With the recent terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, the threat of terrorism has reclaimed the headlines. Massive refugee flows and fear-mongering politicians have only further exacerbated concerns over the risk of terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, it seems likely that lone-wolf attacks and strikes from well-organized terror cells will continue to plague Western democracies. It is simply too challenging to find and stop every potential extremist from executing his or her plan. Fortunately, the risk of conventional terrorism in absolute terms is still quite low. There is a far more terrifying threat, however: the risk of WMD terrorism. Using nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons, terrorist networks could execute mass-casualty attacks that devastate entire cities. At least that is what certain pundits would have you believe. This report is more sanguine, though. Thoroughly examining the risks of NBC attacks, this report finds the threat of WMD terrorism to be vanishingly small.
Of all the potential WMD terror attacks, nuclear attacks seem to generate the most fear among the public. This is not surprising. After all, nuclear weapons represent the pinnacle of humans’ destructive potential, and Hollywood frequently utilizes nuclear weapons to drive the plot in movies ranging from Dr. Strangelove to The Avengers. Fortunately, though, there is very little risk of terrorists acquiring or detonating nuclear weapons, particularly in large, Western metropolises. The reason for this is simple; it is exceedingly difficult for terrorists to acquire and transport nuclear weapons without being detected and stopped. First, terrorists would have to break into heavily guarded facilities, likely in Russia or the United States, and steal weapons weighing multiple tons. Then, after securing the weapons, these terrorists would need to escape while being pursued by elite security forces. Assuming the terrorists are able to escape, they would then need highly skilled technicians to assemble the nuclear device, as nuclear weapons held in storage are almost always broken down into their constituent parts so as to prevent unauthorized use. The terrorists would have to do this while being sought after by the most powerful and well-funded intelligence networks in the world, and would then need to transport the nuclear device into a major city without being detected. According to John Mueller, an expert on nuclear terrorism at Ohio State University, the risk of a successful nuclear terrorist attack occurring is, therefore, less than one in three billion (1).
Certain analysts contend that while the risk of terrorists stealing nuclear weapons is low, it is possible that terrorists might simply construct their own nuclear devices instead. This scenario is even less likely than nuclear theft, though, as the production of nuclear weapons is an exceedingly complicated task. Terrorists would need highly specific blueprints detailing how to construct a nuclear device, access to highly enriched uranium or plutonium, and a secure, well-equipped site to construct the weapon. As Mueller points out, the odds of all of these conditions being met are quite low. Moreover, the need for so many complex and uncommon materials – highly enriched uranium, heavy industrial equipment, etc. – would raise suspicion among intelligence analysts, increasing the chance of detection. Even if intelligence agencies missed these clues one of the many middle-men used to acquire these materials might inform on the terrorist network, either for profit or because of moral qualms (1).
Some still argue that, in spite of the challenges associated with the stealing and constructing nuclear weapons, terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons via rogue states. Essentially, the argument goes that fearing the repercussions of launching a nuclear attack, nefarious regimes like Iran or North Korea might give nuclear weapons to terrorist networks in order to target enemies while maintaining deniability. This is almost as unbelievable as the previous two scenarios, however, for a number of reasons. First, as John Mearsheimer argues, states likely wouldn’t hand over such expensive and complex weapons to unreliable terror organizations because it is entirely possible that those organizations would choose to use the weapon against a target not approved by the patron state. Furthermore, there are very large risks associated with abetting nuclear terrorism. If other countries were to ascertain which state provided the nuclear weapon, there would be severe consequences imposed on the patron state ranging from comprehensive economic sanctions to a nuclear strike (2). Indeed, a comprehensive study by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press suggests that the U.S. would almost certainly be able to trace the nuclear weapon back to where it was produced by utilizing isotope tracing. Thus, rogue states derive no benefits from providing terror networks with nuclear weapons because their culpability would be immediately clear, therefore eliminating the only advantage of using terrorist groups: deniability (3).
