MTA seminar: "Towards a third nuclear age?" with Andrew Futter - Shared screen with speaker view
John Holdren
One nitpick: Andrew argues on one of his slides that N Korea was the only country to proliferate in the Second Nuclear Age. He places Pakistan in the group that proliferated in the First Nuclear Age (which he says ended in 1990). But Pakistan first tested a nuclear weapon in 1998. Is he arguing that, in some important way, they proliferated earlier, before they tested?
Rebecca Gibbons
Some datasets cite the 1980s as the time when P had a deliverable weapon
Rebecca Gibbons
Hard to use testing as the line when including Israel and South Africa in datasets
Mike Kiely
The UK has no nuclear targets since 1994. Does your framework address how the UK as an example might post Chilcott get approval for any new target proposals?
Matthew Bunn
I’d be with Andrew on Pakistan. They had nuclear weapons by the late 1980s, and unlike India were focused on incorporating them into their military.
Sylvia Mishra
+ 1 Matt Bunn
Thomas Simons
The Pak program got rolling after the Indian nuclear test in 1964, and was far enough along for Kissinger to harass Bhutto about it, and be told Pakistan would “eat grass” before giving it up. We swallowed our worries during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, but came down on it with sanctions in 1990, after the Sovs left. That’s a pretty hefty First Nuclear Age record. Tom Simons, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan 1996-8.
John Holdren
Thanks all for clarification on Pakistan!
Syed Farhan Shakeel
Don't underetimate Pakistan. They are militarily very bold and control too many intangibles in the region.
Mariana Budjeryn
China tested in 1964, India - in 1974.
Dinshaw Mistry
Pakistan is assessed to have enriched uranium to weapons grade in the late 1980s, and to have a few nuclear weapons by then. There were also India-Pakistan 'crises' in 1987 and 1990 which had a 'nuclear' dimension, in the sense that US officials as well as the regional participants assumed that Pakistan had nuclear weapons at the time, albeit in very small numbers and with only aircraft rather than missiles as delivery systems.
Mansour Salsabili
Correction "the Indian nuclear test in 1964" to 1974
Thomas Simons
I stand corrected. tws
Stephen Schwartz
John, that’s probably a reference to A.Q. Khan’s nuclear black market/smuggling network, which got its start in the mid-to-late 1980s and ultimately operated in more than 20 countries and used more than 30 companies and middlemen with the knowledge if not active assistance of Pakistan’s military and government.
Julie Stern
Paper on Pakistan and nuclear weapons: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34248.pdf
Mike Kiely
Why is increasing the UK 'ceiling' relevant when Dreadnought has fewer launchers (12 not 16)?
Jimmy Jorge Monteblanco Alvino
The Seminar web is very good, I am Peruvian Economist and researcher at ESAN (Peru), Harvard, MIT and Stanford, my name is Jimmy Monteblanco Alvino.
Olamide Samuel
@Mike some interesting analysis on the UK ceiling: https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/global-britain-increasing-its-nuclear-stockpile/?fbclid=IwAR0ACrKtYc6SMofZlf-dKdLhGn-4FwYP_x0jcwFArWmOzsBoDIEjMjGmJw4
Mike Kiely
I am struggling with what are Doomsday machines and the comparison with Conventional weapons. Does it need testing?
John Holdren
Strongly agree with Matt's point!
Mariana Budjeryn
But I think it’s a valid concern that even though the risk of conflict and escalation is configured in a bilateral context, if the powers are to control/limit destabilizing technologies that will have to engage multilaterally in realms like cyber, AI, advanced conventional.
Matthew Bunn
Matthew Bunn
+1 on Steve Miller’s point. The fundamental destructive power of nuclear weapons hasn’t changed, and structures the situation in a fundamental way. Changes in stability resulting from non-nuclear technologies are evolutionary more than revolutionary, in my view.
David Arceneaux
Steve's point about ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)vulnerabilities nicely ties into Matt's point about the enduring importance of nuclear dyads. U.S. anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities made Soviet submarines vulnerable for decades and hold China's SSBNs at great risk if they attempt to leave the first island chain. That concern, however, does not apply to cases like the India-Pakistan dyad. For both countries, SSBNs probably offer survivable platforms. The global trends captured by the "nuclear age" framework might not capture important variation in these areas.
Mariana Budjeryn
A very good point, David.
Joo Yh
Thank you!