove

Is strategic stability relevant today? Can we even agree on what it means? The United States faces a revanchist Russia that redefined the use of nuclear weapons as a normal extension of conventional conflict. Today’s commanders face that and more as nations like Iran and North Korea race toward nuclear capability and all the while threaten its use. Does that mean strategic stability has been cast aside as a framework for cooperation in our future? Certainly not. Rubin and Stulberg have assembled a cast of experts who catch the dynamics of how rivals have understood and misunderstood deterrence and strategic stability. Rubin and Stulberg have aligned these concepts and contributions in a context that allows us to consider how to move forward. This book is absolutely essential reading for both the scholar and the practitioner.

Todd S. Sechser

Lawrence Rubin and Adam Stulberg have constructed an indispensable map for navigating the second Nuclear Age. This terrific collection illuminates how standard thinking about strategic stability will be upended by emerging technologies, regional proliferation, and the evolution of great power politics. An essential guidebook for understanding the new era of nuclear diplomacy.

T.V. Paul

Strategy stability was a much debated topic during the Cold War era. Today strategic stability has become even more complex with multiple regional players entering the picture with their diverse visions on what constitutes stability or instability. The chapters in this timely volume illuminate our understanding of strategic stability in its multidimensional forms in an era of great uncertainty.

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