Of course, a nuclear warhead is not the only way in which radioactive material can be used to inflict casualties. Terrorists groups could also utilize a “dirty bomb,” a weapon that uses radioactive dust and debris to cause illness and suffering. Dirty bombs are far easier to construct, as there is no need to develop complex detonation mechanisms used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. Terror groups would simply need to acquire a large conventional bomb and pack it with radioactive material so as to distribute radioactive particles during the explosion. While certainly simpler than nuclear warheads, the production of dirty bombs still requires access to radioactive material, presenting terrorist groups with many of the same problems associated with building a nuclear bomb. Dirty bombs are also far less lethal than nuclear weapons: The radioactive powder used to cause damage would likely only spread a few blocks at worst (4). The limited effects of dirty bombs thus make the high costs and hazards associated with their construction even more acute, as the high risks would only generate limited payoffs. In sum, it is simply not plausible that terrorists would be able to acquire high-yield nuclear weapons, and it’s unlikely that terrorists would take enormous risks simply to detonate a largely ineffective dirty bomb.
Of course, nuclear weapons are not the only WMD system. Chemical and biological weapons also seemingly pose serious threats to public safety, especially when they fall into the hands of terrorists. However, when one begins to examine the risks of chemical or biological weapons, one finds that chemical and biological weapons are far less concerning than they originally appear. Chemical weapons are unlikely to pose a serious threat for two reasons. First, they are banned under international law, thus making acquisition of potent compounds challenging. Second, there are no empirical examples of successful chemical attacks. Indeed, when the Aum Shinrikyo cult did initiate a large-scale chemical attack in Tokyo in 1995, it produced only minimal casualties (5). The problem with chemical attacks is that it is incredibly challenging to effectively engineer compounds in a way that maximizes lethality while also ensuring that the agent does not dissipate before affecting large numbers of victims (6). Therefore, it is unlikely that terrorist organizations would dedicate time and resources to the development of chemical weapons. They are simply too fickle.
Biological attacks are equally unlikely to occur for many of the same reasons. There simply aren’t many biological weapons programs because the use of these kinds of systems is prohibited by international law. Thus, few individuals have the requisite knowledge to engineer and produce effective bio-agents. Without proper expertise and infrastructure, it is unlikely that terrorist networks will ever possess the knowledge or means to produce weapons grade biological agents (7). Like chemical weapons, biological weapons also have a poor track record when it comes to inflicting serious damage. As Alan Dove explains, “Terrorist groups have… deployed biological weapons twice... The first was [in] 1984… [when] a cult in Oregon inoculated restaurant salad bars with Salmonella… 751 people got sick, but nobody died.” The second biological terrorist attack was conducted by another cult, the same one that launched the chemical attack in Tokyo; its bio-attack was even less effective than its chemical attack. Despite the cult being “well-financed, and [having] many highly educated members… Nobody got sick or died” (8). Finally, it’s important to remember that the United States and other Western countries have impressively modern and well-funded public health institutions. Thus, even if terrorists are able to execute a potent biological attack against metropolitan areas in North America or Europe, it is unlikely that casualties would be high, as well-stocked hospitals and emergency response units would be able to mitigate the impact and prevent worst case scenarios.
The risk of WMD terrorism is, of course, not zero. A NBC attack could occur despite the many mitigating factors, and even if it does not cause excessive casualties, the fear and paranoia it would generate could be extremely disruptive. Thus, this report is not suggesting that intelligence and public health measures designed to prevent and mitigate NBC attacks should be curtailed. Instead, this report simply seeks to remind people that the odds of an effective terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction remain quite low. It is important to understand the relative risks of different threats in order to make informed policy decisions, and, thus, it is crucial that the threat of WMD terrorism not be overly inflated.
(1)- Mueller, John. “Calming Our Nuclear Jitters.” Issues 26(2) (Winter 2010).
(2)- Mearsheimer, John. “Conversations in International Relations: Interview with John J. Mearsheimer (Part II).” Sage 20(2): 231-243.
(3)- Lieber, Kier A. and Daryl Press. “Why States Won’t Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists.” International Security 38(1) (Summer 2013): 80-104.
