By George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors
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Additional info for Abolishing Nuclear weapons: a debate
This fear increases resistance to taking nuclear disarmament seriously, though it ought to be irrelevant to decisions about dramatically reducing the number and salience of nuclear weapons. It should be evident that retaining nuclear weapons is unnecessary and not helpful for pre-empting, deterring or retaliating against nuclear terrorism. The most effective way to prevent nuclear terrorism is to ensure that fissile materials or nuclear weapons cannot be obtained by terrorist organisations. Terrorist groups are highly unlikely to be able to produce fissile materials themselves.
In each scenario, ballistic-missile defences could help both to counter an important threat and to deter it in the first place. (This would be true whether or not ballistic missiles were banned as part of a regime to eliminate nuclear weapons). However, as long as the US, Russia and China have no shared conception of whether and how they might regulate their competition in strategic weaponry, the deployment of ballistic-missile defences increases rather than decreases the salience of nuclear weapons.
Acton Chinese officials insist that they favour nuclear disarmament and would be prepared to join an arms-reduction process once states with larger nuclear arsenals, particularly the US and Russia, had significantly reduced these arsenals. , one that could survive an adversary’s first strike and deliver a retaliatory attack). We discuss below several key strategic issues related to offensive nuclear forces, ballistic-missile defences and non-nuclear strike capabilities that China would want to have addressed before it would consider joining a nuclear-arms-reduction process.
Abolishing Nuclear weapons: a debate by George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors