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Small Nuclear Forces: Five Perspectives

Edited by Malcolm Chalmers, Andrew Somerville and Andrea Berger
Whitehall Reports, 1 December 2011
Proliferation and Nuclear Policy, UK Project on Nuclear Issues, Defence Policy, Global Security Issues, Proliferation and Nuclear Policy
In an era of smaller weapons stockpiles, what are the policy drivers for the medium-sized nuclear-weapon states - and how might they determine future disarmament?

Within the next decade, the US and Russia are likely to jointly agree to further reductions in their strategic arsenals. But this spotlight on bilateral arms control efforts has left states with smaller nuclear arsenals on the periphery of disarmament discussions.

Following the next round of major strategic reductions however, attention will shift to the conditions for engaging other nuclear-armed states in multilateral reductions on the road to a nuclear weapons-free world. This report is intended to address the coming shift by analysing the nuclear doctrines of the five states which maintain minimum deterrence postures.

The five authors of these papers examine the unique factors which have driven a particular nation to adopt and maintain small nuclear forces, and assess the impact future strategic developments may have on the direction of national postures.

As experts from China, France, India, Pakistan and the UK, the authors contemplate the prospect for their respective government’s involvement in future efforts to foster nuclear restraint and stability at low numbers.

Malcolm Chalmers
Deputy Director-General

Professor Malcolm Chalmers is Deputy Director-General of RUSI and directs its growing portfolio of research into contemporary... read more

Andrea Berger
Associate Fellow

Andrea Berger is a Senior Analyst in the Canadian Privy Council Office, which serves the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to... read more

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