(4)- Mauroni, Al. “Don’t Fear the Dirty Bomb.” War on the Rocks. October 16, 2015. Web.
(5)- Easterbrook, Gregg. “The Smart Way to be Scared.” Homeland Security. February 16, 2003. Web.
(6)- Smithson, Amy E. "Frequently Asked Questions: Likelihood of Terrorists Acquiring and Using Chemical or Biological Weapons." Stimson Center. 2002. Web.
(7)- Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Sonia. “Barriers to Bioweapons: Intangible Obstacles to Proliferation.” International Security 36(4) (Spring 2012): 80-114.
(8)- Dove, Alan. “Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Bioterrorist?” Alan Dove. January 24, 2012. Web.
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Germany recently published its new defense white paper, outlining its vision for the future of the Bundeswehr (the German armed forces) and German foreign policy (1). This document represents a significant break with Germany’s past strategy of nonintervention and diplomacy and suggests a greater German willingness to utilize force and military power to achieve foreign policy objectives. To be clear, Germany is still a reluctant power, skeptical of overt military action. Nevertheless, its new white paper suggests that Germany may be growing more comfortable with a more forceful foreign policy.
German foreign policy has always been characterized by restraint and caution, as the excesses of Nazi-era aggression remain burned into the minds of German citizens and policymakers (2). Indeed, even during the dangerous years of the Cold War, Germany remained committed to diplomacy and peace. The Federal Republic of Germany (Western Germany) certainly maintained a significant and well-trained military force during the Cold War, but it also sought to maintain a policy of moderation, embracing Ostpolitik (“eastern politics,” a policy of rapprochement toward East Germany) under the leadership of Bundeskanzler Willy Brandt. Ostpolitik worked to moderate tensions between East and West, and resulted in the normalization of relations with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Germany’s pacific foreign policy strategy continued into the post-Cold War era. During the First Gulf War, for example, Germany was reluctant to join the American-led coalition deploying to liberate Kuwait. While Germany eventually relented to American demands, it provided purely economic and logistical support (4). This skepticism at the use of force was sustained into the 21st century, with Germany refusing to help topple Saddam’s regime in Iraq and placing significant caveats on its deployment to Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States (5).
Recent geopolitical turmoil such as the Russian annexation of Crimea and the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Europe has forced Germany to consider more aggressive foreign policy actions. Thus, it is not surprising that Germany’s new strategy embraces a foreign policy that is more willing to utilize Machtpolitik (“politics of force/power”). Indeed, Angela Merkel’s opening remarks highlight Germany’s need to redefine its goals and pursue a more active foreign policy agenda. This is nowhere more evident than in the report’s statements on Russia, which decry Putin’s aggressive posturing and strategic rivalry with the West. Germany appears to no longer want to act as a link between East and West as it did under Brandt, instead choosing to firmly side with the United States in opposition to Russia’s provocative and illegal actions in Eastern Europe. The white paper also reaffirms Germany’s commitment to the NATO alliance, an important point given German citizens’ tepid support of the principle of collective security (6). On top of its reaffirmation of its support for NATO, the white paper expresses a greater willingness to join ad hoc coalitions instead of rigidly requiring UN approval before deploying military force. This is an important development because it grants Germany far greater foreign policy flexibility and allows NATO allies to request German military support in a greater range of contingencies.
Germany’s rhetorical commitment to NATO and multilateral military action is supported by substantive changes to German defense policy. Germany is already the third largest defense spender in Europe, and recent increases in German defense spending suggest that Germany’s commitment to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP is more than just an empty promise (7). This increase in spending is complemented by an increase in the size of the Bundeswehr to 185,000, the second largest force in Europe (8). Moreover, there has been significant work under Defense Minister von der Leyen to reign in procurement costs and make defense spending more efficient. Specifically, Germany has amalgamated its two armaments agencies into one department and worked to address major equipment deficiencies in accordance with Agenda Rüstung, the German plan to improve readiness levels throughout its forces (9). According to Jeffrey Rathke, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, these measures have bolstered public confidence in the Bundeswehr, leading to greater public support for defense spending (8).
