The Fragile Balance of Terror: Deterrence in the Nuclear Age

Feb 2, 2023 |
Stanford, CA
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The Academy and Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) cohosted a book launch and discussion of The Fragile Balance of Terror: Deterrence in the Nuclear Age. 

A video of the event, shared by CISAC, can be found on YouTube. 

In the book, the foremost experts on nuclear policy and strategy offer insight into an era rife with more nuclear powers. Some of these new powers suffer domestic instability, others are led by pathological personalist dictators, and many are situated in highly unstable regions of the world—a volatile mix of variables. The increasing fragility of deterrence in the twenty-first century is created by a confluence of forces: military technologies that create vulnerable arsenals, a novel information ecosystem that rapidly transmits both information and misinformation, nuclear rivalries that include three or more nuclear powers, and dictatorial decision-making that encourages rash choices. The nuclear threats posed by India, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea are thus fraught with danger.

The volume was produced under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences project “Meeting the Challenges of the New Nuclear Age,” co-chaired by Scott D. Sagan, Director of CISAC.

The full text of the volume is available online at Cornell University Press.