Strategic Studies Quarterly

Volume 10 Issue 1 - Spring 2016


Thinking About Peace: Negative Terms versus Positive Outcomes

Paul F. Diehl

The focus on negative peace, or the cessation of armed hostilities, is a worthy goal but ultimately misleading. Building a broader conception of peace into strategy is more likely to promote stability in the long run and lessen the need for repeated military actions to impose or sustain stability.


Red Lines and Green Lights: Iran, Nuclear Arms Control, and Nonproliferation
James H. Lebovic

Initial efforts to thwart an Iranian bomb focused unduly on setting a red line to distinguish acceptable from unacceptable behavior. The debate has focused inordinately on technical issues and far less on critical assumptions about Iranian motives that will determine whether Iran has appropriate incentives to adhere to the agreement


Revealed Preference and the Minimum Requirements of Nuclear Deterrence
Dallas Boyd

U.S. national security policy features a striking inconsistency in its leaders’ tolerance for the risk of nuclear terrorism versus nuclear war. Current policies suggest an overwhelming aversion to the risk of nuclear terrorism. By contrast, U.S. offensive nuclear capabilities, imply at least some tolerance for the risk of nuclear retaliation. Yet, this retaliation could be many times more severe than an act of nuclear terrorism, an event that American leaders suggest is intolerable.

NATO’s Readiness Action Plan: Strategic Benefits and Outstanding Challenges
John-Michael Arnold

Despite the limited scale of some of its measures, NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP) offers four major strategic benefits, which collectively outweigh any drawbacks. But, it faces a series of significant challenges. To address them, there are nine policy recommendations NATO leaders should consider before they convene in Warsaw in July 2016.

Deterrence Adrift? Mapping Conflict and Escalation in South Asia
Ryan French

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated sharply in the past year, meriting an analysis of how an armed conflict might unfold between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. A common assumption in academic and policy circles is that any modern-day Indo-Pakistani conflict would remain limited and localized, as nuclear deterrence would dissuade either side. However, the reality is the very opposite


Nuclear Weapons Redux
Roger Gran Harrison

According to William Perry in his book "My Journey to the Nuclear Brink," the encouraging trends in nuclear weapons control he help build in the post-Cold War world have begun to unravel. This has only strengthened his conviction that nuclear weapons pose the most ominous threat to national security. While the views of Perry and his colleagues have faded, other voices are being raised repeating arguments for nuclear war fighting that were familiar 50-years ago. Perry hopes to prevent that, and to remind a new generation of the horrors of nuclear weapons.

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