This change in foreign policy is seen not only in the new defense white paper, but also in a recent article published by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walther Steinmeier in Foreign Affairs. In his article Germany’s New Global Role, Steinmeier writes that while skeptical of military power’s ability to solve every problem, he and his government fully embrace the use of military force when appropriate. As Steinmeier explains, “Germany’s path to greater military assertiveness has not been linear, and it never will be. Germans do not believe that talking at roundtables solves every problem, but neither do they think that shooting does” (10). Steinmeier is a historically pacific foreign minister who is deeply skeptical of the use of military force. Thus, his affirmation of Germany’s willingness to use military force indicates that even the most dovish elements of the German leadership are shifting their worldview. Of course, there will likely continue to be disagreement among Germany’s major policy principles regarding Germany’s role in the world and the legitimate use of military force. There is nevertheless a clear movement toward a more assertive and forceful foreign policy.
Europe is suffering from severe problems. Terrorism, Russian revanchism, economic stagnation, and the Brexit have all contributed to a more turbulent, less unified continent. In light of these challenges, it is important that Germany – Europe’s leading power – becomes a more “normal” power that is willing to embrace its role as Europe’s de facto leader. Modernizing its military and improving its readiness are crucial to bolstering German national power, and it is encouraging that Germany’s government seems willing to improve and upgrade the Bundeswehr. It is still unclear how quickly Germany will be able to improve its forces. What is clear, however, is that Germany has grown more cognizant of its global responsibilities and is working to fulfill its obligations.
(1)- Federal Republic of Germany. Bundesministerium der Verteidigung. Weissbuch 2016: Zur Sicherheitspolitik und Zur Zukunft der Bundeswehr. Berlin, Germany: Bundesregierung, 2016. Print.
(2)- For insight into how Germans were psychologically impacted by Nazism and World War II, see Stargardt, Nicholas. The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945: Citizens and Soldiers. New York: Basic Books, 2015. Print.
(3)- Craig, Gordon A. “Did Ostpolitik Work.” Foreign Affairs. January/February 1994. Web.
(4)- Bennett, Andrew, Joseph Lepgold and Danny Unger (1994). “Burden-sharing in the Persian Gulf War.” International Organization, 48(1) (1994): 39-75.
(5)- “France and Germany unite against Iraq war.” The Guardian. January 22, 2003. Web.
(6)- Dempsey, Judy. “NATO’s European Allies Won’t Fight for Article 5.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. June 15, 2015. Web.
(7)- Data comes from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “Military Expenditure Database” (Stockholm: SIPRI, 2015), http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/milex.
(8)- Rathke, Jeffrey. “Rising Ambitions and Growing Resources Mark New German Security Strategy.” Center for Strategic and International Studies. July 25, 2016. Web.
(9)- Braw, Elisabeth. "The Bundeswehr Backs Away From the Brink." Foreign Affairs. January 19, 2016. Web.
(10)- Steinmeier, Frank-Walter. "Germany’s New Global Role." Foreign Affairs. July/August 2016. Web.
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Submarines play an integral role in nuclear deterrence. Their stealth and ability to loiter near rival countries’ shorelines make them an ideal platform for launching nuclear strikes and guaranteeing second strike capabilities. Since their introduction, submarines capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles, or SSBNs, have been the exclusive domain of the five recognized nuclear powers: the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom. However, this is no longer the case. Israel has possessed a sea-based deterrent for some time, and India and Pakistan are both investing heavily in SSBN capabilities (1). Even North Korea has begun conducting tests of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, though they have had only limited success (2). As the newer nuclear powers continue to acquire and perfect their undersea deterrents, the older nuclear states like China and the United States are working to upgrade their fleet of SSBNs. With the recent unveiling of the Chinese Jin-class and the American development of the Ohio Replacement Submarine, the next generation of nuclear subs appears to be just around the corner (3). If paired with effective command and control networks and trust building measures, the development of secure arsenals capable of withstanding a nuclear first strike could create greater stability. However, noisy submarines engaging in risky and provocative actions might also generate mistrust and increase the risk of a nuclear accident. Therefore, understanding this rapidly changing environment is crucial for policymakers and non-proliferation advocates alike.
SSBNs were initially developed in an effort to provide greater security for the nuclear arsenal. In the early days of the Cold War, both the United States and Soviet Union had relatively small arsenals that were designed to be delivered either by bombers or ICBMs. However, these two delivery methods – bombers and ICBMs – were highly vulnerable to a nuclear first strike, as they were easy to locate and destroy. With accurate intelligence, either one of the superpowers could have launched a nuclear first strike on their opponent’s silos and bombed their runways, all but eliminating their ability to retaliate. This problem was partially mitigated by a number of innovative strategies like the development of road-mobile ICBMs capable of driving to different locations and the adoption of an airborne alert posture. However, these methods were imperfect and not guaranteed to safeguard a country’s retaliatory capabilities (4). Thus, submarines capable of launching ballistic nuclear missiles were developed to create a more survivable delivery mechanism. Of course, submarines are still vulnerable to preemptive attacks: they can be tracked and sunk by adversaries. However, their ability to remain submerged for extended periods of time in vast oceans makes it nearly impossible for one country to entirely eliminate the sea-based nuclear deterrent of its adversary. Furthermore, as Andrew C. Winner and Ryan W. French posit, submarines are advantageous because “depending on where a submarine is deployed, it may increase surprise, provide shorter flight times, or enable an attacker to strike from a direction that reduces the effectiveness of ballistic or cruise missile defenses (5).” In short, submarines represent a highly survivable and reliable nuclear delivery system.
SSBNs do have some significant drawbacks, though. The most significant is the complicated command and control network that must be developed in order to effectively operate a sea-based deterrent. The difficulty emerges from submarines’ relative autonomy: With submarines designed to stay submerged and silent for significant periods of time, it can be difficult for civilian leaders to effectively communicate with submarine commanders (6). This can lead to dangerous situations in which submarine commanders are not on the same page as their civilian leaders. For example, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet submarine B-59 almost fired a nuclear tipped torpedo at an American warship (7). Submarines can also be detrimental to crisis stability if they are easily detected. Early submarine designs are usually noisy and lack the requisite stealth materials to serve as an effective second strike-capable platform. When these platforms are deployed, they can often lead to suspicion and mistrust if they approach the waters of an adversary. Moreover, their loud acoustic signature means they are more likely to be detected and tracked, making a dangerous incident at sea far more likely.
The three countries that have most recently entered the SSBN race are India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Of these three, India is the most advanced. With the Arihant having already completed its sea trials, India now has its first SSBN, and there are currently plans for India to construct four more Arihant-class ships. Indeed, Aridhaman, the second ship of the class, is already being built (8). India’s Arihant-class ships will be capable of launching 12 K-15 Sagarika SLBMS with a range of 450-1,200 miles or four K-4 SLBMs with a range of 2,200 miles, significantly augmenting India’s nuclear strike capabilities (9). Despite the Arihant’s impressive capabilities, it still suffers from a number of issues frequently found in first generation subs. In particular, it has a noisy acoustic signature, which renders it easy to track and monitor. This, in turn, reduces the deterrent value of the Arihant, because the stealth and ambiguity inherent in SSBN operations will be seriously undermined. Furthermore, the relatively short range of India’s SLBMs mean that the Arihant-class will be forced to move dangerously close to adversaries’ shores, potentially triggering a crisis (10). Nevertheless, it is clear that India has made great strides in improving and modernizing its sea-based deterrent, and India’s SSBN force will likely improve precipitously over the next decades.
Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is also seeking SSBNs in an effort to match Indian nuclear modernization. With tensions constantly simmering between these two South Asian neighbors, it is likely that a submarine arms race might erupt, with each side trying to acquire more potent and secure delivery mechanisms than the other. Pakistan currently lags significantly behind India in the development of submarines capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles. However, it has made important first steps toward the development of an SSBN force. Pakistan has already developed a missile – the Hatf-IX/Nasr – compact enough for use within the confines of a submarine missile bay. Pakistan also began developing the command and control infrastructure necessary for directing and monitoring a sea-based nuclear force when it unveiled the headquarters of the Naval Strategic Forces Command in 2012 (11). At this point, it is still unclear which submarine platform will be utilized for Pakistan’s SSBN force, but there is speculation that Pakistan might choose either the Agosta 90B diesel electric submarine or the Chinese built Yuan-class, of which Pakistan ostensibly possesses eight (12).
There is also evidence to suggest that North Korea is seeking to develop an indigenous SSBN force, although it still has significant barriers to overcome. The most pressing obstacle for North Korea is the development of a reliable missile system capable of being launched from a submerged submarine. Recently, North Korea has tested a number of SLBM systems from submerged barges (13). The majority of these tests have failed. Nevertheless, a number of analysts who specialize in SSBN systems estimate that North Korea could obtain a reliable SLBM system within around five years, the time it has taken other developed countries to perfect their sub-launched missile systems (14). Developing an effective and reliable missile system is not the only obstacle North Korea faces, however. It also needs to develop a submarine class stealthy enough to effectively guarantee North Korean second strike capabilities. While North Korea does possess an immense submarine force, its vessels are decrepit and antiquated, making it unlikely that they could serve the role of SSBN. North Korea’s military industrial base and manufacturing sector are also lacking and underfunded, making North Korea’s ability to develop an effective SSBN class suspect. The next few years will grant better insights into the direction of North Korea’s SSBN program and provide more clarity regarding North Korea’s technical capacity to design and develop the necessary systems.
The development of these nuclear capable submarine forces is alarming for a number of reasons. First, the relative novelty of SSBN forces in East and South Asia means that there are no clearly established rules of the road. It is possible and even likely that an incident at sea involving new SSBN forces might generate a diplomatic crisis and risky military posturing. This danger is compounded by the fact that no Asian nuclear power, including China, has a well-developed submarine command and control infrastructure in place, meaning that high-ranking civilian and military leadership may not have complete control over SSBN forces out on patrol (15). This precarious dynamic is only further exacerbated by the relatively small and technologically deficient SSBN forces that these powers will possess. The short range of SLBMs guarantees that submarines will be forced to sail close to adversaries’ waters to hold them at risk. This, along with the poor acoustic signatures of early model SSBNs, increases the chances of detection, making a risky encounter at sea more likely. The relatively small SSBN fleet size of nuclear powers like China, India, and Pakistan is also perilous in that it makes the deployment of any one SSBN more significant. While countries like the United States maintain continuous SSBN deployments to maintain effective deterrence, countries with smaller SSBN forces may lack the requisite number of ships to maintain continuous deployments. Thus, when they do deploy a SSBN, it will be viewed as a far more significant move, as it is not part of a routine operation, but instead marks a meaningful change in nuclear posture. While the development and deployment of SSBN forces might be a stabilizing force in the long run, providing secure second strike capabilities and alleviating policymakers’ fears of nuclear decapitation strikes, these actions risk exacerbating tensions in the short term.
There is little that can be done to halt this developing SSBN arms race. However, there are clear steps that can and should be taken to mitigate the risks inherent in nascent SSBN forces. First, countries should engage in confidence-building measures such as regular summitry between political leaders and naval officer exchanges. Of course, there are inherent limits regarding the degree of transparency an SSBN force can have: One of the most significant advantages of SSBNs, after all, is their secrecy and stealth. Nevertheless, frequent communication and trust-building between high-level civilian and military government agents will go far to minimize distrust and foster greater cooperation. Another suggestion worth considering is one proposed by Brendan Thomas-Noone and Rory Medcalf in their Lowy Institute Report: exchanges with established nuclear powers (16). As Thomas-Noone and Medcalf point out, both the U.K. and France have decades of experience operating SSBNs, and they both have SSBN forces of similar size to those of China and India. Thus, they would be able to give valuable insights and share best practices with the inchoate forces of Asia. This would go a long way in creating more professional and effective command and control networks and SSBN forces in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Despite the end of the Cold War, questions of deterrence theory and nuclear posture remain highly relevant. Indeed, despite the smaller arsenal sizes of states like North Korea, India, and Pakistan, the nuclear forces of these incipient nuclear powers might actually be more dangerous because of their lack of experience. Unlike the Cold War, marked by a well-developed understanding between the two superpowers, this new nuclear age is characterized by nuclear powers who lack the experience and capabilities to ensure the effective execution of a deterrence strategy (17). Thus, it is imperative that mature nuclear powers work to guide these relative newcomers, and that these young nuclear powers work among themselves to develop de-escalation hotlines and codes of conduct in order to ensure that crises never escalate to the nuclear level.
(1) For a comprehensive history of the Israeli, Indian, and Pakistani nuclear programs, see Narang, Vipin. Nuclear Strategy In The Modern Era. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014. Print.
(2) Lewis, Jeffrey. “DPRK SLBM Test.” Arms Control Wonk. May 13, 2015. Web.
(3) For an analysis of Chinese SSBN modernization, see “Does China have an effective sea-based deterrent?” CSIS China Power. 2016. Web. For analysis of the Ohio Replacement, see Majumdar, Dave. “Beyond the Ohio-Class: Inside America's Next-Generation Missile Submarine.” The National Interest. May 19, 2016. Web.
(4) For the dangers inherent in airborne alert, see Krepon, Michael. “Ghosts in the Machine.” Arms Control Wonk. September 30, 2013. Web.
(5) Winner, Andrew C. & Ryan W. French. “Rip currents: The dangers of nuclear-armed submarine proliferation.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 72(4) (2016): 223.
(6) Carter, Ashton B., John D. Steinbruner, and Charles A. Zraket, eds. Managing Nuclear Operations. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1987.
(7) Burr, William and Thomas S. Blanton. “The Submarines of October: U.S. and Soviet Naval Encounters During the Cuban Missile Crisis.” George Washington University National Security Archive. October 31, 2002. Web.
(8) Winner, Andrew C. & Ryan W. French. “Rip currents: The dangers of nuclear-armed submarine proliferation.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 72(4) (2016): 224.
(9) LaGrone, Sam. “India’s First Boomer Leaves On Acceptance Trials.” USNI. April 20, 2016. Web.
(10) Thomas-Noone, Brendan & Rory Medcalf. “Nuclear-armed submarines in Indo-Pacific Asia: Stabiliser or menace?” Lowy Institute. September 2015. Web. pp. 7-8.
(11) Winner, Andrew C. & Ryan W. French. “Rip currents: The dangers of nuclear-armed submarine proliferation.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 72(4) (2016): 225.
(12) Ansari, Usman. “Pakistan, China Finalize 8-Sub Construction Plan.” Defense News. October 11, 2015. Web.
(13) IHS Jane’s. 2016. “North Korea’s Unconfirmed Fourth Test of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Underscores Its Increasing Capabilities, Including Nuclear Weapons.” Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report, April 8.
(14) Hardy, J. 2015. “Analysis: North Korean SLBM Test Leaves More Questions than Answers.” Jane’s Defence Weekly, May 12.
(15) Thomas-Noone, Brendan & Rory Medcalf. “Nuclear-armed submarines in Indo-Pacific Asia: Stabiliser or menace?” Lowy Institute. September 2015. Web. pp. 10-11.
(16) Thomas-Noone, Brendan & Rory Medcalf. “Nuclear-armed submarines in Indo-Pacific Asia: Stabiliser or menace?” Lowy Institute. September 2015. Web. pp. 16.
(17) Yoshihara, T. & Holmes, J. R. Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age: Power, Ambition, and the Ultimate Weapon. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2012. Project MUSE. Web. 29 Jul. 2016.
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Sam Seitz is a student at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he studies International Politics, German, and European Studies. He has served as an analyst for the Roosevelt Institute at Georgetown University, specializing in defense and diplomacy, and runs the blog Politics in Theory and Practice. Sam’s areas of interest are, broadly speaking, security studies, alliance networks, European politics, and the intersection between comparative politics and international relations. Sam is also a devoted fan of the University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team.